Project completed in Surinam
Alongside Chile and Madagascar, De Watergroep has been active in Surinam for a number of years. In Galibi, a coastal municipality, we participated in supporting a project on drinking and wastewater facilities, in collaboration with Marowijne, a non-profit organisation.
Marowijne (= name of the adjoining river) was created with the aim to support and develop the Surinam district (‘province') of Marowijne through a series of initiatives, including improvement of the drinking water supply. The Marowijne district covers an area of 4,627 km², but has only 20,000 inhabitants. Galibi is a coastal municipality in this district with around 1,000 inhabitants. The official language is Dutch. This coastal village can only be reached by boat. Access to safe and sufficient drinking water the whole year round is anything but self-evident. The local community had been searching for a stable solution for almost 30 years.
In the drinking water project in Galibi, De Watergroep (Industry & Services business unit) positions itself as a water expert for the drinking water section, and subsequently also for the wastewater management. In the period 2008-2013, a number of work visits took place between the various parties involved.
In late November 2013, 5 employees of De Watergroep left for Surinam to finalise the drinking water supply project in the village of Galibi. De Watergroep had previously (in May 2012) built a water production centre with a capacity of 20 m³ per hour, and also installed the connection to the new distribution network. In order to arrive at a perfectly functioning water production centre and a continual supply, two more works were necessary: activating a water tower and an emergency generator. With its 20 m, this water tower is also one of the highest in Surinam. This water tower provides the inhabitants of Galibi with round-the-clock access to safe and healthy tap water. The village administration now appoints a water committee that is responsible for permanent water supply and proper organisation of the water supply.
The efforts of De Watergroep did not go unnoticed by the Surinam authorities and administrations. Convinced of the capabilities of De Watergroep, discussions are underway for the input of knowledge and expertise in new and larger drinking water projects.