New recreational facilities open at Herstelling, Prospect

Residents living in the communities of Prospect, and Herstelling Blocks A and V, East Bank Demerara can now enjoy new recreational facilities.

This forms part of the government’s initiative to guarantee that Guyanese have access to safe and adequate recreational facilities within their communities.

Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal handing over the keys to the Chairman of Little Diamond/Herstelling NDC, Puneet Jaigopaul

The Housing and Water Ministry- Central Housing and Planning Authority collaborated with Food for Poor Guyana Incorporated on Thursday to hand over the first recreational facility to the residents of Prospect.

The simple ceremony was held at the Prospect, Phase One Community Facility.

Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal, during his speech, pointed out that such initiatives also capture the ‘One Guyana’ concept envisioned by His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali.

The focus, Minister Croal noted, was placed on establishing recreational spaces in the Herstelling and Prospect communities where there was a clear demand for recreational areas for the residents, particularly young people.

Chief Executive Officer of Food for the Poor Guyana Inc., Kent Vincent during his speech

“So, I want to also encourage here that we can have some community activities that bring out the family, bring out this community together… And likewise, we want to also encourage, here, social groups and to have sessions… and that you can involve certain topics that are relevant to social discussions. So, this is what we want to have, interaction, bringing and fostering our people, and building together, one community. And that’s what we’re also about at housing, that is to build communities,” Minister Croal emphasised.

Chief Executive Officer of Food for the Poor Guyana Incorporated, Kent Vincent noted that the project was conceptualised after the relocation of 20 families from Lombard and Broad Streets to Prospect.

“Food for the Poor’s involvement, in this project here, included the installation of two sets of playground equipment, construction of the double unit concrete sanitary facility which has the rainwater harvesting component, and the construction of the wooden bleacher,” Vincent said.

Children from Prospect as they enjoy the slide

He underscored that the Prospect playground project was implemented and completed in 2021 to offer a multitude of positive benefits for the residents.

“It was expected that approximately 400 residents, children, and adults alike would benefit from the construction of the playground in their community. The project provides children with a safe and adequate space for physical activities and social interactions,” Vincent added.

The CEO underlined that recreational playgrounds, especially will encourage healthier lifestyles and promote healthy activities for children to improve mentally and physically.

Minister Croal hands over the keys for the community ground to NDC Chairman, Puneet Jaigopaul

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Little Diamond and Herstelling Neighbouring Democratic Council (NDC), Puneet Jaigopaul lauded the agencies’ initiatives for the recreational facilities in the communities.

He noted that the facilities will be properly maintained.

Additionally, two recreational facilities were commissioned in Herstelling Blocks A and V.

Delivering the keynote address, Minister Croal noted that the facilities will be used as a model for other safe spaces in the areas.  

A section of the gathering at Herstelling Block V

“Grounds, in itself, are healthy for our livelihood and they are for your community upliftment too because, in that, it helps your family’s development. It helps you bring out the children, it helps to keep the youngsters active, so, they can have a safe space and a facility where they can put their energies to other usages. And it also helps, as I said, to bring wholesome communities, community development as a one, so that you can build the networking that is required.”

Minister Croal spoke of the rapid pace at which the East Bank corridor is developing.

The minister said that the community ground can be used for sports and health activities. 

“I am signalling my commitment to helping to work with you to even grow further from what you have just started in this space that you have here. Once, you are willing to work, we are going to work with you. And so, the CEO has just committed some additional amenities too…to at least, have your ground at a level because you also need that little space to free yourselves,” Minister Croal added.