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.