Squatters are swimming, dumping waste in your drinking water
12th August 20200508
The East Demerara Water Conservancy which runs between Sophia and Mandela Avenue
The water which is meant to be treated for consumption by residents of Georgetown remains at high risk for contamination, which could result in dire consequences.
On Tuesday, representatives of the Guyana Water Inc. reiterated the dangerous practices that have been taking place along the East Demerara Water Conservancy that runs into the Shelter Belt treatment plant.
“This is the conversancy, so this is the water supply to GWI; the water that goes into the treatment plant at Shelter Belt that supplies the city. It is the water that goes into the city, and if this water becomes contaminated now, the whole city is dead,” an official from GWI warned
Housing Ministers Collin Croal and Susan Rodrigues, along with a team from the Ministry and GWI, visited a number of areas in Sophia where squatters are located.
One of the areas visited was a squatting settlement behind the Chinese Embassy on Mandela Avenue, where it was evident during our visit that persons have been bathing, swimming and disposing of waste into the conservancy.
It should be noted that the issue of the misuse of the water conservancy is not something new, and has been happening years now. In fact, it was explained on Tuesday that suggestions have been made for there to be two hundred feet distance between dwellings and the dams of the conservancy.
The East Demerara Water Conservancy runs through several communities across Georgetown, many of which are also populated by squatters.
The Housing Ministers emphasised during their visits to the locations that the Government will not be condoning squatting, and those who are engaging in the practice would have to be removed.
It was made clear, however, that the removal process would see a complete humanitarian approach being adopted, avoiding shacks and structures being dismantled via a strong-arm approach while leaving occupants with no roof over their heads.
The officials however warned that a humanitarian approach to the problem should not be seen as an invitation to squat on government and private lands, as those actions have consequences.
A review of the squatting settlements across the country is planned, with a structured approach being sought to bring the practice to an end.
The People’s Progressive Party Civic in its Manifesto and during its election campaign promised fifty thousand house lots.