President outlines plans to stimulate growth in all sectors
DPI, Guyana, Friday, October 19, 2018
President David Granger, in his address to Parliament on Thursday, outlined a number of initiatives that will be implemented in 2019 to stimulate sectoral growth in keeping with the Green State Development Strategy.
These programmes will result in improved health and education and the overall social well-being of the citizens on Guyana.
- The Ministry of Public Health is in the process of mapping the proximity of health facilities to communities to ensure that, as far as possible, a health facility is located within five kilometres of a community. Health centres to polyclinics, especially in large catchment areas will be upgraded. Additionally, a programme for the screening and treatment of eye diseases in children and providing them with low-cost spectacles is one of the many interventions that will be undertaken.
- In an effort to improve sanitation, in 2019, a landfill facility will be established at Bel Vue in East Berbice-Corentyne to allow for the closure of the Esplanade dumpsite. Construction of the sanitary landfill sites in Bartica, Lethem and Mahdia will also commence.
- The Ministry of Communities will also undertake infrastructural works, in 2019, in nine new housing areas, the upgrading of three recreational areas, the consolidation of 18 existing areas, the installation of electricity in eight communities and the completion of 450 housing units. It will offer full-house subsidies in the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo Region.
- The construction of three new water treatment plants at Uitvlugt, Diamond and Sheet Anchor, to improve access to potable water for more than 50,000 persons, will be completed in 2019.
- The Ministry of Social Protection, in 2019, will place emphasis on enhancing youth employment, the development of a national sexual harassment policy, reducing violence in schools and the welfare of the aged.
- New pumping stations will be established at Hampton Court, Devonshire Castle, Den Amstel, Hope, Nootenzuil, Mora Point, Trafalgar and Rose Hall Town, in 2019, serving an additional 50,000 acres of land.
- The divestment of some of the sugar estates, which is expected to occur as early as the first half of 2019, will see some displaced workers being afforded the opportunity to regain employment.
- The Hinterland Employment Youth Service (HEYS) programme will continue in 2019. The programme provides indigenous youth with opportunities to acquire income-earning skills.
- A National Log Export Policy has been drafted and approved by the Cabinet. Implementation is envisaged for 2019, after review and sector sensitisation.
- The Ministry of Public Telecommunications will implement a US$37.6M National Broadband Project which will see improvements and additions to online government services, including admissions to nursery and primary schools, old-age pension and public assistance and applications for birth and death certificates. An additional 20 hinterland communities, will be connected to the internet.
- Work will continue, in 2019, to improve prison management. The expansion of the Mazaruni Prison and the reconstruction of the Georgetown Prison will reduce overcrowding and improve prison safety.
- Legislations to be laid in the National Assembly by 2019 include:
The Public Debt Management Bill and the Natural Resource Fund Bill. The Mining Act and its Regulations are being comprehensively overhauled to ensure that mining is better regulated to ensure safety, efficiency and environmental sustainability. The Mining (Amendment) Bill and its companion Regulations will be introduced in the National Assembly in the first quarter of 2019. Amendments will also be tabled in respect to the Guyana Gold Board Act and its Regulations. New regulations to reduce the use of mercury in the mining sector and to ensure better environmental practices on land and water resources will be introduced.
- The Integrity Commission (Amendment) Bill will amend the schedule of declarants to more accurately reflect today’s range of senior public officers while the Judicial Review Bill and an Intellectual Property Rights Bill will be laid before the National Assembly.
President Granger said by the end of 2019, citizens can be assured of an economy that is more resilient; the country’s borders will be more protected; communities safer; the society more cohesive; public services more accessible and constitutional agencies and institutions will enjoy the confidence and respect of the public.
By: Synieka Thorne
Image: Jameel Mohamed