President David Granger listens as Chairperson of the community, Bernadette Douglas, makes a point while Minister of State Joseph Harmon and villagers look on
President David Granger has promised residents of Kortberaad, East Bank Berbice, that he will provide the material for them to construct bush sheds and support the desilting of trenches in the community.
The promise was made Saturday last when the Head of State visited the community encouraging residents to practice self-help to accomplish projects that would benefit them.
The President accompanied by Minister of State Joseph Harmon and other regional officials, met with residents to discuss a number of concerns affecting villagers.
Chairman of community leaders committee Bernadette Douglas along with other residents welcomed the impromptu visit with dance and song but wasted no time thereafter listing the litany of problems they need to be resolved.
These included drainage works, land demarcation, the construction of bus sheds, the inclusion of the community in the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), the development of pasture lands for cattle rearing and a number of other issues.
In response, President Granger said that while the small projects, such as the construction of bus sheds and desilting of the trenches would receive immediate support, the community must take ownership of them.
“As far as the projects are concerned, I will help you to help yourself. I can provide all the materials if you want to build the bus sheds, but you have a lot of able-bodied men here so I will help you to get the materials, whatever you need, I will depend on you to do the construction. Similarly, with the canals and the road shoulders, whatever it is; if you need the tools, I will help you, but you have people here who can do that. I am not going to spoon-feed you. We are aiming to finish the sheds and the cleaning before May 26 so that’s three months to work with,” he told the residents.
Meanwhile, Minister of State, Harmon indicated that $10 million would be committed to community work even as he echoed the President’s comments: “We have heard your complaints and we are going to do whatever possible to help you, but it is a cooperative effort. We can provide some resources, but the community would have to help.”
President Granger committed that where those funds are not sufficient, his office will ensure that funds are available for those community projects. With regard to the surveying of household lands and allocation of pasture for cattle, the Minister of State, within whose purview the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) falls, said the matter will be addressed.
“We would have to go back to the books. We just cannot move lands from place to place so let a representative from your community make contact with me and I will provide the necessary information,” Harmon said.
In response to the issue of inclusion of Kortberaad in an NDC, it was noted that moves are afoot by the regional administration to ensure this is done.