Minister Croal highlights Guyana’s efforts to improve water access, quality at UN Conference

Guyana’s achievements of improving water access, efficiency, quality and management were emphasised at the 2023 Conference for the Midterm Comprehensive Review of the United Nations (UN) Decade for Action on Water and Sanitation on Tuesday.

Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal

Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, addressing the conference, said the Government of Guyana is dedicated to improving the overall performance of the water sector focusing primarily on improving water access and quality. 

“We continue to improve the infrastructure for providing equitable access to safe drinking water, especially for women and children, Indigenous communities, persons with disabilities, and migrants,” he stated.

The conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Tajikistan and the Netherlands at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, brought together top-level government officials from across the globe.

According to the World Health Organisation, in 2022, a staggering two billion people still live in water-stressed countries, which is exacerbated in some regions as a result of climate change and man-made crises.

At the same time, the over-exploitation of water resources causes dire risks to the environment, including biodiversity loss and habitat fragmentation.

Recognising the need to have a balance between these competing concerns, Minister Croal noted that the Government of Guyana has adopted the Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030, which includes more Integrated Water Resources Management in tandem with other national priorities such as energy and food security.

“The Strategy also embodies Guyana’s contribution to combating climate change through the preservation of our country’s forest resources and a shift to clean and renewable energy sources,” he pointed out.

The country is collaborating with other member states of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO) on transboundary initiatives to promote the harmonious use of the Amazon basin.

At the global level, Minister Croal called for the acceleration of the development of ‘A Cooperative Global Water Information System’ to strengthen policy development, promote evidence-based decision-making, and support climate-smart water management. He also urged for investments in sustainable and resilient water infrastructure.

Further, Guyana is calling for the exchange of technology and innovation between developed countries and Small Island Developing States, Landlocked, and Least Developed Countries.

Minister Croal reiterated Guyana’s commitment to achieving Sustainable Development Goal -Six and called on the international community to work together to address the challenges facing the water and sanitation sector.

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