Subsequent to a visit of the Mon Repos market construction site, vendors had expressed their dissatisfaction about the way the stalls would be built and their placement/displacement upon completion of the project.
This incident has caught the attention of Hon. Minister of MLG&RD Nigel Dharamlall. He met with the Mon Repos Market Vendors committee on December 13, 2022 to understand what the issues were and come to a resolution.
The issues raised were:
Placement of 196 vendors to get their stalls in the same location as before the project started.
The addition of seven more stalls for fish pond section.
Another six stalls to accommodate vendors for the fresh produce section.
Minister Dharamlall has signaled that persons will be getting their stalls in it’s original spaces with some modification where necessary and they would remain the same size.
He also spoke of the opportunity for small contracts to be awarded to 10 persons to construct stalls in the market place to finish the process faster. This he says will enable contractors to provide employment for persons in the Mon Repos community.
Persons who were interested in constructing their own stalls would be assisted.
The aim of the meeting was for the vendors to voice their concerns and thereafter understand that the space had be structured in a way appropriate/conducive for vending.
A commitment was made to ensure all vendors had a space to ply their trade.
Minister Dharamlall reiterated his government’s commitment to serving the Guyanese populace through development in the Local Government sector.
Despite the inclement weather, residents of the North Sophia community came out in their numbers to participate in a scheduled clean-up exercise on Sunday, December 4, 2022.
Some residents explained that for years nothing was done about their drainage situation. As a result, when it rains there is massive flooding, and the community is under water for much longer than it should be.
Shawn Robinson, a resident of North Sophia, expressed heartfelt gratitude for the work that the Government has done and continues to do for community development. A trend Robinson said he hopes will continue with much frequency. Several other residents have expressed similar sentiments.
During the exercise, Hon. Minister within the Ministry of Loca Government and Regional Development, Anand Persaud met and spoke with the residents many of whom voiced their concerns over electricity theft, squatters, dumping of garbage, drainage, and irrigation.
Minister Persaud has committed to return to North Sophia to continue to assist with the clearing of drains and canals as the rainy season approaches. This will alleviate the magnitude of flooding experienced in that neighbourhood. He has also committed to ensuring that the concerns raised during the exercise are handled by the appropriate agencies.
Also lending their support were the Ministries of Agriculture and Public Works who sent out excavators to assist with the desilting and cleaning vegetation in the canals and small drains.
CONTRACTS SIGNED || $420M for Markets construction at Parika and Leonora
-Providing jobs to citizens nationwide – President Dr. Irfaan Ali commitment.
Two contracts were today signed in the presence of the Hon. Ministers of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall and Public Works, Deodat Indar.
The two contracts are valued at a total of $420M for the construction of the Parika Market and a tarmac at Leonora Market.
The contract signed at Parika is for the second phase of construction of the market at a cost of $270M GYD. The Parika project should be completed in five months time.
After over five decades, vendors will benefit from a new market space conducive for plying their trade at the Leonora Market, Region three. In 5 months, transition works are to begin and a tarmac will be built then vendors will be placed into market to do rehab works on roads in the area.
The contract signed is for the construction of an 8000sq meter tarmac at a cost of $150M. Upon completion of this project it will cater to just over 700 vendors at the Leonora Market Space.
In the near future more work will be completed at Leonora market which will see the construction of sanitary facilities, upgraded drainage and electricity will be catered for. As time goes by an upgraded parking lot.
The trenches and drains surrounding the market area will be cleaned and upkept by the NDC.
Rehabilitative works and construction has been done on other markets across the country, Mon repos, Charity, Berbice, other small markets around Georgetown with the first phase of Parika which started early 2022.
Several vendors were present at the contract signing and a few shared their stories as vendors and their gratitude for the project finally taking place.
Rajdai Ramotar has been a fresh produce vendor for over 50 years. It was one of those jobs that helped to make ends meet and it was her way of lending support to her spouse.
