Gov’t will further develop hinterland Villages – Min. Edghill

In a firm commitment to uphold promises outlined in the PPP/C government’s manifesto promises, Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill assured that every effort is being made to foster the development of hinterland villages.

“Hinterland communities will not be neglected while we modernise Georgetown and build out infrastructure in the Coastal Regions. We will continue to create opportunities for the village development and ensure village economies are robust,” he assured at the commissioning ceremony of the Airstrip in Paruima, Upper Mazaruni District, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) on Wednesday.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill hugging Paruima resident.

Highlighting the government’s track record since resuming office in August 2020, Minister Edghill emphasised the completion of over 5,000 projects nationwide, as part of the transformative agenda.

A significant portion of these projects were executed in hinterland communities, aiming to bridge the gap between urban and rural areas.

Residents of Amerindian Village, Paruima, Region Seven.

Some of the key initiatives included the rehabilitation of vital airstrips, the construction of internal roads, and the development of major bridges to enhance accessibility and connectivity, to foster economic growth in hinterland regions.

Recognising the dual challenge of safeguarding coastal communities while addressing hinterland development, the minister stressed the importance of maintaining both sea and river defences through a comprehensive approach.

Residents of Amerindian Village, Paruima, Region Seven.

This is to ensure the protection of farming communities and households residing in low-lying coastal areas, while also safeguarding riverbank farming areas such as the Pomeroon.

The minister credited the overarching development in Guyana to His Excellency, President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali’s visionary leadership, which prioritises access to world-class education and healthcare for hinterland residents.

To realise this vision, the government has facilitated internet connectivity in hinterland communities, enabling access to the smart classroom initiative.

Aerial view of Amerindian Village, Paruima in Region Seven.

Additionally, training opportunities for teachers have been expanded, with options for online and in-person training at the Cyril Potter College for Education, alleviating the financial burden of leaving communities for training purposes.

To bolster employment opportunities, the government has reintroduced Community Support Officers (CSOs) and mandated contractors to prioritise hiring from local communities.

“We listen to your concerns, we are sensitive to your circumstances, so when we formulate policies and put in place programmes and projects it is not just to say we are doing things because it is ultimately you are the beneficiaries. The people must benefit,” Minister Edghill emphasised.

Moreover, the minister highlighted international efforts to support hinterland development, including the carbon credit agreement signed with Hess Corporation.

 This agreement is set to provide US$22.5 million in direct allocation to Amerindian villages throughout Guyana, further enhancing government initiatives aimed at village empowerment.