Tourism minister says consistent support provided to Region 10, refutes controversial statements attributed to Mayor Arrindell
The Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce wishes to refute certain tendentious statements attributed to Her Worship Waneka Arrindell, Mayor of Linden, as published in the April 17 edition of Stabroek News.
In her release, Mayor Arrindell sought to convey a theme of neglect for Linden by this administration, making specific reference to the Linden Town Week 2023.
The Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce has been consistent in its support for Linden and the wider Region 10 as have other ministries of the government. The ministry routinely receives requests for sponsorship from across the country.
These requests are assessed for merit, their alignment with the ministry’s strategic direction, and in light of budgetary realities. Over the last 12 months, the ministry has received numerous requests from Linden and the wider Region 10, and we have responded favourably to many of these.
In 2022, we supported activities in Region 10 for Tourism Awareness Month with approximately $1.1 million in funding, and in totality, $500,000 was given in the fiscal year 2022 in support of Linden Town Week activities. In fact, during that period, in recognition of the tremendous tourism potential of Region 10, the ministry launched National Tourism Awareness Month in Linden. We did so to manifest our commitment to and support for the community and exemplify our policy that all regions have valuable roles to play in our country’s development.
This year we are supporting event organizers from Linden, who have planned activities to coincide with Town Week 2023, such as the Linden Building Expo and the Entrepreneurial Village & Arts Festival. Our support for these events includes financial assistance to the tune of $500,000.
Outside of these events, the ministry supported the Inter-school Kayaking Competition for 2022 and 2023, the Inter-regions Kayaking Competition, and the Fish Extravaganza. Funding has also been approved for sponsorship of the Best of Linden Magazine 2023 publication.
On a related note, the ministry continues to work closely with stakeholders in Region 10 as part of our broader work plan, including facilitating Regional Tourism Workshops. Overall, contrary to the misrepresentations proffered by the mayor, the ministry has invested just shy of $5M in support of activities and initiatives in Region 10 – including Linden – over the last 12 months.
We advise Mayor Arrindell that “One Guyana” is no mere cliché but a philosophy of the PPP/Civic Administration, which we continuously demonstrate in our policies and programmes, which are implemented in all regions of our country for the benefit of all of our people.
The government will continue to actively support sustainable and feasible initiatives in Linden, as we do in all our communities in our country. In doing so, we call on Mayor Arrindell to prioritise progress above politics and to discharge her responsibility to her constituents by working with the administration to realise benefits for the municipality of Linden.