As the Guyana Water Incorporated celebrated its 16th anniversary on Wednesday evening, May 30, Managing Director Dr. Richard Van West-Charles dubbed it a successful year for the company. He noted however that this was not achieved without its challenges.
He was at the time address a gathering at the Company’s 16th Anniversary Prize Giving and Awards Ceremony, held at the Ramada Princess Hotel.
During the period June 2017-May 2018, GWI focused mainly on improving customer relations and enhancing staff capabilities through training. Dr. Van-West Charles noted that a boost in human resource capacity means animproved water sector. Training has been conducted for staff in Japan, India, Netherlands, America and locally.”
He stated that “In order for us to be on the cutting edge, we cannot run a system with our engineers operating at a bachelor’s level, our engineers have now got to move to a post graduate level, not in the area of business administration but in the area of water engineering”
The Managing Director added that a batch of engineers have been able to improve the operations of the Sophia Water Treatment Plant and are now working to improve the plant at Vergenoogen, East Bank Essequibo.
In finance, GWI has recorded a 30 percent increase in revenue collections, with a focus on arrears, when compared to the first five months of 2017.
He explained that one of the challenges faced is working to phase out aged water networks.
“The distribution network that is under strain as we speak is the network in front of Cuffy. It is leaking and we now have to meet with the Ministry of Infrastructure to see how we interrupt the road network”, Dr. Van West-Charles explained.
Meanwhile, Minister of Communities, Honourable Ronald Bulkan expressed gratitude to the staff for their dedication in fulfilling the mandate of the water sector. He also recognised the company’s efforts to realize His Excellency President David Granger’s call for equity on the Coastland and in Interior locations. Over the past year, GWI provided first-time potable access to a number of Hinterland communities as well as upgraded water supply systems.
“While Guyanese on the coast enjoy high level water quality, we have been challenged to supply the Hinterland and other settlements…In this regard, significant work was done to ensure that many of our hinterland communities get equal access to potable water”, he posited.
The Minister encouraged them to strive for excellence, even as he congratulated the awardees on their milestone achievements.
Among the other successes highlighted during the evening were drilling of wells in Diamond, Sparendaam and Sophia, cleaning school tanks and the installation of new water supply systems at Four and Five Miles, Bartica, Region 7.
At the awards ceremony, staffers were awarded for their years of service, Regional offices were awarded for their outstanding work and the media, for their excellence in coverage.