Residents of the close to 60 Indigenous communities in Region Nine, Upper Takutu Upper Essequibo are being trained to maintain the photovoltaic systems within their respective communities.
Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock; Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Dawn Hastings-Williams and Chief Executive Officer, Guyana Water Incorporated, Dr. Richard Van West-Charles handing over tools to Toshaos of Region Nine
Some 28 persons have successfully concluded the first phase of the training conducted by the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI). The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Richard Van West-Charles explained that the aim is to ensure that those residents are equipped to maintain the photovoltaic systems throughout the regions. This will eliminate the need for persons to travel from the coast to fix any minor issues on the systems.
Dr. Van West-Charles told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that the water company also signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with the respective Village Councils. He said that the MOUs will see GWI providing stipends to the persons maintaining the water systems. A set of maintenance tools was also handed over to the village leaders.
Dr. Van West-Charles said that the participants will benefit from continuous training in solar technology, and will also be provided with materials on regular basis. He is also encouraging more females to participate in the training programme.
The remaining persons will receive training by the end of 2017; bringing the total to 118 persons being trained across Region Nine. This training will be replicated in other hinterland regions where there are photovoltaic systems.
Additionally, the water company recently commissioned a commercial office in Lethem. It is the first of its kind in a hinterland region. The facility is equipped with a mini laboratory and is manned by about a dozen staff members including an engineer, all of whom are residents of Lethem and surrounding Indigenous communities.