Oil exploration company plugs US1.25M into water conservation efforts

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View of the Nappi Reservoir located in the Nappi Village, Central Rupununi, South America, Guyana

Cataleya Energy Limited has funded a project in a remote village in the South American country of Guyana to tackle drought and create economic opportunities for residents in the Central Rupununi community.

The US$1.25 million reservoir has the capacity to hold 4.5 million cubic metres of water. It was funded by Cataleya Energy to reduce vulnerability to drought and build resilience in Nappi Village and surrounding communities.

CEO of Cataleya Energy Limited, Michael Cawood and Vice President and Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs in Guyana, Sydney Allicock, visited the Nappi Reservoir on Sunday.

The company’s CEO said the visit was “a follow-up to get a sense of the social and economic benefits the reservoir has produced”. “It is good to see the reservoir filled with fish. The community has clear plans for its future use, including agriculture, aquaculture, cattle rearing, and even small cottage industries.” “This means the reservoir is serving its purpose,” he said. “It reduces the impact of the dry season and is helping to propel the village’s development”. Cawood said he was pleased with the quality of the dam and was excited to report back to Cataleya Energy Limited’s shareholders of the good work that has been done.

Vice President and Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs Sydney Allicock (right of signboard); CEO of Cataleya Energy, Michael Cawood (left); Toshao of Nappi, Guy Fredericks (far left); and councillors of Nappi Village flanking the sign at the Nappi Reservoir

Minister Allicock praised Cataleya Energy for taking the initiative to work with the community and the Government of Guyana to tackle a clear need. Minister Allicock stressed that the project was a transformational one for the community and was in keeping with the government’s Green State Development Strategy. He said “the project has been successful and the interest of the council in using the reservoir to support community development is clear. They are discussing plans for agriculture, aquaculture and tourism and that’s great.” Allicock told the Council that the government will continue to support their efforts to develop their community and are currently conducting a scoping exercise to better connect the villages and the region to Georgetown.

Guy Fredericks, Nappi’s Toshao, thanked Cataleya Energy for the investment in the community. He noted that consultations are currently being facilitated by Conservation International with surrounding communities to agree on the use and management of the reservoir.

Vincent Henry, Community Development Officer for the Central Rupununi, said the reservoir has helped to place the community and the region on the map for water conservation. He said the community is pleased with the reservoir and pointed out “Leo’s Vegetable Farm”, which has already been established and registered to produce organic vegetables. He also shared plans for the development of a world-class, cultural community centre that would raise the profile of the indigenous way of life in Guyana and around the world.

The construction of the reservoir supports the Ministry of Natural Resources’ 2017 – 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility Framework, which outlined critical areas for support by natural resource actors. The reservoir was commissioned by Hon. Minister Raphael Trotman in February 2018.

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Cataleya Energy Limited is a partner in the Kaieteur Block, operated by ExxonMobil, in partnership with Ratio Guyana Limited and Hess Corporation.