A journey for which she is very grateful to have endured. She explained that the trade has passed on and her son who now runs his own fresh produce business providing apples, grapes, carrots etc. Rajdai said she has worked in other markets as well and shared her most memorable experience.
“We would sleep here Friday nights so we have things to put out on Saturday morning. I experienced a lot but I never gave up, because if I did I think the maker would be vex with me.”
The Market has been around since the 1960s Saddiki Haniff (vendor) commented, he spoke of how vendors pooled their resources and built the structure that now stands today. “The president came and saw what was happening for the market, so this is a big leap in that direction, and I hope that the vendors play their part after the tarmac has been constructed, that they’ll come inside the market and clear the highway.”
“We would like to thank the president for this initiative and I know he has a lot more in the pipeline for our region.”
People within the community will benefit from works in the community, specifically the market project. The contractor responsible for completion of works is from Leonora which means that the project will provide employment for persons of that community.
Also highlighted at the signing was the part time workers programme.
Minister Dharamall in his speech said that the part-time worker programme is a commitment of H. E Dr. Irfaan Ali to providing 50,000 jobs across the country with region 3 benefitting from at least $80M per month in salaries. Further, the minister calls on the NDC to ensure the upkeep of the infrastructure of public spaces in the community.
As the fastest growing community in the region, Minister Dharamlall also urged residents and vendors alike to keep the environment clean.
Residents were also tasked with encouraged to be involved in community projects as this will allow for smooth and transparent processes.
This project is a commitment of H.E. Dr. Irfaan Ali to development of communities across Guyana through the Local Government Sector.
The Ministry of Local Government & Regional Development today hosted a capacity-building session for Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre.
This exercise is part of the final quarter training and wraps up the Ministry’s training calendar for 2022. Similar sessions of this nature were held earlier on in the year for NDCs in Regions 1, 2, 9, and 10. The participants present were the Overseers (and Assistant Overseers where needed) from NDCs in regions 3, 4, 5, and 6. Quite a few of the participants were newly appointed Overseers who were benefiting from this training for the first time.
The activity which started off on a light note was specifically aimed at training Overseers to NDCs on the basic needs and functions of the councils through which they operate. The topic covered was – Social Development Committee.
The Social Development Committee is a body that deals with complaints, welfare matters, sanitary issues, etc.
It is noteworthy that most NDCs focus on the Finance & Works Committees. Though not activated for most NDCs, the law (The Municipal and District Councils Act – 1969, part II) gives equal footing to the work of the Social Development Committee as the Works or Finance Committees – because the citizens’ welfare/issues are just as important to the financial and developmental health of the NDC.
Following the training, the NDCs will be correcting a wrong when they reconvene with their new councils for the first time after Local Government elections by appointing the three (Social Development, Finance, and Works) committees required by law, instead of two.
During the training, several case studies were examined and solutions were provided. This activity acted as a base to understand what the participants knew along with how they processed the information given.
After training, participants are now expected to go back to their regions to use the tools with which they are now equipped to better handle any issues that may arrive in their respective NDCs.
Municipalities will be included in next year’s line-up for capacity-building workshops/training sessions.
The Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development is committed to the capacity building of all Local Organs.
Today, the Ministries of Local Government & Regional Development and Education commissioned a newly constructed Swan Primary School. The spanking new educational facility is located along the Linden/Soesdyke Highway. The new school will eliminate the long journey that school-aged children of Swan were forced to walk daily to attend school in Kuru Kururu and Yarrowkabra.
Minister Nigel Dharamlall in his brief remarks spoke on the development of Swan through the years, from a squatting area to a developing community. He stated that Swan was among the nine (9) villages along the Soesdyke highway that was visited by President Irfaan Ali when he first took office. Minister Dharamlall said the government of Guyana has been making a lot of investment in the development of Swan, he reassured residents that the government will also continue to support the development of this community. He told pupils of the new Swan Primary school that they can proudly boast of having the newest primary school in Guyana.
