More central government resources for local democratic organs – Min Dharamlall

The Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development has committed to providing financial and other essential resources to every local democratic organ.

This was reemphasised by Minister, Nigel Dharamlall, as he handed over some $80 million in tractors, trailers and subventions to nine Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) along the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) on Wednesday at the Better Hope Community Centre.

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall addressing NDC members at the Better Hope Community Centre on Wednesday

The NDCs include Plaisance/Industry, Better Hope/La Bonne Intention, Beterverwagting/Triumph, Mon Repos/La Reconnaissance, Buxton, Foulis, Enmore/Hope, Haslington/Golden Grove, Unity/Vereeniging, and Cane/Grove.

The investments are part of the ongoing fulfilment of a commitment made by President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali.

During the handing over ceremony, Minister Dharamlall told residents that NDCs must work with the government, Regional Democratic Councils (RDCs) and residents to ensure the environment remains at a high standard.

“The heavy lifting that central government is doing in our NDC areas in terms of roads, bridges, health and education facilities, more particularly, shows our deep involvement in ensuring that the lives of people at the local level are improved.

“Over the next few months, we also expect that our councils are going to be very prevalent in communities, not because of Local Government Elections, but because more resources are coming your way,” he stated.

Minister Dharamlall, members of the local government ministry and members of the NDCs at the handing over ceremony on Wednesday

Developing human capacity

In 2022, the government launched the part-time jobs initiative, allowing persons to work 10 days per month and earn $40,000.

Minister Dharamlall noted that the government has employed thousands of persons countrywide under the initiative, many of whom will be placed in local government offices in Region Four.

“I expect at least 12 persons to be placed… within the confines of the administration of each NDC. We expect that they are going to provide clerical, technical and operational support to each NDC. So, we wouldn’t have an issue where NDCs are still clamouring for staff, or that they are unable to provide upgraded and enhanced services for our communities,” he underscored.

The local government minister pointed out that different persons employed under the programme would have varying skills, which could help the NDCs to be managed better.

“We would like people to be out as rangers in communities, so that we will reduce the number of complaints, in terms of quality of work…[and] quality of life, and in this case, garbage collection, waste management [and] disposal.”

The local government ministry has procured 120 tractors to assist village offices in the maintenance of their communities. Thus far, 30 NDCs have benefitted.

The tractors will assist in community maintenance, as well as other activities