After a productive day of interactions with residents of Region Five, Cabinet Ministers gathered a wealth of information that will fashion a response relevant to the needs of residents.
Over 20 communities in the region were visited by Government Ministers, adding to the successful Cabinet outreaches conducted by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).
At the culmination of the exercise a large gathering converged in Bath where President Bharrat Jagdeo, the feature speaker at the occasion, assured residents of government’s interest in their concerns and finding adequate solutions.
President Bharrat Jagdeo and Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud speaking to residents during the Cabinet outreach at Bath on the West Coast of Berbice
“Everything that you raised with my Ministers today in the outreach, we will not just leave here and throw the sheet of the notes they made away. We meet again at Cabinet over and over… I want the people in this region to know that this government, whether we can fix it or not, we are sympathetic, we understand the challenges people face, we are connected to the ground and we want to change lives,” President Jagdeo said.
President Jagdeo, speaking to a large gathering of residents from Bath and further afield on a tarmac opposite the Bath Post Office, was accompanied by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon, PPP’s General Secretary Donald Ramotar and other Cabinet colleagues.
Addressing some of the immediate development plans for Regions Five and Six the President pointed to the construction of a fibre optic cable network extending from Charity in Region Two to Moleson Creek in Region Six.
ADDRESSING CONCERNS. President Bharrat Jagdeo offering advice to a resident during Cabient outreach at Bath on the West Coast of Berbice
The network will complement the plan to provide 90,000 households with a computer.
Within six months the exploration for oil and gas is expected to commence in the Guyana offshore basin and if successful, Guyana could become a major producer of oil and gas.
“If we find oil you will see an explosion not just for associated services to that industry but a whole range of other things, hotels etc, to provide accommodation for the industry,” President Jagdeo said.
Infrastructure wise the Guyana Government is encouraging talks with the new Surinamese Government for the bridging of the Corentyne river, a discussion which President Jagdeo said has been engaging with Suriname since in the time of the previous Government.
In education, the Government is mulling expansion of the University of Guyana’s Tain Campus even though disappointed in the low enrollment at the institution. President Jagdeo said the Tain Campus is important for the promotion of higher education in Regions Five and Six.
A contract for a new technical institute in Mahaicony has been awarded and according to President Jagdeo the institution will make a big difference in the lives of youths in the Region.
Given that rice production is synonymous to Region Five and sugar to Region Six, plans are in the pipeline to expand the east Canje reservoir scheme with a deep water harbour that will create bulk exports.
A section of the large gathering at Bath on the West Coast of Berbice during the Cabinet outreach to Region Five
Over the past few years the two Regions have benefited from over US$70M in paved roads from Mahaica to Moleson Creek. At present the long stretch of road in Black Bush Polder is being paved as well as Canje.
The new state of the art Skeldon factory came on stream in August 2009, complementing Guyana’s plan to modernise its sugar industry
The Head of State admitted that while his administration has vowed to speedily address community concerns the task of meeting the overwhelming demands of Guyanese in a country with limited resources, is challenging.
Such a shortfall, the President said, was as a result of bad policies of the previous regime which accumulating wealth, leaving an insurmountable debt problem that was carried for more than 15 years.
Upon its ascension to office in 1992, the PPP/C administration placed debt repayment on its priority agenda.
Guyana now utilizes 40 percent of its Gross Domestic Produce (GDP) equivalent to four percent of revenue to service debt, and according to President Jagdeo, such an achievement leaves more room for the country to invest in the resources necessary for development.