Jul 16, 2016 News
As part of ongoing efforts to expand its services to citizens in outlying Regions, Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), the nation’s supplier of water and sanitation services will officially commission its Lethem, Region Nine office within the next three weeks.
The GWI Lethem office is expected to serve a population of over 1000 residents. Management has therefore embarked on outfitting the new location with employees from the Region who are versed in various Amerindian dialects and foreign languages.
The new employees include Randolph Austin – Customer Services Representative (Field), Dyna Barjoan – Senior Clerk, Samantha Marcello – Customer Services Representative and Jessica Williams – Cashier.
According to a statement from GWI, Mr. Austin has knowledge of the Wapishana dialect. He believes he has an upper hand in relating to Lethem residents as he assists them to transition from the industrial age of fetching water from hand dug wells to the modern age of receiving running water in their homes; Samantha Marcello is also fluent in the Macushi dialect and hopes to use her knowledge to fulfill the mandate of GWI in Lethem and with a vast presence of Brazilian businesses emerging in the Region, GWI expects them to rely heavily on its service, the company hopes to fully serve its new customers through the expertise of Ms. Dyna Barjoan who is fluent in Portuguese.
The new staff members are expected to educate residents on GWI’s billing services, to which they would be exposed for the first time. As part of their orientation, the four new staffers would undergo one-week of training in Georgetown.
As such, GWI will be moving to disseminate flyers, press releases and create public service to better inform Region Nine residents of its activities by way of announcements in Amerindian dialects known to residents, as well as Portuguese. Some of the services that will be offered are: bill payments, bill queries, leak reports and new service connections.
Additionally, GWI will be sending 11 employees from its offices for overseas training in three separate programme areas held in India, Miami and Oklahoma, USA.
These training programmes are aimed at equipping the company with the competency of an international standard. In Oklahoma, five employees were trained on well development and maintenance and well drilling techniques.
The training was conducted by the Fleming College of Canada. Those who attended are Region Four Manager – Curtis Niles, Director of Operations – Dwayne Shako, Well Maintenance Engineer – Denise Woolford, Well Drilling Engineer – Rochelle Hopkinson and Region Six Manager – Jawaharlall Ramjug.
According to Shako, Director of Operations, GWI’s pool of skilled personnel in well drilling and maintenance has depleted over the years therefore making this training important in effectively maintaining the company’s wells.
He said, “There are 127 wells countrywide and if we can’t keep these wells functioning in an efficient manner, then we won’t be able to meet our basic water supply.”
GWI is currently undertaking a project which will see approximately seven wells being drilled within the next two years. This capacity building initiative will ensure productivity and value for money.
He noted that the training was timely, since they were able to immediately apply what was taught to them as they begin the drilling of wells at Port Mourant, Berbice, Shelter Belt and Sophia in Georgetown and Diamond, East Bank Demerara.
GWI’s Process Control and Instrumentation Engineer Duane Tobin was privileged to attend a two-month workshop in India on the selection and application of flow meters, control valves, calibration techniques, water distribution system design techniques and flow analysis and data acquisition systems among others.
His training will also better equip the company to implement the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, which will allow GWI to remotely monitor and control water treatment plants and pump stations across the country.
Meanwhile, with over 30 generators countrywide which are costly to maintain, GWI sought to build its internal capacity by sending five employees for training in installation and maintenance in Miami, Florida.
Energy Manager- Lensworth Blair, Region 4 Production Supervisor- Christopher Hodge, and Assistant Region Four Manager – Neil Thomas, Region Six Engineer – Randolph Leitch and Region Four Mechanic – Alston Forde, benefitted from this training opportunity.
The management of the Water Authority believes its investment in employees will serve as a long term advantage, resulting in cost reduction for the execution of overall operations and the redirecting of savings to other areas. The methodical selection was done in an effort to have a certified representative in each field to render assistance.
The GWI staff members were certified after successfully completing the various courses. GWI will continue in this regard as it seeks to upgrade the quality of service it offers to the public.
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