Lethem, Guyana—(April 16, 2022) His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali assured residents of Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) that his Government would ensure that they receive the same benefits as citizens who live on the coastland.
During a community meeting with residents of Yupukari and surrounding satellite villages, he said that funds are currently being spent on developing the infrastructure in the region.
“Our primary objective is to ensure the lives of all the people of our country are improved. And whatever benefits on the coastland must be available for you, and we will ensure you too benefit.”
The President told the residents that he and members of his Cabinet were there to lend assistance. “Today, we are here to listen to you, to listen to your concerns, to listen to your ideas, to listen to what issues you might be facing so that we could work with you in finding solutions.”
President Ali explained that this year, the region will see a rebuilding of its infrastructure, and the Government will spend $3.7b on hinterland roads and bridges, which will open up new communities and new farmlands.
He also reminded the residents that they will benefit from the 30,000 solar panel units initiative.
“Every single household will have access to the solar panels and the additional auxiliary…you deserve it— you deserve the same development, the same opportunities [like the coastland].”
The Head of State assured that the Government will set aside resources for the development of sporting facilities so that young people can have a chance to enhance their skills.
“We’re on a journey to build a Guyana in which every single citizen, every single household, must experience prosperity.”
INVESTMENT IN THE REGION
President Ali said that the Government has spent a historic amount of money in the region, including $197m in Covid-19 cash grant, which benefitted more than 7800 households; $604m with the increase in old-age pension for the 1800 recipients and $235m in public assistance for 1400 residents.
The President stated that the Government has also invested in training 237 persons, 70 per cent of which were women. Of the lot, more than 60 were given grants to start their own businesses.
Additionally, to ensure that children have equal access to education, he noted that over $50m has been spent on textbooks for more than 7400 children in 65 schools around the region.
COMMITTED TO MEETING DEMANDS
After making his remarks, President Ali opened the floor to residents to register their concerns and suggestions. One of the suggestions made was the development of a poultry farm in the community.
The President pointed out that if, collectively, the residents are serious about the initiative and will help build the facility, it could be stocked with 400 chicks within two weeks.
Key among the concerns raised was the lack of teachers and teaching assistants in the communities. To remedy this, the President said that within a month, qualified persons will be registered for the teaching programme to increase the pool in primary schools. In addition to this, five qualified persons will be employed as teaching assistants in the coming weeks.
President Ali also committed to ensuring that a freezer with solar power supplies would soon be provided to the community.