The Minister of Regional Development and Sport (ROS) Gracia Emanuël officially inaugurated the rainwater collection (RWH) project on August 19, 2022, together with the acting president Ronnie Brunswijk. With this water storage system, 92 households of the Maroon communities along the Afobaka Road between Kraka and Marshall Creek have access to clean and safe drinking water according to national standards.
In his speech, the acting president indicated that more than 700 to 800 children under the age of 5 die annually worldwide from causes related to the lack of clean drinking water. According to him, the Santokhi/Brunswijk government will keep providing health care as its primary task. Minister Emanuel congratulated the community on this project and urged them to cherish this gesture and treat it with care. The ROS minister adviced them to take good care of it so that they can use it for a long time. He said that the ministry and the FOB foundation will do their utmost together to provide the rest of the community with this water storage system. This project was developed by the government to give substance to SDG 6, clean and safe drinking water for everyone. The funding has been made available by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) under the Basic Needs Fund Trust 9th Program (BNTF-9).
The coordination of the project was carried out jointly by the Ministry of ROS and its working arm Stichting Fonds Ontwikkeling Binnenland (FOB Foundation). In collaboration with the Labor Mobilization and Development Foundation (SAO), vocational training courses were provided to the community in the construction, installation and repair of rainwater harvesting systems. During the training and the construction work, the individual households are provided with the necessities for the safe collection and storage of rainwater along the aforementioned route. With regard to the aspect of healthy and safe drinking water, the Bureau for Public Health (BOG) has provided training in the field of water quality assurance and safety.
Brokopondo’s district commissioner, Ludwig Mendelzoon, indicated that the population of Tap Pasi is increasing rapidly and such projects are therefore very welcome. According to the mayor, sustainable water purification projects are being prepared for Brokopondo. He indicated that the community now consists of almost 800 people. The residents responded gratefully to this project. Hugo Pavion a resident representative thanked the government and said that they look forward to more development projects for the settlements along the way.