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A Water Poverty Index developed by Britain's Centre for Ecology and Hydrology lists Guyana fifth among 147 countries, ahead of the United States and many other developed countries, in the provision of fresh drinking water.
The research looked at the quality of water provided, access, resources, use, capacity and environment.
Over the years, the Guyana Government has spent billions of dollars to rehabilitate and expand the provision of potable water throughout the coastal and hinterland regions.
This year, a sum of $881 million has been budgeted for the completion of La Bonne Intention Inter-connected Water System, Eccles Inter-connected System and the Bartica water network.
In addition, nearly $230 million is programmed for the upgrading of the distribution network in East and West Ruimveldt, Lamaha Gardens and Bel Air; $170 million will be spent to refurbish the Linden Water System and nearly $320 million has been allocated for the rehabilitation of coastal and hinterland 'stand alone' water systems nationwide.
And, while the provision of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation are recognized as vital services by themselves, they also affect child mortality, poverty and hunger and the development of women.