World Water Day observances
Guyana has joined the rest of the world in observing World Water Day; an event which has been held for the past 24 years. Recognising that more emphasis needs to be placed on managing wastewater, Guyana Water Inc’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Richard Van West-Charles said this will aid in developing sustainable communities.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Dr West-Charles pointed out that
this area of focus is in keeping with this year’s “wastewater” theme.
“Wastewater is a valuable resource that can be treated and reused for green spaces as well as for cooling systems and irrigation in industries and agriculture,” explained the CEO.
He also noted that these measures were discussed in the current sustainable development goals, which were preceded by the Millennium Development Goals, coined in the early 2000s.
The CEO also highlighted that GWI is collaborating with the Central Housing and Planning Authority to ensure that septic tanks in the various new housing schemes are designed to the required specifications.
Junior Communities Minister with responsibility for water, Dawn Hastings pointed to the benefits of managing wastewater.
“The costs of wastewater management are greatly outweighed by the benefits to human health,” she stressed. The Minister further highlighted that the creation of business opportunities will be facilitated through the creation of more “green jobs”, in keeping with the President’s “Green Economy” strategy.
“GWI is its five-year strategic business plan, has included the construction of wastewater management plants for the 10 administrative regions,” the Minister highlighted.
Meanwhile, Junior Public Health Minister, Dr Karen Cummings expounded on the negative consequences which may surface if humans are exposed to wastewater. She noted that there are rural health and safety concerns for persons who work or live on or near the land where the water is being used. Dr Cummings explained that there is also a risk that contaminated products from the water used in the area could affect humans or animals in the area.
Currently, an estimated 1.8 billion people across the world are at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio via contaminated water. World Water Day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 and its programmes are coordinated in collaboration with governments and partners.