[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Local Governance Ministry continued to effectively carry out its mandate in 2014 with continued emphasis on the implementation of policies and development programmes, in accordance with the provision of good services to the Guyanese people.
To support its mandate, $24B was proposed and approved for the country’s ten Administrative Regions. Of this $1.765B was allocated to Region One, $2.638B-Region Two, $3.26B-Region Three, $3.547B-Region Four, $1.982B-Region Five, $4.48B-Region Six, $1.620-Region Seven, $944.77M-Region Eight, $1.461B-Region Nine and $2.225B-Region 10. The sum of $26.9B was also allocated to fund the current and capital estimates of the ten Regional Democratic Councils (RDCs), an increase over the 2013 allocation.
These allocations catered for various developmental projects in the area of health, education, agriculture, finance and administration along with public works projects in the 10 regions, several of which were completed and commissioned during the year.
This saw the refurbishing of schools to improve the quality of education in various regions, along with emphasis on the health care, agriculture and other key areas that are recognised as necessary for the people.
Regional Health Services
The Local Government Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Health had been engaged in several meetings aimed at enabling the system and those involved to become more responsive to the regions’ health needs.
Emphasis has been placed on the movement of health care providers along with pharmaceuticals as it relates to malaria, dengue and infections in Amerindian villages.
NDCs and Municipalities
The capital subvention to NDCs and municipalities increased by $77M, from $282M in 2013 to $350M in 2014, thus, providing avenues for more services in the regions, primarily in the areas of infrastructure, sanitation and environment.
In 2014, most of the resources were used for drainage works, road and bridge maintenance, and for solid waste management among others.
Further, five mini excavators have been procured under the ‘Clean-up my country’ initiative which will be used primarily in NDCs, 45 tractors and trailers for the transportation of solid waste along with 6,000 bins which will be distributed to the neediest areas. A number of brush cutters were also bought.
The India Brazil South Africa Cooperation (IBSA) provided funding for three contracts that focused on the execution of additional projects under the Guyana Solid Waste Management Improvement Project.
These one-year projects commenced in April, with the IBSA providing financing to the tune of US $1.9M while the Government of Guyana contributed US $475,000. The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Local Government with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Work was carried out on the tarmac at Annandale, East Coast Demerara at the cost of $14.4M; a sanitary block at Annandale was built at the cost of $2.2M and the New Amsterdam Market was extended at the cost of $3.1M. Also the Grove/Diamond market tarmac was fenced and two garbage disposal trucks and 30, 1100M bins along with two excavators were procured.
Under the Caribbean Local Economic Development (CARILED) several projects were completed including the Canals’ Polder green initiative, and Tapakuma Women’s Agricultural Diversification project among many others. In addition, 29 persons were also trained in local economic development under this project. Emphasis was placed on women in business and accessing micro financing. The Youth Empowerment, Inclusion and Reconciliation Project (YEIRP), executed by the Local Government Ministry is funded by the UNDP. This project addresses challenges of inadequate youth participation in governance, and the persistent social challenges which deprive youths of fulfillment of their rights.
Under this project, commuters from Supenaam benefited from the training and they have thus far submitted a project proposal for a waiting area in the region.
Further, several ICT hubs were constructed in various communities under this project. Other areas of focus include the rehabilitation of the children’s ward at the West Demerara Regional Hospital, and the Literacy enhancement projects.
During the course of the year, the Ministry conducted a series of institutional strengthening and capacity building training workshops. These educational activities sought to strengthen the work force of the Ministry and all of its connecting agencies. A series of Monitoring and Evaluation workshops were held to enhance the skills of the persons working in this line of work while Regional Health Officers were exposed to training in environmental health.
Clean up my country initiative
The sum of $1B was allocated in the National Budget for the ‘Clean up my country’ initiative, of which $500M was allocated for the clean-up of Georgetown. This project which began in August is almost completed. It focused on Le Repentir Cemetery, the main drainage canals and communities within the wards of Georgetown.
This undertaking by government is as a result of the mismanagement by the incumbent mayor and City Council. Thus far $498.9M has been spent on the cleaning of 28 communities, and an additional 24 on which works are still ongoing, and another 8 which were recently identified. This include the desilting of several canals, repairs to the Ruimveldt sluice, update and replacement of lights at the Bourda, Stabroek and La Penitence markets, the reconstruction of a portion of the pavement and a sanitary block at La Penitence market among many others.
Further as it relates to the regional aspect, work is still ongoing and 130 skip metal bins and 44,500 metal barrels have been procured for distribution countrywide to ensure effective waste disposal. Markets
The Ministry has been placing a lot of emphasis on the creation of new market space to avoid illegal vending and the removal of roadside vending. In this regard several market tarmacs were constructed and some refurbished, including Buxton and Mabaruma market tarmacs.
The Anna Regina Market, benefited from infrastructural work valued at $ 4.1 M through funding from the IBSA. Rehabilitation work was also done on the Annandale market along with the extension of the New Amsterdam Market under this project.
Also under the cleanup campaign rehabilitation work was done on several markets including La Penitence, Stabroek, and Bourda.
The Ministry hopes to continue its success story of 2014 in the new year. Solid waste management will continue to be a key focus in the upcoming year as the Ministry plans to work along with its regional offices to tackle issues such as noise and dust nuisance along with illegal building on reserves and illegal vending. [GINA]