The logging community of Batooba, Demerara River is set to see major transformation over the coming months through investments by the Government.
The community has already received a $10 million grant from the Government for development works. With support from the Ministry of Public Works, the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) is working on an access road from Linden to the riverine community.
RDC Councillor Mr. Dexter Harding informed residents of the ongoing developments during a visit to the area by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Hon. Hugh Todd on Friday,
“We have equipment on the ground and we are working. Sooner or later, you can have your cars and pick up and drive to Linden, central Mackenzie.”
Completed works include repairs to 2o schools, along with health centres and bridges across the Region. Mr. Harding said “things are happening.”
“This year, close to $400 billion will be put into the lives and hands of Guyanese. So just show some patience and I know that by mid-year you will feel the effects of the money that have been put forward,” he told residents.
Another community leader said the residents have already started to see the promises of the Administration being realised, and for that, they are thankful.
“We have already benefitted from our $4,000 school children voucher. We have already benefitted from the $25,000 COVID-cash grant relief. We have also recently benefitted from the $10 million grant. We are expecting our $15,000 per child soon and we would like to say thank you to the Government for taking care of us,” the community leader said.
Meanwhile, Minister Todd noted a number of the other issues raised by residents. He committed to addressing a request by pensioners for a service boat to transport them to uplift their pension in Linden.
Residents also raised challenges with accessing tags (permits for loggers), with several saying they had been side-lined for years.
“The matter with the tags, this is not only a commitment that I am making, but a commitment that was made by the President himself, so rest assured that that will be resolved,” Minister Todd said.
The Minister also noted calls for a secondary school. However, he explained that the Government is following an international model for the establishment of secondary schools. This, he noted, requires a population of at least 250 students in a community, before a school could be established. He said the community’s small population might be the reason the area is without a school, but noted that the Government would use the oil revenues to help reduce the burden of transportation costs on parents whose children attend secondary school outside of the community.