Several hinterland communities in Region One (Barima-Waini) are to benefit from potable water as the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) continues its drive to ensure that all citizens have access to potable water.This ongoing project will see the installation of several new wells in the communities this year.In fact, the water company has already drilled a new well at Koko, Moruca, which will provide potable water for approximately 500 persons within 102 households at a total cost of $8.7 million. The well has been tested, and an agreement is being signed with the community to undertake civil works to ensure the well supplies the community by next month.This project is also providing employment for the residents of Koko. The Koko Health Centre and Primary School will also benefit from reliable access to potable water.Meanwhile, GWI is advancing construction of filters and a new pumping system in Hosororo, Mabaruma, which will allow residents access to treated water for the first time. The works being undertaken will see residents benefiting from extended hours of water supply, and increased level of service. An additional storage tank will support the supply of the Wanaina Pump Station to the service area.Presently, materials are being sourced, and works have already commenced in Georgetown on the prefabrication of the filter tanks, which will be transported to the community. Following this, construction will commence on site. The Hosororo Primary and Nursery schools and the Health Post will benefit from access to potable water.The supply system, projected to be completed over the next three months, will be providing water to more than 100 homes at a total investment cost of almost $20 million.Works are also expected to commence on the drilling of a new well at Kamwatta (Barima/Waini), which will see approximately 600 persons gaining first time access to potable water, including the Kamwatta Health Centre and Primary School.GWI has already secured a no-objection to secure half an acre of land, and the contractor will soon mobilise at the project site. The completion date for the project is the second half of 2018, and this project would provide jobs for the residents of Kamwatta during the execution.Moreover, the water company has drilled a new well in Oronoque. It is currently in its developmental stage, but will aid in providing potable water for approximately 200 persons as well as the newly constructed hospital in the community. This project, being executed at a total cost of $18.9 million, would also provide jobs for the villagers of Oronoque. It is estimated that the works will be completed by next month.Additionally, some 500 residents of Rincon will gain first time access to potable water following the completion of a $3.5 million water supply improvement project in that community.GWI, through the Santa Rosa Village Council, is currently conducting works which entail the installation of 1.5 km of transmission lines in the community. The company noted that 90 per cent of the pipe laying has been completed, and the installation of individual service connections is ongoing.This section of the community is sourcing water by way of rain water harvesting and from a shallow well which operates with a hand pump, located at the centre of the community. The completion of this project will see all residents in Santa Rosa receiving a reliable supply of potable water.
H2H verificationField officers who conducted the verification exercise of the 20,000+ names listed as new registrants who were captured during the scrapped House-to-House (H2H) Registration process have found empty lots at the addresses on record for those persons.Commissioner Robeson BennThis is according to Opposition-nominated Commissioner at the Guyana Elections Commission, Robeson Benn.He told Guyana Times that they were informed by the party’s scrutineers who worked along with the GECOM staff during the exercise that there were instances where they went to the addresses to verify the names and were met with empty lots.“There were no buildings on the lots where people were said to be…,” he related.However, the Commissioner could not give an exact figure of how many such instances were recorded.Benn indicated that the Commission had a meeting on Monday and they were updated on the five-day verification exercise. However, he said it information provided was not “very helpful”.“I have been told that there is information elsewhere that perhaps some of these persons don’t exist. I can’t speak to the amount. It might be a smaller number. But I’m saying that’s the kind of breakdown we’re expecting from GECOM which should have been provided in the first place. But what we were provided with is just a general summary of the data – using what they confirmed and not confirmed and so on. But beyond that, no informative presentation of the data to be able to get to quick decisions on what to do with the information,” he contended.Additionally, Benn noted that he has seen a few figures of some areas where there were in fact duplicates.“…Despite all of the checks, which had been done twice to scrub the information which was taken [from the H2H exercise], there were persons who had been put down as being registered again,” he stated.According to the Opposition Commissioner, duplication was one of the issued that his party, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), had raised in the arguments against the conduct of the H2H exercise, which he noted has in fact impaired efforts to do any elections preparations.“There were strong arguments against the doing of the verification exercise from the other side, which I think by the findings of this exercise done on 16,000 alone, shows the type of problems we were warning against and expected would be there on our side,” he pointed out.Nevertheless, the even-member GECOM Commission is expected to meet again on Friday to discuss the findings of the verification exercise.Some 370,000 registrations obtained during the scrapped H2H exercise, which ran from July 20 to August and was objected to by the Opposition, were sent overseas to be cross-matched with the National Register of Registrants Database (NRRD) in order to filter out the duplicates.However, it was recently reported that international digital security company, Gemalto, indicated that some 37,300 were new registrants who are eligible for voting, that is, they are above the age of 18. But an internal check conducted by GECOM showed that approximately 17,000 of those “new registrants” were already on the voters’ list and some even voted in the past.The remaining 20,000 “new names” were up for further verification. Recently, it was reported that the Government-nominated Commissioners were pushing to have a sample survey done from a sample size of 10 per cent from the 20,000 to verify these new names before they go on the voters’ list – a process which the PPP Opposition had objected to.Last week, GECOM Chair, Justice Claudette Singh cast a tie-breaking vote in favour with the Opposition Commissioners to have a field verification exercise of all 20,555 names listed as new registrants.