Georgetown, Guyana – (April 28, 2019) Newly appointed Minister of State, Mrs. Dawn Hastings- Williams, today, hosted a community meeting at the Philadelphia Primary School, East Bank Essequibo, Essequibo Islands- West Demerara (Region Three) where she announced that the Government has budgeted $69M solely for road upgrades in that community along with neighbouring Vergenoegen.  

Minister Hastings-Williams also met with the youth and elderly residents during a walkabout in the village to listen to some of the challenges in their community, which included complaints about drainage and irrigation, security and public infrastructure.

Additionally, with concerns raised about street lights, the Minister of State said that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure would be installing LED street lights along the entire West Coast Demerara and East Bank Essequibo, ending at Parika.

In her address to residents at the community meeting, Minister Hastings- Williams noted that the administration is cognisant of the fact that most persons simply require better access to Government services and amenities such as water, roads, lights and recreational facilities and it is the duty of the Government to provide same. 

As such, she noted that the $69M has been budgeted to provide road upgrades in the communities of Philadelphia and Vegenoegen, which was a main issue raised at the meeting and during the walkabout. Where needs be, she said Government will seek to augment this figure. 

“The President has said that he is the President for all the people of Guyana and therefore the Government has a mandate to look after every citizen in this country as much as it can. There is nothing that will stop us from what doing what we have to do to serve you. If there is something you want and you don’t see it happening, then come to us with a proposal or plan so that it can find itself in the regional or national budget. You deserve these things, you deserve good public infrastructure, healthcare and education. That is what this Government is about; development and making sure people are happy. We cannot do everything in the short time we have been in office but we will continue to do what we can,” the Minister of State said. 

Additionally, Minister Hastings-Williams told the residents that Government considers the community meetings and public day activities to be an important exercise in the 

conduct of Government business and in determining what issues must be addressed to make the lives of citizens much easier.

She further noted that the Government is one that listens to the people and residents can rest assured that their issues would receive the utmost consideration.  

Meanwhile, Ms. Bhagwantie Lall, a resident of Vergenoegen, who had the opportunity to engage the State Minister during her walkabout, said she is grateful that the Government has visited the community to address concerns of the residents. 

“I am thankful that you have walked around to see for yourself what are some of the issues we are facing here in the community. Our hope is that the issues can be addressed,” she said.

With one of the issues faced by the community being improper garbage disposal and waste management, the Minister of State urged the residents to practice better environmentally friendly disposal of their waste, since it is their community which is being affected by their actions. 

“You must become a role model. Vergenoegen must become a place where they are good roads, good drainage, clean environment and healthy people because healthy and happy people make happy nations. As much as the Neighbourhood Democratic Council has a responsibility, you too as residents have a responsibility,” the Minister said.  

On other issues such as the installation of an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Hub, repairs to the Vergenoegen Primary School and scholarships, the Minister has undertaken to engage her Cabinet colleagues to see how best the requests can be honoured. 


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