Mahaicony River residents receive water tanks to assist with access to potable water

Over 200 households from within the Mahaicony River and surrounding areas in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) will now benefit from improved access to potable water following an intervention by the government.

On Thursday, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha visited the area to distribute over two hundred (200) 1,700-liter black water tanks to households in the area, an investment valued at over $8 million.

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha while addressing the gathering. Also pictured are Chairman for Region Five and Minister within the Ministry of LGRD

The intervention follows a commitment made by H.E. President Dr. Irfaan Ali after it was revealed that residents were not benefiting from an adequate supply of potable water in the area.

Last December, Minister Mustapha met with a group of farmers from the Mahaicony area to address concerns about saltwater intrusion in the farming areas.

It was during that meeting that several persons, specifically women, raised concerns about the inadequate supply of potable water in the communities.

Minister Zulfikar Mustapha and some of the residents who benefited from the water tanks

Today, while engaging those present, Minister Mustapha explained that the issue was raised with the President who later instructed that every household receive a black tank to store water.  

“The last time I was here, we came to discuss irrigation water. During the discussion, some persons raised the issue of access to potable water. We were trying to make arrangements for water to go in with tanks from various entities. We were successful to an extent but then I raised this matter at Cabinet and we said we would try as much as possible to distribute water on a regular basis to residents from this community. The President heard about it and said those entities would not be able to distribute water on a continuous basis and that we should provide a black tank to each household,” Minister Mustapha said.

Some of the water tanks that were distributed to farmers from communities along the Mahaicomy River

Minister Mustapha also said that while skeptics might want to suggest that the distribution was politically motivated, he made it clear that the government was solely interested in the well-being of all citizens.

“Many times, the Opposition and the naysayers and the doomsayers would criticize these activities, saying that we are giving these forms of assistance to bribe the people. But this government doesn’t engage in those activities. We’ve been here in good times and not-so-good times and we’ll continue to be here. You know for a fact when this entire area and the majority of our country was flooded in 2021, many ministers from the Cabinet were here. I spent a number of days here too. The President also came here to see your plight. That shows the government’s commitment to ensuring we ease the suffering of our people,” he added.

Minister Mustapha also disclosed that the Government, after reviewing its term in office so far, has delivered more than was promised in its manifesto. He also said that while Guyana is now an oil and gas producing country and is considered the fastest growing economy in the world, the agriculture sector continues to see massive development and growth.

“On Monday, when the 2024 National Budget is read, you will hear that almost every subsector within the agriculture sector has experienced significant growth. During my year-end press briefing, I also spoke at length about the increases in sugar, rice, other crops, livestock, and aquaculture,” he explained.  

The minister also said that soon, both cash crop and rice farmers will receive fertilizer as the government prepares to roll out an $850 million fertilizer distribution initiative.

Minister within the Ministry of Local Government, Hon. Annand Persaud also attended the meeting.