By Synieka Thorne
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – Five hundred residents including teachers, nurses and other young professionals of Bartica, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) will benefit from homes under the government’s turn-key initiative.
His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali made this announcement during an outreach held at the Bartica Community Centre Ground on Wednesday, where a large crowd gathered to raise their issues and concerns.
The 500 homes, the president said, will be constructed on 120 acres of land which was identified for housing development in the township. He noted that teachers and nurses will particularly benefit, since they raised housing concerns during a prior engagement.
“We are going to work with the people in Region Seven, the skilled men and women, the small contractors in Region Seven, because we want to use that 120 acres of land to build at least 500 homes here, using the labour and contractors from here,” president Ali said.
In addition to the home construction programme which will result in major economic development, president Ali revealed that the government is also working on an infrastructural transformation plan that will see major road improvement in Bartica, and surrounding communities.
“We are already talking about new hinterland connections, roadways to open new opportunities for the people. … We understand the need for reliable road infrastructure for miners, and we will address that…This is the vision we are pursuing,” he said.
President Ali also outlined plans to transform Bartica into a major logistics hub, since it is a gateway for the mining sector.
“We need to create a service hub for Region Seven,” the president said, while noting that the region must be able to produce its own food, and make critical social and other services available to citizens.
In the area of education, president Ali said that the sector will benefit from major improvement and expansion to ensure the students have access to quality education as those on the Coast.
Among the announcements the president made following a brief visit to several schools on his way to the meeting, are a new walkway and drainage structure for Precious Gem Nursery school, and furniture and chalkboards for St John the Baptist.
Future Builders Nursery will also benefit from an expansion of the school’s kitchen, while Two Mile Secondary will benefit from a similar intervention.
Additionally, a full-fledged training institution will be established in the township where persons can have access to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
“This region must be a focal point for technical education… we will engage the miners to support the establishment of the training centre,” he related.
Further, an assessment will be done by the ministry of agriculture to expand the shade house programme in schools within Bartica.
Meanwhile, the health facilities will be upgraded with the Bartica Regional Hospital slated for major upgrades. Training opportunities will also be provided for healthcare workers, president Ali emphasized: “We are investing to ensure that all of our children must have access to quality education. Our children in this region must have access to quality education and quality healthcare. Those are two fundamental pillars on which the transformation of our country will be built on.”
Further, he mentioned the need to transform the Bartica airstrip at Five Miles into a municipal airport to boost tourism and other sectors.
The head of state told the residents that the government will deliver on every single promise it made in its manifesto in the context of ‘One Guyana.
The president was accompanied by a team of cabinet members including minister of parliamentary affairs and governance, Gail Teixeira, M.P, minister of housing and water, Collin Croal, M.P, and minister of labour, Joseph Hamilton, M.P. Technical officers from the various ministries and agencies were also on the ground addressing issues.