700 solar panels distributed to Baramita residents
Residents of Baramita, Region One (Barima-Waini), are now benefitting from the government’s 30,000 per household solar power programme. A total of 700 solar panels were delivered to residents on Saturday, at a cost of approximately $40 million.
Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal led the distribution exercise at the Baramita Multipurpose Centre. He was accompanied by regional officers and a representative from the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA).
In his address to residents, Minister Croal explained that the distribution of solar panels is part of the government’s manifesto commitment to ensure that all communities have access to electricity.
Under the Hinterland Electrification programme, the government has procured 30,000 solar panels for hinterland and riverine areas.
“In fact, for Region One alone, we have invested over half billion [dollars] for eight thousand plus solar panels…we want to ensure that all of our residents in these remote areas are receiving electricity ,” Minister Croal underscored.
Baramita is one of the largest Amerindian settlements in Guyana with a population of 4,000 spread across 22 satellite areas.
Minister Croal explained that solar panels are the most suitable source of electricity for Baramita due to the community’s remote location.
However, he has committed to making representation for the procurement of a generator set for the central area where the educational, health and other government facilities are located.
The minister also spoke about some of the social ills plaguing Baramita, including suicide and substance abuse. He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to addressing these issues in a holistic manner.
The community is also benefitting from $35 million in carbon credit funds for community development ventures. The community also benefits from annual Presidential Grant funds for projects.
In addition to these financial commitments, President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, during a recent visit to the community, pledged a number of initiatives, including an agriculture project, to advance the community’s development.
To further improve access to water, Minister Croal said the government will seek to drill another well in the area. The community is currently receiving water on a scheduled basis.
Minister Croal called for a more collaborative approach from the residents and urged them to participate in the development process.
Meanwhile, 500 panels costing $30 million were distributed to residents of Matthew’s Ridge.