New Amsterdam developments: positive vibes!

DPI, Guyana, Sunday, December 29, 2019

Considered one of the largest and oldest towns in Guyana, New Amsterdam, in the East Berbice-Corentyne region, is on an upward trajectory under the Coalition Government.

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Mayor of New Amsterdam, Her Worship Winifred Haywood, in an interview with DPI, underscored her commitment toward improving public infrastructure and services of the town and generally elevating the standard of living of the residents.

“It is timely that New Amsterdam should move forward now and regain its former glory and that is why the government is trying its best to ensure that we have support in the town with the developments,” she said.

The town recently celebrated its 128th anniversary, and His Excellency President David Granger noted that New Amsterdam had seen measurable progress over the last four years.

A few months back, the Ministry of Communities and the New Amsterdam Municipality collaborated to install some 1,000 LED streetlights in the seven constituencies.

There were frequent complaints about the town being neglected before 2015 with concerns about the lack of progress in various sectors, especially in health, infrastructure and recreational facilities for youths.

Today, scores can vouch that the cries and complaints have now become a thing of the past.

“Personally, I would say that anyone out there will have to be against the work the Coalition Government has wrought since coming into office. As a youth growing up, especially from the community of which I am from [Angoy’s Avenue], we hadn’t any kind of lights and good roads and regular flowing water. But now we can boast of these things,” Shermon Hawker, one of the town’s budding gospel artists related to DPI.

Clinton Semple said, “We are seeing so many streetlights, and I believe that is every good of the coalition. Thumbs up to the government!”

Anther satisfied resident, Joseph Smith, also commended the government for its “very good job.”

“In my opinion and assessment, I can clearly say that these developments carry positive vibes. I am that kind of man who would call a spade a spade,” taxi driver Mohamad Ali added.

 Land titles

Some 200 land titles were delivered to residents of Angoy’s Avenue by Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon, and Minister of Communities, with responsibility for Housing, Hon. Annette Ferguson.

The act ended decades of waiting for residents who flocked the auditorium at the Berbice Education Institute earlier this year, to collect their titles. It was in keeping with the government’s vision of ensuring adequate and affordable housing for all Guyanese.

Budding businesses

Investors are making daily inquiries about possible areas for investments and residents say they are confident that their town will grow, specifically in the business sector.

“We are indeed on an upward trajectory, and the economy is on the rise. We have seen persons investing in erecting several new buildings in the town. Just through Pitt Street has a new building and we are seeing that persons are signalling their interest in investing in this beautiful town,” Deputy Mayor, Wainwright McIntosh highlighted.

Hawker opined that stakeholders have enough to be confident in Guyana’s economy. “Business I should say is blooming, and person are looking for different avenues that they can cash in on,” he said.


President Granger has said that New Amsterdam is the education capital for the East Berbice Corentyne Region with the potential to become a dynamo of economic development.

“More than 33 percent of the region’s secondary school children attend school in New Amsterdam… the town provides educational service for over 5,000 students every day, including those from the coast and riverine communities.”

Millions of dollars have been invested in the sector resulting in significant improvements in the classrooms.

New Amsterdam Secondary School teacher, Adrian Somar, shared similar sentiments, saying “lessons taught and training received now, we were not doing it before because today we are more involved in more students practical.”

Meanwhile, Semple had also noted the administration’s push to prioritise education, and he commended the President’s 5B’s programme saying that thousands had benefitted from it countrywide.

Regional Executive Officer of Region 6, Mrs. Kim Williams-Stephen said the region’s rehabilitation of several New Amsterdam schools was in keeping with the president’s aim to make every facility conducive to learning.

“There are a number of technical standards that ought to be met as it relates to sanitary facilities and TVET Programme. So, the administration would have budgeted to construct sanitary block at the Vryman’s Erven Secondary School, All Saints Primary School, in the sum of $6.5 million and $5 million respectively.”

Williams-Stephen also disclosed that over $11 million was spent on expanding the Technical Drawing classroom at the Berbice Educational Institute. Meanwhile, the Berbice High School received a new Information Technology lab.

Continuous health services 

In addition to better infrastructure, new streetlights, adequate water supplies, feeding initiatives and more, New Amsterdam residents are receiving satisfactory health services.

“We have included for the past four years a 24-hour medical laboratory, we are doing 95 percent of all laboratory services that is available in Guyana, and we are hoping that by mid-2020 we would be able to achieve the other five percent,” Regional Health Service Director Jevaughn Stephen said.

Stephen also acknowledged the considerable improvements at the family health clinics. There are also new doctors’ and nurses’ quarters.

Overall these improvements are welcomed by all who live and work in the town of New Amsterdam.


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