GRO takes services to several Essequibo river communities

-over 50 persons get birth certificates for the first time

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Over 50 persons are now registered for birth certificates for the very first time as the General Registrar’s Office (GRO) responded to an plea from residents of several  riverain communities and islands in the Essequibo river.

A team from the GRO’s office took their services to Bonasika, Morashee, Aliki, Leguan, Wakenaam and Fort Island on Saturday May 11th. Several other persons sought to renew their birth certificates and solicited general information on other GRO services such as marriage and death registrations.

Fort Island Community Worker Pretty Debidin deemed the initiative as an extension of the successful ‘Taking Govt to the People’ initiative which has been taking place countrywide in recent months.

“This is a great positive on government’s part because people will save a lot in terms of time and finance to travel. I can comfortably say that the people of the Essequibo River welcome this exercise and are very grateful because it has been years we were asking for this service and today we got it. It is like bringing the services of government to the people,” an elated and relieved Debidin related.

The initiative was a result of Region 3 Regional Executive Officer Jennifer Ferreira-Dougall’s engagement with the various communities. The REO made representation on the residents’ behalf to the Department of Citizenship within the Ministry of the Presidency.

“When we talk about elevating people’s living standard it is not just about providing better health care, schools, security, and the likes but it is also about empowering them to the point where they are free to transact business of their own and to do that they need the necessary documents,” REO Ferreira-Dougall said.

“A birth certificate is the first important document that is necessary and from that the others will follow so it is not just about knowing your identity but also enabling you to conduct business in your country of birth hence empowering you,” Ferreira – Dougall noted.

Next stops

Further GRO outreaches are scheduled for Lanaballi, Saxacalli, Karia Karia and Great Troolie Island on Friday, May 24. Residents are asked to walk with supporting documents in order to be registered These include, for adults, baptism certificate, sibling’s birth certificate and letter from last school attended. For school children, a letter from the school and clinic cards will suffice while for babies clinic cards will do

Story and Images: Ganesh Mahipaul.