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand in her feature address assured pupils, teachers, parents, and residents that the Government will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the needed support and resources are provided to every community. Minister Manickchand also stated that every single school-aged child would continue to benefit from textbooks, cash grants, uniform vouchers, and school feeding programs under the PPP Government. She expressed her satisfaction that very soon there will be 100% trained teachers in our schools across Guyana for the first time. In closing the Minister urged those in attendance to be good parents by being involved in their child’s school life, ensuring that they are present in school and complete their homework and assignments.
Abbigale Renville, the school’s headmistress (ag) expressed gratitude to the Government of Guyana for the new facility, which she said is more accessible for parents and children of Swan and its environs. The HM further stated that teachers and students can now function in classrooms that are comfortable and conducive to learning.
Also in attendance were Regional Education Officer (ag), Stembiso Grant, Assistant Chief Education Officer (Primary), Mr. Rabindra Singh, Regional Chairman Daniel Seeram, the NDC chairman, and Village Chairman.
More than 200,000 Region Four and Five residents are to start receiving the Government’s $25,000 per household COVID-19 relief cash grant over the next two weeks.
Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall made this disclosure during a meeting with the Region Four Regional Democratic Council (RDC) Thursday evening.
“Billion of dollars have already been injected in the economy as a result of this and within a week and a half Region Four will benefit. The Region itself is quite expansive in terms of the number of persons and I think the resources will have to be compressed in such a way that we spend enough quality time to deliver the resources to Region Four,” he said.
The Minister urged the Councillors to inform the residents about this development since hiccups are likely given the region’s population. Several teams, including police officers, will soon begin registering households.
The Minister cautioned the Councillors not to do any registration.
“It will only serve well if we work together so that people can genuinely get what they deserve,” he stated.
The Minister said the distribution will take a few weeks and should be completed before Christmas.
On September 7, President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali announced that every household would receive the cash grant to cushion the effects of the pandemic. Distribution began on September 29.
Residents from Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine were the first to benefit given the hinterland’s vulnerable economic state.
The Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development has called on the Region Four Regional Democratic Council (RDC) to consult with their constituency on projects and to serve them with integrity.
Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall
Minister Hon. Nigel Dharamlall delivered this charge during a meeting with the Councillors in the RDC’s Boardroom on Thursday. Minister within the MinistryHon. Anand Persaud also attended the meeting.
“There are issues in Region Four which I believe that we can overcome and from what I heard, there are issues relating to communication, misunderstanding of roles among different individuals. I hope that this afternoon we have been able to clarify what those roles are and who are the people accountable for those roles,” the Minister said.
He also said the resources provided to the Region needs to be used sensibly to cover a wider base. To accomplish this, Councillors must consult the citizens to prioritise work.
The Minister also disagreed that the RDC needed more staff.
“The number of staff does not increase your efficiency or effectiveness so that is a moot point until you can show the effectiveness and efficiency of your Department. Your efficiency is based on your ability and capability to do your work not the number of people,” he said.
To this end, Minister Dharamlall advised the RDC’s public works team to partner with the Ministry’s engineering service unit to fast-track their work.
He added that the Ministry will not process the Region’s 2021 budget without residents’ input.
“No longer will projects come to us without verification. We have to know that residents are committed to projects provided… You will need to workwith the citizens to make sure these are the priorities they desire and then work with the administration to prioritise them,” he explained.
Concerning the administration’s 814 open bids for works, he instructed the evaluation team to meet more often, especially over this weekend, and to close them by Monday.
This will not only create more jobs, but will advance their work programme. Minister Dharamlall noted that the Region has only completed 26.6 per cent of its work programme.
Residents from Regions Two, Three, Four, Five and Six can expect to benefit from the installation of about 300 solar streetlights before year end.
This initiative is being undertaken through the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development’s Community Infrastructure Improvement Project (CIIP).
Coordinator of the Engineering Services at the Ministry, Mr. Naeem Khan told DPI that this intervention is the first phase of a much wider programme that will continue next year.
