Girls to benefit from training in water, sanitation, plumbing

Stabroek News
February 26, 2007

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Girls will soon benefit from new initiatives for empowerment with the introduction of a programme of basic plumbing, water and sanitation to be implemented at the Guyana Industrial Training Centre.

Girls between the ages of 14-19 years from across the country will be pursuing the training programme from the first week of March, and its first phase focuses on water, sanitation and basic plumbing. The training runs for eight weeks and will be conducted two days per week, Fridays and Saturdays, at GITC.

Dr. Elias Baganazi of the Pan American Health Organisation noted recently at the opening ceremony that such skills will add meaning to the lives of the women selected and equip them for the future. He said too that an important element of the programme is that the young women are required to go back to their communities and put into practice what they have learned.

The Ministry of Health is collaborating on the programme and Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy emphasised the importance of women being equipped with such skills. He told the gathering that the water aspect of the programme is critical since the need still exists for greater access to safe drinking water across the country. Currently, he noted, 83 percent of the population has such access.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF); the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); the Ministry of Human Services and PAHO are partners in the programme. And representatives of those organisations have sounded a call for continued collaboration if the programme is to be successful and possibly extended to other regions.

The Women Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Human Services has indicated its willingness to work along with the coordinators to see how the programme could be rolled out across the country.