We must come together here to solve issues – Min. Patterson

― community effort to clean drains

― Ministry of Public Infrastructure to provide necessary equipment

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Scores of residents turned out on the streets of North Sophia, just outside the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), where they promised their unwavering support towards cleaning their community drains. This pledge was made at the Ministerial Outreach in which the Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson spearheaded a team into the community to listen to concerns and interact with residents.

The main issues the residents highlighted were the clogged drains, unpaved connecting roads and unlit cross-streets. Minister Patterson, thereafter, vowed to use his office to bring relief to the residents.

Through the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, equipment and materials will be provided to residents in North Sophia-Block F/R to be utilised in their clean-up efforts.

“We have to come together here to solve this issue”, Minister Patterson said as he encouraged residents to work together to enhance their community. “We are going to try to clean all the drains that we can,” he remarked.

On the way forward, Minister Patterson explained that the first plan of action would be to first clean the drains. Afterwards, the culverts will be replaced, then the roads will be paved as the final step. All of this will be done after Guyana Power and Light (GPL) lamps are placed on the electricity poles within the area.

Noticing that time is of the essence with the rainy season approaching, Minister Patterson stated:

“With my office, I will do all that I can to address the drainage situation before the May/June rains.”

In all works, timelines are necessary, thus, Minister Patterson set April 1, 2019, as the date to commence the actions on the drainage. The rectification of these drains is slated to last until the end of April with the involvement of the community. While works are to begin in Block-F, residents in Block-R promised to put their shoulders to the wheel as a sign of support for neighbours.

Nevertheless, resident and grandmother of 17, Carmen Perreira, told the Department of Public Information (DPI), “without the present government, nothing is happening for our area” in response to Minister Patterson reaching out to bring relief to the community. At the completion of the outreach, another resident Cristine Sears noted, “I think it is great that the minister came to hear our concerns. Overall, the government is doing a good job and they could continue to do that”.

Today’s Ministerial Outreach across Georgetown followed a similar successful three-day outreach in the Rupununi Region earlier in February which included 19 ministers addressing the concerns of residents in Achiwib, Aishalton, Kwatamang and Rupertee communities.

Shaquille Bourne.

Images: Kimberly Ferreira.