Gov’t to procure 300,000 cement blocks from South Central Rupununi


Government is looking to start a $10 million project by procuring some 300,000 cement blocks from communities across South Central Rupununi, through the hinterland housing programme.

The administration wants to create as much economic activities in that part of the district, allowing residents there to enjoy a more enhanced quality of life.

“Through the region and the Ministry of Housing, we are going to put our first order in for 300,000 blocks that would be produced right here and made by the people,” President Ali announced while engaging scores of residents in Shulinab Village Saturday.

“And we will provide the fuel for the tractors to take those blocks to Lethem and other areas where we have to use it for our housing programme,” he added.

The head of State stressed that the developmental push must be far beyond rehiring the 2, 000 Community Service Officers (CSO) who were fired by the former government.

He noted that the economic boost is not limited to the 2,000 persons that will soon be employed in the region through the ongoing part-time jobs initiative.

President, Dr. Irfaan Ali greets residents of Shulinab Village before commencing his meeting with residents of South Central Rupununi

The village of Shulinab also benefitted from one of the four new tractors donated to communities within that part of the region.

The remaining four-wheel machines were handed over to villages including Katoonarib and Sawariwau, to expand hinterland agriculture.

Moreover, the administration is seeking to implement strategies that could see the reduction in the transportation cost for food.

“I have asked Minister Nigel [Dharamlall] to look at whether we can acquire a four-wheel drive canter, and whether from the regional level through the economic fund, we can buy right from Lethem area, the goods that you require in a wholesale manner, provide the transportation, and have it delivered to the different villages, so that it can reduce the transportation cost,” the head of state asserted.

A portion of the sporting equipment which was donated on Saturday

Additionally, some 80 officers who are part of the Community Policing Groups would be employed through the part-time jobs initiative.

A number of youths in the South Central Rupununi were also recipients of equipment to upskill their talents in sport.

To further push the education sector, the president disclosed plans to train every teacher and healthcare worker across the region.

He disclosed that a debating competition will be launched across the communities, and will be coordinated by the regional authority.

Subsequently, the winning group will be able to walk away with three laptops for the village.

Meanwhile, the president reminded of his government’s promise to construct comfortable living facilities for healthcare workers and teachers in every village where there is the need.

“We are going to use local labour and materials to get this programme started from this year,” he emphasised.

President, Dr. Irfaan Ali greets residents of Shulinab Village before commencing his meeting with residents of South Central Rupununi

Dr Ali said the PPP/C Government which has always been people centered, continues to work tirelessly to better the future for all Guyana.

He noted that this can only be achieved if government has direct dialogue with residents.

The president had announced Friday last, that some 600 persons who have been allocated low-income house lots in Lethem, Region Nine, will receive $1 million each, to commence constructing their homes.

The Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) and the New Building Society (NBS) are also on board and willing to finance the remaining $2 billion for the prospective homeowners at a rate of 3.5 per cent.

The collateral-free gesture from the two  financial institutions will see the 600 allottees repaying just about $14,000 per month.

President, Dr. Irfaan Ali greets residents of Shulinab Village before commencing his meeting with residents of South Central Rupununi

Dr Ali said the collaboration between his government and the commercial banks will see up to $1.8 billion injected into the region to push the housing drive.

Present during the community meeting were Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai; Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall and Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues.

The team which is being headed by the president, is on a three-day visit in Region Nine. (Extracted and modified from DPI)

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