Following reports that some residents of Tapakuma, Region 2, have contracted Typhoid, the Guyana Water Incorporated has intervened to test and disinfect the well in the community.
Reports are that villagers practice rain water harvesting and dig their own ponds due to their reluctance to use water supplied by a shallow community well. The well, which was drilled by the Regional Administration, is supported by aged infrastructure and produces water with high iron content.
The Guyana Water Incorporated has since taken up the mantle to remedy the situation. We have found that the distribution network is made up of inappropriately sized pipelines that were run improperly more than four years ago with no flush out points. High levels of iron compounded the situation, causing incrustation and a reduction in the diameter of the pipes. This also resulted in persons at the end of the network receiving a low level of service.
Efforts were made to upgrade the current network by installing flush out valves, disinfecting lines and reducing the iron content in the water by flushing and rodding out the lines where necessary.
Connected to the well were two trestles, each bearing four tanks. GWI Region 2 workers managed to clean one set of tanks, due to their inability to access the other trestle.
The photovoltaic system that powers the system was also incorrectly installed, standing in the way of the tanks. However, upon GWI’s request to access and clean the second set of tanks, the Toshao of the Tapakuma community committed to get the job done.
The team also interconnected the line from the well to the outlet line from the overhead tanks, which helped with increasing the pressure to flush out the lines and ultimately improve the service level and water quality.
The Toshao was advised to ensure the tanks are cleaned every 2-3 months to maintain the improved water quality they are now receiving.
GWI also distributed brochures on how to disinfect the water by boiling and the recommended dosage of liquid bleach to add to water for household use.
According to reports from the Community Health Centre, some 10-15 persons have displayed symptoms of Typhoid, with the majority testing positive for the infection.
GWI has assured residents of Tapakuma that it will monitor the water supply system there so that they can continue to enjoy improved water quality access.