Georgetown, Guyana – (May 18, 2018) Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, yesterday, committed to working with residents of De Kinderen Village and the Boerasirie Housing Scheme, West Coast Demerara, the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) and the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) with a view to addressing the dilapidated roads and irregular maintenance of drainage channels in those communities. The Minister pledged during the community visits to use the information he gained from having a first-hand look at the challenges to work with stakeholders to mitigate the risk of flooding during the impending rainy season and ensure that the conditions of the roads are addressed in the affected areas.

Residents accused the Tuschen/Uitvlugt Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) of depriving them of services that residents in other communities are benefiting from. NDC Vice Chairman, Mr. Colbert Leander lamented that De Kinderen Village is being stifled. “Other roads in other communities [are] fixed. [It is] $200 per mile in [from the highway] into the community,” he said. Resident, Mr. Michael Sanders, expressed similar concerns. “The NDC neglecting De Kinderen drainage canals. It is discrimination,” he said.

At Orderline Road, De Kinderen, residents raised similar concerns about the single lane dilapidated road. NDC Councillor Andrew Haynes said that he was particularly concerned about the fact that a potable water pipeline that serves the community runs alongside the road in the drain. Minister Harmon said that he would look into the matter with the view of determining how the concerns can be addressed.

Meanwhile, during a visit to the Akshar Dhaam Ashram at Onderneeming, La Parfaite Harmonie, Minister Harmon lauded Pandit Somnauth Sharma’s ambitious plan to develop the lot adjacent to the mandir to serve as a humanitarian and vocational community training centre. The Minister said that he is very impressed with the plans and will give his full support to the project as in addition to training, it aims to renew the spiritual and moral values of the people.

“Whatever we can do to improve the quality of life of people in this community, I think we have to do it; it is important. Too many of our young people are actually falling through the cracks in society and we have to build some additional social safety nets to actually catch them and bring them back up into society as useful citizens… I see that this facility will play an important part in building the social, moral values and creating and teaching people skills for life,” Minister Harmon said.

Pandit Sharma said that plans had been advancing, since 2015, to establish the centre to provide counselling, literacy and vocational training to all the youths of the housing scheme. “We have done a lot of surveys to prove that in this housing development, we have people who really need this kind of help, whether in education, in agriculture and in every form of training to make lives better,” he said.

Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region Three) Deputy Regional Executive Officer (DREO), Ms. Jennifer Ferreira-Dougal and officers attached to her department also attended the community outreach exercises.

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