Gov’t injecting $7.5B to upgrade hinterland infrastructure – Min. Bharrat

Several hinterland regions are set to benefit from some $7.5 billion in infrastructure upgrades this year, which will significantly improve the quality of life for Guyanese living in the logging and mining communities.

The infrastructural investment has seen $5 billion being allocated under the Ministry of Public Works, and $2.5 billion under the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat made the disclosure recently during a televised programme, ‘The Guyana Dialogue,’ where he stressed the importance of the Forestry Revolving Fund, launched last week.

The $900 million revolving fund, which sees government investment of $300 million, and private sector investment of $600 million, was created to address major issues affecting forestry stakeholders and loggers.

These include the lack of access to financial capital and the lack of access to concessions. The issues were mainly a result of the previous government’s move to neglect the forestry sector.

“We are seeking to address the main issues, one being hinterland infrastructure, the second being access to concession—state forest and the third one being access to finance at a concessional rate,” Minister Bharrat explained.

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat

Under the public works ministry, Regions One, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine and Ten will benefit from the completion and rehabilitation of a number of priority roads.

The projects will provide residents with increased access to essential services like markets, healthcare and education, as well as increased economic activity through better connectivity.

Meanwhile, the hinterland regions are slated to benefit from a number of other government investments worth billions of dollars.

Through the Office of the Prime Minister’s $375 million Hinterland Electrification Project, communities will benefit from improved generation and distribution of electricity and operational efficiency, through the upgrading of electricity distribution networks.

Similarly, several households in the hinterland and riverain communities will receive solar systems to aid in improved electricity generation, through the $1.75 billion Solar System Project, which also falls under the Office of the Prime Minister. The Ministry of Finance is also piloting a $3 billion Low Carbon Development Programme to push information and communications technology access.