Georgetown, Guyana – (May 2, 2019) “There is dignity in agriculture,” Minister of Citizenship, Mr. Winston Felix, told approximately 100 residents gathered in the compound of the Moblissa Primary School on Tuesday to benefit from a ‘Bringing the Government to the People’ exercise. The Minister encouraged the group to continue to cultivate the land and assured them of the Government’s full and continuous support. Minister Felix was part of a team which included Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Ms. Valerie Garrido- Lowe, and other government functionaries who travelled to Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region 10) for the exercise.

The Minister noted that it is the Government’s policy to aid in the development of communities across the country as it advances its programme to develop and diversify the agriculture sector.

“Every Community I have gone in, [President] David Granger didn’t look to see who lives there, he made sure that the needs of those communities are funded… even Moblissa has funding and we are going to continue in that vein, not just to spend the money, but to give you quality produce and products,” the Minister said.

Residents were then encouraged to organise trade for their produce through co-operative societies and to apply for grants through the Sustainable Livelihood Development Project (SLED).

Minister Garrido-Lowe, meanwhile, underscored Guyana’s potential for growth in the sector and the Government’s commitment to equitable development.

“We have every intention of ensuring that the good life reaches everyone … In the next few years there [likely] will be [a global] food shortage, so I expect that Guyana will step up and supply the rest of the Caribbean and the world. We have the land; we have the opportunity to do so and we like farming … I know that you need help, you need organising and you will get that help,” she said.

Additionally, Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) Managing Director, Dr. Richard van West-Charles said that his agency is working to dig and restore several wells along the highway, including four in Moblissa, so that farmers will have a better irrigation system. The Managing Director said that by the end of 2019, he expects that the work will be completed on the wells once he receives the requisite drilling equipment, as efforts are being made to augment previously unsatisfactory work done in several communities.

“Over the past four years we found a lot of gaps, but we have been moving aggressively across the hinterland and across the coastal regions to remedy the situation…I think Moblissa is evidence of where some of the poor work was done in the name of providing water supply. There are four wells in here which are non-functional; we have just rehabilitated one, we’re on the way to rehabilitating the second one, and to run pipelines. It is a farming community so you need water,” Dr. van West-Charles said.

The GWI Head also noted that the GWI will conduct monthly tests to ensure that potable water is provided across the country, the results for which residents will be able to access from the Regional Democratic Councils (RDCs) when they become available.

Furthermore, Region 10 Chairman, Mr. Rennis Morian, presented the Community Development Council (CDC) with four rolls of mesh to assist in the construction of a fence at the community’s primary school. The remaining material will be provided by the Demerara-Mahaica (Region Four) Regional Democratic Council (RDC). Mr. Morian said that within the next two weeks the Region Four and Ten RDCs will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will provide the details about how both Regions will assist the community.

The Ministry of Social Protection also donated two sewing machines to the Moblissa Woman’s Group, in fulfilment of a prior request. Twenty-three-year-old businesswoman, Community Police officer and Chairperson of the group, Ms. Alichea Cornelius, said that following Tuesday’s developments, she looks forward to the work that will be done in the community. “Because of the lack of water and the lack of electricity and a proper road, the people of the community suffered a lot… we know that a time must come for development and prosperity and I believe that this is the time for Moblissa to develop,” she said.

Regional Vice Chairman, Demerara – Mahaica (Region Four), Mr. Earl Lambert; Vice Chairman, Region 10, Mr. Elroy Adolph and Member of Parliament, Mr. Reynard Ward also attended the community meeting.

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