(GINA) Dry weather is likely to have a far lesser impact on communities in Central Rupununi, Region Nine with the completion of a man-made lake.
The public-private partnership project is being undertaken to provide water to the indigenous communities during the dry season in the Rupununi.
Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman made a site visit on Sunday, March 26 to the location of the reservoir. It is being dug on lands belonging to the village of Nappi.
“We’ve used the model from the JR ranch and we’re replicating it firstly in Central Rupununi and then another will be done deeper south around the cluster villages and there are going to be 17 wells sunk as well,” Minister Trotman told the Government Information Agency (GINA).
Currently, works are underway to prepare the land in time for the April-May rains to fill the reservoir. These works include building dams and a spillway.
The area identified is a natural depression in the land in a section not utilised by the community for either farming or cattle rearing. The catchment area will hold approximately three cubic meters of water.
Toshao of Nappi Village, Walter Henrico, told GINA that when the lake is filled it will also bring relief to the villages of Hiawa and Parashara. “In the future, the three satellite villages will benefit because during the years we have been struggling,” Henrico said, adding that, it would make access to water much easier.
“I remember … we used to go and fetch water till at the mountain foot so at this time we are seeing this project coming up to assist other villages especially animals and agriculture,” the Toshao explained.
In Nappi, villagers engage in the traditional farming, hunting and fishing to sustain themselves.
The Region had suffered some eight months of El Niño which began in 2015 and continued into 2016. The drought was said to be the longest since 1988.
The government had responded by digging several wells.
The water catchments that are being constructed now are being done in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, Civil Defence Commission and the Regional Democratic Council.
The initiative is part of a long term solution by the government to address water shortages in the Rupununi, particularly during the dry season.
The Government of Brazil has also committed to digging nine wells in the Region.