History made as ‘Radio Orealla’ launched
DPI, Guyana, Monday, March 26, 2018
History was created Sunday last when President David Granger and the largest delegation of Ministers and government officials visited Orealla Village, Region Six, East Berbice, to launch the sixth community radio station – Radio Orealla 95.1 FM.
In remarks to mark the occasion, President David Granger restated the government’s commitment to bridging the information gap between coastal and hinterland communities.“We can’t function without information. Information is a public good. If you are a farmer you need information, if you are a businessman you need information whatever you are doing you are buying and selling you need information, so today we are bringing a vehicle, a median a means of public information to Orealla and Siparuta everyone could use the radio that you are getting,” President David Granger stated.
The Head of State noted that importance of the event could not be overemphasized. “This event is…is not a one-shot, it is part of a total programme that will see the entire Republic of Guyana covered with this Regional Public Broadcasting Service, we are unleashing in Orealla today, the power of radio, the power of communication.”
In addition, President Granger called on the Regional Administration to work with Government for the continued growth and development of the region.
“I expect the Regional Chairman to be here because this is part of his region and there is also local government represented. What you see ladies and gentlemen are three levels of government… central or national … we have to work together we can’t fight each other you cannot stay away,” the Head of State added.
Highlighting the importance of the regions, such as Region Six, to the government’s national development agenda President Granger said, “it is the only region with three towns … we believe those towns will become hubs for the development of the entire region. I believe that every region must have its own aerodrome so that business people can come from other countries and conduct legitimate business.
They must have colleges so their young people must not have to travel to Georgetown to go to the best secondary schools. They must have law courts so that criminals can be punished, they must have hospitals, police stations, banks, ports and they must have a good high way system so that people can start driving from Corriverton to Orealla. They must have television, they must have passport offices so that people can have birth certificates and passports without leaving the region. These are things we are working on.”
Toshao, David Henry said the new radio station will be of great benefit to the riverine community through the provision of examples for emulation and the stimulation of ideas for community development through the communication link to the wider world.
“Radio Orealla will indeed be of great benefit to our people both now and for many generations to come. This new development is a historical milestone which will trigger further development in numerous areas such as education, sports, tourism, forestry, culture and agriculture sectors of both Orealla and Siparuta. Learning and employment opportunities will be provided for our youths to become journalists, radio announcers and other technical staff of Radio Orealla,” the village leader said.
Project Coordinator, Dr. Rovin Deodat, in brief remarks expressed satisfaction with government’s commitment to the development of community radio stations.
“This is no second radio second class, and this all comes from a stated and studied policy of this government to include as many people. The president has said over and over that every single Guyanese wherever you are, you are important, and you need to be catered for.”
Dr. Deodat further elaborated that the project is “not cost effective, because if you check the millions and you check the numbers they are serving it wouldn’t add up, but this is an investment in development and therefore I think it’s an investment that will be well paid off over time with the wonders the stations have already started to create in the minds the hearts and lives of the folks that hear the signal.”
The technical support for the establishment was provided by the National Communications Network Incorporated (NCN Inc.). Chairman of the Board of Directors, Enrico Woolford said that Radio Orealla, which will be transmitted via the 95.1 FM frequency, will serve Orealla, Siparuta and other surrounding communities, allowing them to tell their own stories. Woolford also informed that NCN is working to revitalise and reform its radio, television and online presence.
The chairman noted too, that community radio stations are meant to be exactly what the name implies, keeping the communities informed. “NCN believes in the relevance of radio for keeping people informed and connected and as a conduit to expose and display talents,” Woolford said.
Radio Orealla 91.5 FM was made possible through a tripartite partnership between the Government of Guyana, the National Communications Network (NCN Inc.) and the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT).
Chief Executive Officer of GTT, Justin Nedd said when his company was approached by the Prime Minister’s Office and NCN to host the radio station’s antenna on their transmission tower, they readily agreed because initiatives such as these fulfil a mandate that the company shares with the Government, to improve communication in hinterland communities. He also reminded of GTT’s presence in the far-flung community.
“I want to say that we invested in the development of Orealla over six years ago when we first put that tower and as the residents of Orealla know, we upgraded to our high-speed mobile internet service back in 2015. That now enables you to have internet access on your phones. So, in closing I would like to say GTT is doing more and will continue to do more for our customers and communities across Guyana,” added the CEO.
Among those in attendance at the launching were Prime Minister (ag), and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge, Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Sydney Allicock, Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton, Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe, CEO of GTT, Justin Nedd and several representatives of the Regional Administration.
By: Kidackie Amsterdam