Local authorities must involve residents to transform their communities – Minister Bulkan

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, June 28, 2018

Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan has called for local authorities to ensure community involvement in the current development of various towns.

The minister made the call at an international workshop on city planning and sustainable resource management held at Cara Lodge.

[In the photo, from left] – Mayor of Bartica, Gifford Marshall, Regional Coordinator of Resource Efficiency, Adriana Zacarias, Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, Head of Office of Climate Change, Jenelle Christian and President of Guyana Association of Municipalities (GAM), Carwyn Holland.

The exercise is aimed at building the capacity of local authorities on urban planning, innovation, data and indicators and community engagement. In planning for the development of any city or town, Minister Bulkan said: “Our approach at this juncture is to consolidate the gains with a focus of improving community engagement, involvement and electoral participation in local government via the medium of public education and awareness.”

Similar sentiments were also echoed by Mayor of Bartica, Gifford Marshall who noted that much consideration must be given to matters that affect the lives of those in the various communities. “When we make decisions, I believe our hearts are often in the right place but we have to be careful and we have to be able to analyse and consider the unintended consequences. We can mean good, but our decisions can cause severe harm to our communities and the people at large.”

Regional Coordinator of Resource Efficiency, Adriana Zacarias added that effective recycling is key to sustainable resource management. He pointed out that this is where innovation comes in as many countries have begun using their waste to develop communities.

“I know Guyana has, for example, a problem with their tyres, the old care tyres and with that you can construct pavement and road so it is not waste and we are trying also to look at this innovative approach that at the end of the day will bring more sustainability and a better use of our resources.”

The effective planning for the development of cities and towns also reaffirms the government’s commitment towards Guyana becoming a green state. The government is currently developing its Green State Development Strategy (GSDS) and is using the newly established town of Bartica to lead the way.

By: Isaiah Braithwaite.

Image: Karime Peters.