“The idea is to ensure that all communities have streetlights so that residents can be safe. We are looking to continue the programme with the intent of increasing the number of lights being installed moving forward. The programme as it is, we are looking at 5,000 streetlights over four years,” he said.
The Ministry is consulting with stakeholders to identify the communities severely affected by the lack of this utility. Each region will be given 58 lights during this phase of the project.
“We want to make sure it is strategically placed where it is most needed so we are currently assessing the regions, basically a night audit. So, coming out from that audit, it will pave way for where these lights will be placed,” Mr.Khan explained.
Since its establishment, the CIIP has benefited thousands of citizens and communities by enhancing safety and aesthetics and creating jobs.
Students of Shea Primary School are set to enjoy additional hours of internet access as Government donates critical equipment for the village’s ICT hub.
Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall on Monday donated two 12V/200AH batteries and a solar charge controller to teachers of the school during a community engagement in the village.
Head of Shea Primary School, Ms. Vilma Caitlan
Teacher Vilma Caitan, told DPI the equipment will significantly improve the WiFi connectivity since students received only two hours of WiFi use before the connection is lost.
“There are a lot of children who need to be doing research. Not only the students, teachers as well,” Ms. Caitan explained.
Grade Four Teacher, Ms. Serena Permanbuco also welcomed the donation. She said, “some of the parents have smartphones and they will be able to do some research based on the work for their children.”
Ms. Permanbuco, who is currently pursuing training through the Cyril Potter College for Education, said she intends to capitalise on the additional hours of internet access to complete her assignments in a timely manner.
Further, Toshao Mr. Ivor McBurney lauded the donation as a boost for communication between residents in the village and surrounding communities. The Toshao also pledged that the village would use the equipment with care.
Meanwhile, Regional Executive Officer for Region Nine, Mr. Carl Singh said the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) intends to donate a recently bought a laptop to the school to further enhance education delivery.
The printer bought by teachers to print additional learning material will also be supplied with ink from the RDC upon Ms. Caitan’s request.
During Minister Dharamlall’s community engagement a commitment was made to rehabilitate the Shea Primary School and to supply the village’s health centre with an additional bed.
After visiting Shea Village, the Minister led similar community consultations in Muraranau, Awaruwaunau and Achiwuib villages, which follows a series of similar engagements in the region at the weekend.
The Lethem Town Council (LTC) and the Rupununi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) were on Tuesday urged to work towards the advancement of Upper Takutu – Upper Essequibo (Region Nine).
This was conveyed by Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall during separate engagements with the entities this week.
“I would like to extend the charge of His Excellency that we work for the development of all Guyanese,” Minister Dharamlall stated.
The Minister implored the Town Council to heighten its efforts to consult with citizens before the initiation of projects, rather than imposing initiatives that may not have the support of the Guyanese.
“As part of our budgetary process, there should be that evidence of consultation taking place where councilors go out and meet the people,” said Minister Dharamlall.
While reassuring the LTC of the Central Government’s support, the Minister was also quick to commend the body on being steadfast in their service to the township. The LTC was assured that it would be uplifted under the current Administration.
Nevertheless, the Council was urged to address a number of issues including but not limited to the provision of comfortable public accommodation for Amerindians, theft and Trafficking in Persons (TIP).
On the last, the Minister said Lethem should not bear the stain of such crimes against humanity and that perpetrators of such acts, like other crimes, should be brought to justice.
Concerning the derelict road network within the township, Minister agreed that much-needed repairs need to commence and he reminded the LTC that some of the works are to be initiated through the 2020 emergency budget, with more to begin in the following budget.
“I can commit to you that all of the roads in the town will be fixed,” the Minister stated.
Regarding the following meeting with the RCCI, the group was told Rupununi was a priority area for the investments the Government would like to make.
Minister Dharamlall also touted the Head of State’s plan of having decentralised investments. As such, he added that consultations will soon begin within the region.
The Minister also addressed a number of issues raised such as unreliable services from telecommunication providers and water and electricity rates for businesses.