‘Take your responsibility seriously!’ – Min. Lawrence tells Reg. 1 RDC and Port Kaituma NDC
─ minister hears complaints of NDCs injustices
─ urges RDC to make health a priority
DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Minister of Public Health, Hon. Volda Lawrence recently spent four days in the Barima-Waini Region. While there, she engaged residents, discussed the implementation of projects with regional officials and updates on the overall development of districts and the region as a whole.
One of her first stops was the market in Port Kaituma, where vendors raised the issue of inefficient garbage disposal in the district. Port Kaituma’s Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) is led by PPP/C councillors who have the majority of seats with four government councillors.
One of the NDC’s core responsibilities is the proper disposal of waste disposal. Mark D’oliveira, a proprietor in Port Kaituma said, “There is a lot of garbage thrown on the curb of the roads. When the vendors sell in the night the next morning the street is full of garbage. As it is right now, garbage is dumped in the nearby waterways and along some roadways, causing pollution which poses a health risk for all in the environs,” he related.
Another vendor, Patsy Roberts said she expected that the NDC would have been the most suitable place for her issues to be addressed but this is not the case. According to Roberts, claims that one of the Opposition councillors, “just took a piece of my land and built on it. When I made a report to the NDC I got no satisfaction, I have been going through this for years.”
Minister Lawrence was informed that none of these issues are new and have been ongoing for some time. She, therefore, suggested that the best solution was to have the Local Government Commission address these issues.
“I spoke with the Chairman of the Local Government Commission… they will be coming in here very soon to deal with these local government issues. I hope that when they come, all of you with issues locally will take the opportunity to meet with them. I am heard so many matters all relating to the NDC and I have more questions than answers,” Minister Lawrence said.
During her visit to the region, it was also noted that the execution of several projects by the region were either at a standstill. One example is the rehabilitation of the Vector Control Unit at the Pakera District Hospital.
The building was quite “rundown” and Minister Lawrence bemoaned its condition saying the direct responsibility for the state of the building lies with the Regional Democratic Council which holds the region’s health’s budget.
While in the region, the minister and her team of health officials also met and engaged the REO and other staff of the RDC.
Speaking exclusively to the Department of Public Information (DPI), Minister Lawrence said, “I am not being too severe with the RDC but the money is there to do so much of what is not being done… the RDC needs to take health more seriously and then the NDCs like in Port Kaituma need to remember they have been elected to serve the people.”
Concerning health projects, the minister urged her Director of Regional and Clinical Services along with other senior staff responsible for specific services to make representation for their projects both regionally and at the central level.