Minister Edghill meets with Dazzle residents

In a demonstration of government’s commitment to reaching out to every community to foster development, Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill on Saturday met with residents of Dazzle Housing Scheme in Paradise, East Coast Demerara.

Minister Edghill conducted a walkabout in the community, assessing the condition of the roads

The minister attended the community meeting following a request by a resident and representatives from the community’s management committee.

Residents said the most pressing concern was the deplorable state of the roads in the area, noting that efforts to make interventions proved fruitless, since Dazzle is operated under a co-operative (co-op) body.

Minister Edghill responded, “As a government, we can’t stand on the outside and look on, and let the people suffer. As the minister of public works, I will have to examine how we could intervene, and how we can engage in terms of bringing roads and improvements in the co-op. Anything in the co-op will be done when I have my due diligence checked on what could be done.”

The minister interacted with residents of Dazzle Housing Scheme, listening to their concerns

He said that the ministry’s engineers will return to the area to conduct a conditional survey. Any rehabilitation works on the roads will have to be included in the 2023 budget.

“It’s our interest as a government to please all the people. Any government worth its salt will want to ensure that people’s requests are met, because that is the job of government,” he said.

Other concerns expressed included drainage, garbage disposal, livestock, infrastructure, security of tenure and regularisation.

Minister Edghill committed to reaching out to the relevant ministers to address the concerns under their jurisdiction.

“I spoke to the Minister of Labor, who has responsibility for co-ops. He has indicated to me that this co-op has outstanding documentation. He is prepared to engage the co-op once the documentation has been submitted. I’ve also spoken to the attorney general, and he reminded me that he had previously made a commitment to come and engage with you. So, Minister Nandlall will come and meet with you to deal with the legal issues,” he assured the gathering.

Additionally, Minister Edghill, in responding to concerns regarding garbage disposal, disclosed that, “Across the country, the Government of Guyana, through the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Elections, gave tractors and trailers to the NDCs to help with the movement of garbage. If that is not happening, I will have to engage the Minister of Local Government, for us to deal with the garbage disposal.”

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill

He also encouraged the residents to form a Community Development Council, emphasising that a collaborative approach to development is in keeping with the ‘One Guyana’ philosophy.

“When you have a CDC, it’s the people from the community that are governing the affairs of the community-making representation for the community, and bringing the people together. The sooner you understand that there are things that government can do by itself, but there are things that government needs the support of people to do, you will see development in your community faster,” minister Edghill explained.

Moreover, the minister assured residents that measures have been put in place to ensure local contractors are included in any rehabilitation works being conducted in the area.

A section of the road in Dazzle Housing Scheme

“Whenever we award a contract, the contractors are advised that they have to employ locals to help to execute the work. It doesn’t matter where people live. The PPP/C Government is going there and bringing value and development to people’s lives. And Dazzle Housing scheme will not be forgotten, and will not be left out.”