Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) has made significant strides in education, health, public works and agriculture in 2016, according to Government Member of Parliament, John Adams.
In the education sector, there were the construction and rehabilitation of several schools across the region: new primary school in Philadelphia, East Bank Essequibo, construction of Morashie Primary, extension of Zeelugt and Belle West Primary Schools, and extension of the Home Economics Department, Essequibo Island Secondary School.
Adams noted that a contract has also been signed for the construction of a new building to house the Department of Education for the region. Additionally, several schools in Region Three benefited from the President’s 5Bs programme. In excess of 200 bicycles were donated to more than five schools across the region.
“In 2017, the education sector will see the construction of a special needs school at Schoonord, West Bank Demerara,” Adams told the National Assembly yesterday.
He was at the time speaking in support of the $250 billion national budget. There are also provisions for further infrastructural development of schools and the construction of a boat house at Parika.
Over in the health sector, Adams pointed out the “much needed modification” of the X-ray laboratory and other expansion works that have been completed at the Leonora Cottage Hospital and Diagnostic Centre.
At the West Demerara Regional Hospital, Adams explained that works have been completed on the modification of the operating theatre and the neonatal clinic which was recently commissioned at the hospital.
Adams pointed out that the 2017 budget has made allocation for the purchase and installation of a ventilator for the West Demerara Regional Hospital theatre. There are provisions, as well, for the extension of health centres at Upper Bonasika, Lanaballi and Den Amstel.
Highlighting the developments in public works undertaken in 2016, Adams noted that several communities have benefited from the construction of bridges and roads.
“Mr Speaker, on behalf of Region Three, and more particularly the Island of Leguan, I compliment the Ministry of Public Infrastructure for the splendid job done to the roads in Leguan,” Adams said.
Meanwhile, in agriculture, Adams said the region performed excellently. “Despite the doom that was overcast upon the agriculture sector, rice performed well in the Region,” Adams pointed out.
Adams noted too that despite “no change in the sugar industry” the Wales Estate met its target after a number of years. However, Adams said, “We must do something about sugar, and it must be done now.”
Commending the 2017 budget, Adams stated that it is “much more than taxes on water and electricity” adding, “For us to offer this good life to all Guyanese there must be some form of taxation to allow us to provide that good life that all Guyanese yearn to have.”
Meanwhile, opposition member of parliament Komal Chand rebutted Adams’ claims stating that the developments in Region Three were under the previous administration.
Commenting on the national budget, Chand described it as “an anti-working people budget”. Chand added that the measures in the budget will put the poor at a disadvantage.
Commenting on the sugar industry, Chand said that attempts to de-nationalise the sector would be a “monumental mistake”. The government has stated that the status quo of the sugar industry can neither be maintained nor sustained. The government has allocated $9B in the 2017 budget to support the financing of Guyana Sugar Corporation’s (GuySuCo) operations.
A cabinet sub-committee has been established and tasked with providing recommendations and to examine all options with regards to GuySuCo. A report is expected to be made to Cabinet shortly.