We need to create a service hub in Region Seven – President Ali
– Says over 500 houses will be built using labour from the region
His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali today disclosed that Bartica would be transformed into a service hub that could cater for the logistic needs of the mining sector in Guyana.
He said that his Government would aid in putting structure in place and in creating a solid platform for the growth and development of the residents.
The Head of State, who led an outreach to the town in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), highlighted a number of initiatives that will be needed to enhance the lives of Barticians, including investments in homes, education, health, tourism and agriculture.
“In order for you to become a major logistics hub for the mining sector, you must be able to produce food and you must be able to provide services. Whether it’s banking services, machining services, or mechanical services.”
The President noted that Bartica already has a lot of investments in place catering to the service industry, but they need to be more structured.
He also spoke about the tourism potential of the region and the need to develop the infrastructure to facilitate tourists.
“The tourism potential of this region is enormous, but for that tourism potential to be realised, we have to do a few things. We have to ensure people are trained…we have to have the transformative infrastructure that will bring people to the region.”
Some 6000 Guyanese will be trained in the hospitality sector, including those eligible in Bartica.
The infrastructure of the region would also have to be updated according to President Ali.
“If we are to build tourism, whether it is day tourism or night tourism or long stay, we have to be able to build a product that is connected to a wider product, and we have to build the infrastructure that will allow us to build that product here and we’re already talking about new hinterland connections, new roadways, starting a project that can allow you to drive almost on the opposite side of Bartica.”
The Head of State also spoke about upgrades to the current roadways, and about developing at minimum, a municipal airstrip to support development in the hinterland.
“Those are things that are necessary to prop up the type of investment and type of projects that we want to be delivered here.”
EDUCATION AND HEALTH
Systems are also in place to train teachers in the region and health sector workers.
According to President Ali, those two areas are essential for overall development.
“Our children in this region must have access to good quality education, good quality healthcare. Those are two fundamental pillars on which the transformation of our country will be built— on health and education.”
Teachers will be further trained, while the President reiterated the idea of teaching coding to primary school students and software development to secondary school students.
“This is the future we’re talking about for Guyana, a different future, a complex future, a multifaceted future, a diverse future, a future in which we can all be proud of.”
Ultimately, the drive of the Government is to enhance the lives of all Guyanese, including Barticians.
“Our task as a country and as a Government is to put more disposable income in the pockets of people. Once we put more disposable income in your pockets, you will have more resources to live a higher standard of life and this is what adds to building prosperity.”
The President also announced that 120 acres of land have been cleared in Bartica to develop some 500 homes for residents, which will be built using contractors and “skilled men and women” in the region.
The President also spoke about the important spin-offs of these projects.
“You know what that would do? That would not only deliver housing; that would create tremendous opportunities in the value chain for hardware resources, skilled labour, transportation services, all of this will be created with this one project.”
To support the growing population, investments and visitors, the Head of State also pointed to the need to enhance the agriculture capacity of the region.
He said that he has instructed the Ministry of Agriculture to visit the town next week to do an assessment on expanding the school shade house programme.
“Imagine we have a school feeding programme in all our schools. Imagine if every school now, we can have single parents who have children in those schools doing one or two shade houses in every school and supplying the school kitchen with the food from those shade houses. That is how you build economic opportunity. That is what you call the trickle-down effect of investment from the Government.”
Linking Bartica with the rest of Guyana was not just about the infrastructure, education, health or business opportunities but also about a sense of national direction and purpose. The President noted that if we can all move forward together, under the umbrella of ‘One Guyana’, then he is “confident that the future of this country, the next generation, have nothing to fear and then will enjoy true prosperity and true happiness”.