The Race to LGE 2016
-retired Wakenaam teacher contests Constituency 9
By Shemuel Fanfair
As the March 18 Local Government Elections (LGE) draw closer, candidates are ever more pushing their
agendas by outlining the reasons why constituents should support them. Situated at the mouth of the Essequibo River, Wakenaam is a Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) which has nine constituencies up for grabs.
Retired school teacher Jeanette Harrylall is a contesting Constituency 9 [Fredericksburg–Noitgedacht] under the banner of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C). The first-time candidate emphasised that she will work along with various stakeholders to ensure her causes are achieved.
“My main objectives in contesting the constituency are to develop my community; work across the political and racial divide and I will not support any measures to raise taxes because the population is already burdened,” Harrylall opined.
The candidate also noted that she intends to ensure there is continued cleaning of drains and that kokers and roads are maintained. She further postulated that she intends to establish more recreational activities for youth such as a playground.
Harrylall said she will partner with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and religious groups to address “social ills” with primary emphasis on preventing suicide and drug use. The candidate related that while there has been some outreach programmes by religious groups in the Region Three (Essequibo-Islands–West Demerara) island, she feels that it should be approached in a more “holistic manner”.
As an elected councillor at the NDC, Harrylall will continue to highlight challenges which the island currently faces.
“Presently the cash-crop farmers are facing a lot of difficulties; my neighbour [a cash-crop farmer] – she went out and came back with a lot of goods that didn’t sell… rice is on the downturn so money is not circulating, the shops are also complaining about the amount of money they [are] garnering, whereas before time it was different,” stressed the PPP/C candidate.
“I would raise these [issues] at the council level, from there we would advance to the regional level to address the problems that we are facing,” stated Harrylall. The candidate also noted that residents have complained about the island having many mosquitoes and observed that she will ensure fogging continues.
The candidate stressed that she would like to see the return of landline telephone service and ensure streetlights are installed at strategic points.
“That is one of my major concerns – having street lights. I know we might not be able to get all but I’m saying strategically placed street lights… one of the cemeteries is situated between two turns and it’s not safe and also at certain [other] junctures on the island,” expressed Harrylall.
“We have been advocating for telephone for a long time, it has not been forthcoming so we are going to push that agenda also,” stated the PPP/C candidate.