$50M new well commissioned in Wakenaam

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

President Dr Irfaan Ali assured the people of Wakenaam, Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), during a visit on Monday to commission a new well, that under his Government, millions of dollars in development has come and will continue to come to their island.

According to the President, this development includes plans for a 750-kilowatt solar-powered system for Wakenaam and other developments that, even excluding monies disbursed to the elderly and children, is close to $1 billion.

“We are planning a 750-kilowatt solar-powered system for this island. This system will start within two months, hopefully, and cost US$2.3 million or GY$460 million. If you look now at what we’ve invested in drainage and irrigation, sea defences and roads, that perhaps is another $500 million. That’s close to $1 billion.”

“We’ve already said to you, that we’re going to do 1 kilometre of road in this island every year, until we fix the roads completely. But I’ll go a step further and say to you that in the next three years, we’re going to complete the entire road network in this island in a phased and structured manner,” Ali also said.

Noting the island is a predominantly rice farming one, the President also referenced his Administration’s efforts to reverse the damage to the rice industry that was done by the actions, or lack thereof, of the former Government.“I see our Member of Parliament and a man who has been involved in rice all his life here, (Dharamkumar) Seeraj. And he would tell you about the effect the increase in drainage and irrigation costs, the neglect of our drainage and irrigation system.”

“The lack of investment in research and development. And the total collapse in the agriculture system. And it is the truth. No investment and priority were placed in the agricultural sector. We have to reverse this,” the President further said.

The well that was commissioned on Monday cost $50 million to construct, which, according to Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) Chief Executive Officer Shaik Baksh, is half of what it would have cost to drill a similar well.

He further explained that the well, which follows another botched attempt to install a well on the island under the former A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government, is 340 feet deep and the Pounds per Square Inch (PSI) pressure is 58.

Additionally, this new well will provide 3500 residents with 24-hour water supply.

Earlier this year, the new well at Noitgedacht was activated. It is providing water to the residents of Sans Souci, Belle Plaine, Noitgedacht and Good Success, where their level of service has more than doubled.

At the time, however, GWI had said that residents in Caledonia, Zeelandia and Maria’s Pleasure were not yet benefitting from the new well and that an action programme would be implemented to improve the efficiency of the distribution network.