Provision of water:
Guyana among top countries

Guyana Chronicle
January 7, 2003

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Guyana has been placed on the list of top ranking countries for the provision of water.
The Guyana Public Transportation Association (GPTA) said the recent increase in fuel price has begun to affect the income of minibus operators.

This is according to a new Water Poverty Index developed by a team of researchers at Britain's Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and experts from the World Water Council.

Out of a total of 147 countries, Finland has been positioned at the top, followed by Canada, Iceland, Norway, Guyana, Suriname, Austria, Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland, the report said.

Research team leader, Caroline Sullivan, said that the researchers did not only use access to good quallity water as their benchmark, but they took five different criteria to construct their index: resources, access, use, capacity and environment.

She pointed out that the International Water Poverty Index demonstrates that it is not the amount of water resources available that determine poverty levels in a country, but the effectiveness of how those resources are used.

Sullivan said this explained why rich nations like the United States of America ranked relatively low - at 33rd, while developing nations such as Guyana and Suriname came in at fifth and sixth respectively.

She asserted: "The links between poverty, social deprivation, environmental integrity, water availability and health, become clearer in the Water Poverty Index, enabling policy makers to identify where problems exist, and the appropriate measures to deal with their causes."

The third Water Forum will be held in the Japanese City of Koyoto in March. The focus of the forum will deal with a new Water Poverty Index developed to highlight the differences between water-rich and water-poor nation.

The Earth Summit in Johannesburg in September, set the world target of halving the number of people without access to clean water and sanitation by 2015. It is a commitment due to be turned into concrete plans on March 22, at the Koyoto meeting which is already being flagged as likely to be the most important water conference ever held.

The Guyana Government spent billions of dollars over the last few years to rehabilitate all aspects of the water sector.

New distribution and transmission lines have been installed, while over 100 new wells were drilled to provide potable water to all Guyanese in coastal and hinterland communities. New Treatment plants and storage facilities have been constructed, and the existing ones are being rehabilitated. (GINA)

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