President Dr Irfaan Ali on Tuesday led an outreach to the West Coast of Demerara (WCD), where a number of current issues faced by residents and farmers were heard and plans for intervention were communicated.
The Head of State was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Hugh Todd; Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha and Minister within the Public Works Ministry, Deodat Indar.
It was communicated that there were hundreds of acres of arable farmland within the Den Amstel community but there was a significant downturn in production. Further, farmers stated that prevailing weather conditions have been a bugbear, while some of them also called for additional equipment since they have been challenged in producing crops.
The President, while calling for a collective engagement with farmers, urged that all arable land be put to work.
“We are working for the upliftment of the community. We want to see all the communities prosper. This is why I am asking them now to either come in and see that the lands that are not in production, we can get them into production. That is important. That is revenue sitting down. So, we have to sit with the owners and come up with a mechanism through which they can go back to the land or they can either rent it legally,” the President explained.
Additionally, roads will be developed to ensure that farmers can access these lands. Road works on the Den Amstel sideline dam are almost completed. Another project is being carried out aback the community to the tune of $38 million.
“We’re spending a lot of money to upgrade the roads on the other side of Den Amstel, but what we want to do is involve the community, to have more concrete-type roads. It will involve more labour,” Ali noted.
The President and officials also took a look at the Den Amstel Community Centre Ground, which has been in a deplorable condition. He informed that a project was awarded for upgrades to the ground, the pavilion, and a bridge along with the installation of a basketball court.
“There needs some work on the bridge so I let them also work on doing some work. We have to work on ensuring that this thing is done very quickly now that we have the weather. And we have to monitor it too,” Ali told stakeholders.
At the Den Amstel Primary School, calls were made for the structure to be repainted and for certain facilities to be installed.
Chairman of the Den Amstel Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), Kenton Hilliman lauded the work of the Ali-led Administration for the initiatives taken in the community.
“I need to extend a firm gratitude to you for the amount of intervention in this community…We are going to profit from it,” the Chairman said.
Region Three (Essequibo Islands- West Demerara) is fast becoming a hub for investment opportunities in Guyana, especially with the establishment of the gas-to-energy project, a US$300 million Vreed-en-Hoop shore base facility, new private and public hospitals, and two four-lane highways.
Only recently, Housing and Water Minister Collin Croal had announced that some 2000 families in Region Three will benefit from affordable homes, as Government accelerates its turn-key housing project to meet the demand in the region.
In fact, 7000 house lots are being developed in Region Three, as part of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government’s drive to provide 50,000 house lots to Guyanese by the year 2025.