Lethem Council wants Industrial Site reserved for auto assembly plant
In keeping with its developmental agenda, Mayor of the recently minted town of Lethem in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), has expressed optimism for the completion of an industrial site with special lands set aside for agro-processing and an auto assembly plant.
Mayor Carlton Beckles, in an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), said agro-processing is among the main priorities that the Council wants to have accomplished before it demits office.
“We want an industrial area that you will have utilising things that are readily available inside here in Lethem,” the Mayor recently told GINA.
It was noted that the Council wants to produce products such as cashew nuts, and mangoes which are abundant in the region. This will be processed at the proposed industrial site, the Mayor posited.
“We do not want to have persons coming into the industrial area to establish businesses that are already established there. For example, the persons who are making the blocks with their hands, we would not want to see somebody coming here in the industrial area, with a block making machine, to put that person out of business. We would like to see that person go into the industrial area to get all the necessary support [so] that they can acquire the different machinery that they can produce these blocks,” he explained.
According to Beckles, the Council also envisions a specific area within the industrial site that would be reserved for an auto assembly plant: “It might sound far-fetched but definitely, why we cannot through Central Government, lobby one of those automakers that they can set up an assembly plant here in Guyana with an aim of exporting to Brazil and to [the] Caribbean,” the Mayor questioned.
Lethem’s Mayor also explained that under the education programme, their vision is a technical institute and a university in the town, rather than just secondary education.
The establishment of a library equipped with Wi-Fi Internet is another one of the Council’s visions to benefit residents, particularly teachers and students, to access the Internet to do research, at a small cost. He noted that the Council has also committed to making available, on an annual basis, monetary contributions to the top three National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) students of the town.
Beckles further observed that the Deputy Fire Chief has met with the Council and a section of land has been identified for the construction of the region’s first Fire Station. It was pointed out that the municipality is also rehabilitating the Lethem Market as well as upgrading several sporting facilities. Beckles advised that the sport grounds in Culvert City and Tabatinga, Lethem, are being enclosed and sanitary facilities will be installed.
The Mayor cautioned that the municipality is suffering constraints due to challenges such as staffing. “We do not have the required amount of staff and it is understandably so because we are a new municipality, where we have to get our Town Clerk, Town Treasurer, Superintendent of Works, Public Health Officer…,” he explained.
“So you have a challenge ahead to convince the residents, where they have to change now to regulated development, and this entails interacting with them and sensitising them on the way forward, not to go and undo what was done already, but to educate them on the challenges going forward,” the Mayor added.
Beckles observed that once the Council overcomes the prevailing challenges, progress can be made on their developmental agenda. “We can get things in place. We can be able to make progress… and once we can develop the municipality, by extension the region will develop,” the Mayor expressed.