[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Ministry of Communities says it is currently assisting the Linden and Lethem Municipalities to implement the Community Infrastructure Improvement Project (CIIP) is in keeping with the Ministry’s objective to empower and equip Local Democratic Organs.
According to a release from the Ministry, over 300 persons were recently employed with the project to assist the two Municipalities. Some enhancement services the workers are expected to provide to communities are cleaning of drains and parapets, cleaning of burial grounds, and carrying out minor routine maintenance works.
In the past few weeks the government would have been criticised over an apparent failure to create new job opportunities as promised in its 2015 Elections Manifesto.
“Initially, when CIIP was introduced in 2014, the Ministry of Housing and Water (now the Ministry of Communities) was responsible for implementing and monitoring the project in over 55 Neighbourhood Democratic Councils, three Municipalities and Village Councils. However, as the Ministry takes a new approach towards local governance, the Linden and Lethem Municipalities are the first two entities to be responsible for CIIP’s implementation in their communities. The Ministry’s involvement in the project is monitoring and provision of resources.”
In the release, Carlton Beckles, Chairperson of Lethem Municipality, said that prior to the introduction of CIIP the Municipality was unable to hire labourers to clean the environment since the Municipality does not collect rates.
He noted that the project has helped to reduce the financial burden of paying to clean the cemetery and parks. Beckles added that funds allocated for the Municipality to execute maintenance works this year would be utilized for additional works within Lethem.
“CIIP is helping to do a lot of work in the communities…the residents are very supportive of the programme…we are thankful for the assistance,” he said.
The Linden Municipality has been benefiting similarly from CIIP. Besides the benefits of clean communities, the project has provided employment opportunities for hundreds of persons, particularly single parent women.
Some communities that benefited thus far from CIIP are Wisroc, Christianburg, Ameila’s Ward, Block 22, Kara Kara, Silvertown and Retrieve.