Hinterland development is a priority – says Prime Minister

Leads Ministerial outreach to Region Nine

Prime Minister Hon Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips on Wednesday reaffirmed his Government’s commitment to equitable development and reassured residents of Region Nine that the hinterland is among the Government’s priorities. 

The Prime Minister made this statement during his address at a community meeting in Katoka Village.

Prime Minister Phillips is currently leading a team of Ministers on a three-day outreach to the Region to oversee the disbursement of the $4000 uniform grant, to listen to the concerns of residents and to distribute Christmas presents to children in outlying villages. 

“We want to ensure that all Guyanese benefit from the revenue that will come from oil and gas. The money will not be spent only in Georgetown and on the coastland, the money will be spent in this Region and every region in Guyana…as Prime Minister I commit myself to ensuring that happens.”

He said the Government will be working assiduously to develop the hinterland and already has a range of initiatives planned.

“We have US$17.4 million that is earmarked for improving internet connectivity to 200 communities throughout Guyana, here in the Hinterland and in poorer communities along the Coast so we are going to roll out that project next year. We also want to distribute better solar panels to 35,000 households and most of the household will be in the hinterland.”

He added that the Government will also be upgrading all regional hospitals.

Additionally, the Prime Minister explained that the Government understands the severe financial impact that COVID-19 has had on families, and decided to disburse the uniform vouchers although children are not formally in school.

“We know the money would normally go to buy uniforms, but because of COVID-19 schools have been closed, but we still want to give the money to the parents so you can utilise it. We are still doing school from home and we understand that the children still have essential needs.”

Residents of Katoka Village were pleased with the visit. Collectively they noted that it has been a long time since such a high-ranking Government official has visited.

Toshao Grennison Rogers expressed similar sentiments. “I am very proud of the Prime Minister for visiting the community and listening to our concerns because nobody came to listen to us for years and I am confident that he will deliver on his promises… I know the school children will use the grant to buy their books and pencils and other materials,” he said.

Regional Chairman of Region Nine, Mr. Bryan Allicock and Regional Education Officer, Mr. Devendra Persaud also attended the meeting. Minister of Education, Hon Priya Manickchand, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Hon Oneidge Walrond, Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Hon Deodat Indar, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall and Minister within the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Anand Persaud are also on the outreach to Region Nine.