(Georgetown, February 10, 2017) Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton, today, met with residents of Bamia, Linden, Upper Demerara/Upper Berbice (Region 10), to discuss issues affecting the residents of that community. The Minister was accompanied by regional officials and during the visit and discussed with residents the challenges they have had over two decades with regard to accessing leases for the land they occupy.

Minister Norton said that it is the administration’s desire to see land ownership in the community regularised and asked the residents to form a collective unit to have the matter addressed. He then instructed the Chairman of the Community Development Council, Ms. Orleita John to compile the information on the individual leasing issues and have them submitted to the Senior Land Administration Officer for the area, Ms. Tashika Fisher by Monday, February 13, 2017.

Using the opportunity to raise awareness on the programme of work of his Ministry, the Minister told residents of the importance of a socially cohesive society, where individuals can come together to address their community needs. He said that they must not only work collectively in their best interest, but more importantly, in the best interest of future generations. The Minister emphasised the important role played by parents in child rearing, noting that they must prepare the next generation to contribute to the growth and development of the community.

The meeting also provided the opportunity for residents of the community to highlight some of the developments, which have been taking place there. The community is now benefitting from the availability of electricity and also now has an access road leading from the Linden/Soesdyke Highway to the Community Center.

Work is also in progress for the establishment of an internet hub, through the e-Government Unit, which will ensure that residents can have access to the World Wide Web.

Some of the other areas of concern expressed by the residents were access to transportation for students to get to school, domestic violence, substance abuse, access to potable water and limited job opportunities. Minister Norton told the residents that Government will work to support the development of the community even as they work together to ensure that some of these problems are addressed.

Those present at the meeting included Linden Mayor, Mr. Carwyn Holland, Regional Executive Officer, Mr. Gavin Clarke, Regional Vice Chairman, Mr. Elroy Adolph and Assistant National Director of the Community Development Council, Ms. Sandra Adams.

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