Social Protection Minister Amna AllySeveral hinterland communities continue to suffer from the lack of safe and adequate water supply, but the Government continues to make empty promises to citizens.Residents of Region Eight have reached out to Guyana Times to vent their frustration at not accessing potable water, while claiming that the river is contaminated due to unsafe mining practices. The river, they stated, was the main source of water for persons residing there.Ricardo Phillips, who spoke to this publication, related that residents have been forced to cease using the river water, since it is heavily contaminated and poses a danger to lives.He explained that, just recently, a relative of his had to seek medical attention because he had fallen ill after using the said river water.“We had to stop using the river after my cousin got sick. His entire body broke out with rash, and he started to vomit. The water full of mercury from all the mining that going on here. It’s unsafe mining, and everything ending up back right in the river, which we, the residents of this area, have to use. We depend on the rain for water. If rain don’t fall, we have no water,” he said.Sandra La Cruz believes that clean and healthy water is a basic necessity, and should be easily accessible to all citizens. “Water should not be a luxury. We all need to be able to access water easily for consumption. It’s a basic need, man; and we are tired of being promised and fooled. We see the Government visiting all regions promising this and promising that, and nothing is actually being delivered. They need to do better,” she stated.Similar issues were recently raised by residents of Region One (Barima- Waini) after the Guyana Water Inc had prohibited the use of the river there because it was heavily contaminated. A temporary water supply was provided, but this was not nearly adequate to supply residents of those villages, as the water supply was at a centralised point and residents from far-flung areas were forced to foot several miles for access.As Government took its outreach to Region Two (Pomeroon–Supenaam) on Wednesday, Social Protection Minister Amna Ally yet made promises to residents there that their water supply would be “vastly improved.” She spoke to residents of Lima Sands in response to concerns raised for the need for improved water supply in the region. Minister Ally assured the residents that their concerns have been noted, and she committed to having them addressed by the relevant agencies.“This is not a community we have forgotten; it is a community where we have done work, including (constructing) a new bridge and a multi-purpose building, which was done through the Sustainable Livelihood and Entrepreneurial Development (SLED) programme under my ministry. In this region, there has been improved drainage, much needed upgrade was done on the road to Red Luck, Anna Regina road and Sparta, among others. These developments will definitely continue and advance, once this Government remains in office,” Minister Ally explained.