Guyana to improve water, sanitation services

Guyana to improve water, sanitation services

Guyana will strengthen and improve access to drinking water and sanitation services with a US$16,838,250 loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The initiative is known as the program to improve water and sanitation infrastructure and supply. It calls for infrastructure projects to build, upgrade and expand water treatment plants and enhance access to adequate sanitation through measures to strengthen the supplier Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), the design and implementation of a program to monitor non-registered water and a public awareness campaign on the use of water and proper hygiene practices.

Despite progress over the past decade in access to safe sources of water and sanitation, water and sewage services in Georgetown and other coastal areas still face constant institutional, financial and operational challenges.

For instance, the quality of water supply services is hindered by a deterioration in water distribution networks, with 50 percent to 70 percent of water used going unaccounted for at the national level (and more than 70 percent in Georgetown). Furthermore, the current sewage system covers just 48,000 people living in Georgetown — about 6.5% of the national population. The rest of the population seeks individual solutions, but in some cases these arrangements are not adequate.

The program is expected to increase the percentage of households with 24-hour access to water and water pressure that is in line with national standards, reduce the percentage of water that goes unaccounted for and raise the number of homes with improved access to drinking water and proper sanitation arrangements.

Source: caribbean news now

Chikungunya virus infects 12 more in Guyana


Guyana is reporting at least 12 more cases of a mosquito-borne virus that causes severe joint pain and fever for many of its victims.

Health Minister Bheri Ramsarran says the Caribbean Public Health Agency confirmed the new cases of chikungunya among 130 blood samples sent from the South American country.

The minister said late Wednesday that the infections occurred near the border with Suriname and about 32 kilometres from where the first two cases were documented last week.

The government is spraying pesticides to control the two species of mosquitoes that spread the virus.

The Pan American Health Organization reports more than 100,000 cases of chikungunya since the first locally transmitted case on the generally non-fatal virus in the Caribbean in French St. Martin in December.

On Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested local public health departments perform surveillance for chikungunya cases in returning travellers and be aware of the risk for possible local transmission in areas where Aedes species mosquitoes are active.

“Local transmission has been identified in 17 countries or territories in the Caribbean or South America (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Saint Maarten),” the CDC’s weekly report on illness and death said.

“As of May 30, 2014, a total of 103,018 suspected and 4,406 laboratory-confirmed chikungunya cases had been reported from these areas.”

Source: cbc news