Improvement in infrastructure, potable water supply welcomed in Shulinab
―’Shulinab, an example of Coalition promise to invest in hinterland development’ – Min. Bulkan
DPI, Guyana, Monday, September 30, 2019
The government’s push to bridge the gap between the coast and hinterland came to the fore when Minister of Communities, Hon. Ronald Bulkan met Shulinab, Quiko and Meriwau residents, over the weekend.
Public health, security, infrastructure and education gain via the government’s investments were highlighted and welcomed by the appreciative residents. “We have delivered on many of these promises and planned activities,” Minister Bulkan said
He noted the upgrade of internal roads in St. Ignatius, Culvert City, Aranuputa, Achiwib, and Lethem; Moco Moco’s bridges and culverts, teachers’ quarters at Nappi, Aishalton, Annai, Parikwaranau, nursery schools, doctors’ living quarters, and the GWI’s expansive potable water programme.
With Region 9’s overall capital works, expenditure estimated at around $1.4Billion since the government took office just over 4 years ago, Minister Bulkan said this was almost on par with what the previous administration spent over their 23 years in office.
According to the minister, once the Coalition came into office in 2015, it was discovered that only 21 villages benefitted from the school feeding programme. This number increased to 35 in 2016, then to 52, in 2017, 64 in 2018. Minister Bulkan said this indicates the Coalition Government’s efforts to ensure more residents (youths) benefit as far as possible.
“We did not look and say these villages did not support us. We said we will support these young people. It is a huge investment your government is making in education.”
The access to information, for free, via the recently operationalised ICT Hub was also noted by the minister. The upgrading of the Indigenous Residence in Princes Street and the Hinterland Student Dormitory in Lilliendaal, Georgetown was also noted and met with resounding applause from those gathered.
The Communities Minister reiterated that the Coalition is committed to the development of all citizens, declaring that “any government has a responsibility to invest in its peoples’ development and we will continue to do so proudly… We saw what Guyana needed was more unity and less division.”
He further urged stakeholders to “take politics out of the peoples’ welfare.” The fact that the government comprises 6 political parties, Minister Bulkan noted, shows inclusiveness and demonstrates what is needed to take the nation forward. The next election, he noted, will demonstrate that a coalition, which promotes inclusiveness, can continue to govern and help all citizens develop their full potential.
The plan to have a “decade of development” (2020 to 2029) fuelled by the new oil and gas industry, was reiterated by the minister. This “decade” will focus on education reform, social cohesion, economic expansion, clean energy, environmentally sustainable management of natural resources, empowerment of local communities via regular local government elections, eradication of extreme poverty, infrastructural expansion, internationally competitive trade and investment, better border security and international relations and institutional strengthening via constitutional reform and good governance.
During the course of the meeting, issues were raised by residents included the need for rehabilitation of the Sand Creek Dormitories especially the kitchen facilities and sleeping quarters, boat and engine, more artesian wells for satellite communities, more scholarships for hinterland students, upgraded roads and more medical professionals (including guardians for those seeking assistance in Georgetown). Minister Bulkan assured that these will be forwarded to the relevant agencies and ministries for expeditious action.
A quantity of sport gear, electronic tablets and other supplies, previously requested, was also handed over to residents by the minister. He also committed to providing a bicycle for use by the community health worker, who serviced Shulinab and other nearby satellite communities.