The people of Region 10 will stand strong to improve their conditions of life
Region 10 has had enough of suffering, bullyism, marginalisation, discrimination and deprivation and the current Regional Democratic Council (RDC) is saying, ‘no more.’ The PPP has not helped Linden. The PPP used Linden and continues to use the resources of Linden for their own purposes. They have trampled citizens’ rights and violated the laws. The people of Region 10 seek a reversal and remain committed to standing strong to ensure their conditions of life are improved. Everything the people of Linden and Region 10 had, was either taken away or destroyed under the PPP. The power generators Lindeners had were taken away and placed in Regions 3 and 5 – PPP regions. The steam power plant that produced electricity at a cheaper cost was removed. The proven bauxite reserves around Linden were given away in the privatisation deal. All the derelict equipment and millions of US dollars in spares were removed from the community, which later learnt it was sold, but the community has not benefited from it.
Currently, there is a massive scrap metal operation in Kumaka and other areas. BOSAI trucks are destroying the roads and the badly managed dust from the bauxite company is a health threat and damaging our buildings and furnishings. Hospital roadways are impassible posing a threat to our healthcare workers and those who traverse the roads to do business with the hospital and seek its care. The bauxite workers, wrongfully laid off from the Bauxite Company Guyana Inc (BCGI) and their families still seek justice and await the Minister of Labour appointed Arbitration to commence its work. The people of Region 10 refuse to live as second class citizens in the land of their birth.
In 1992 there was a pension plan where the retired received income that ensured their dignity and the community had other contributory benefit schemes that allowed them some degree of self-reliance. There was also a training school managed by the workers that ensured their education and was once seen as producing the nation’s most skilled artisans. At present poor roads, substandard service and runaway unemployment are normal features in the community. The RDC is taking an active role in reversing these misfortunes and where the government is called on to facilitate support by virtue of their responsibility to the society, cooperation is expected. The region wants to reduce employment, put the people back to work and create the environment for residents to unleash their potential. The RDC wants to see a region buzzing again with activity and the people given the opportunities to prosper.
We are a peaceful people, struggling we struggle, we don’t look for trouble, but when others seek to deny and deprive us, we will not back down. We will resist all and any effort to mistreat, abuse and take us for granted. Linden cannot afford to pay any increase in electricity. Linden needs jobs and more jobs and if the PPP cares they will help us put the people back to work. The people want to be allowed the opportunity to develop and execute their own programme.
They also want their rights to be respected and their elected representatives spending every working day working for them. These are goals the RDC aspires to and is putting measures in place to achieve.
I’d like to make a few points to Mr Samuel Hinds’ letter of June 24 in Stabroek News pertaining to his reference to a Google street map and the development in Linden since 1992. This is hot air. I know the Prime Minister who worked in the bauxite industry with me, but never seemed to be in touch with what was happening around him. The big houses being built are not thanks to the PPP’s policies; these big houses are being built by re-migrants and overseas based Guyanese, workers who work away from the region, and others built with the generosity of overseas loved ones. These big houses Mr Hinds boasts about are testimony to the determination and great sacrifices of the people, independently of the government. Around the same big houses are poor roads, with large craters.
Mr Hinds has said to Linden he will be the bridge between the town and the PPP government. Over the last 20 years he has been the bridge to allow the PPP entree into the region to bleed the resources and destroy us. We will resist this with all our might. Lindeners built this town from nothing and made it something. The residents removed hundreds of millions of overburden to get to the bauxite, tamed the land, staved off the river’s waters and made significant contributions to the nation’s economy. We are not about to roll over or disintegrate, and would like the PPP to get this message loud and clear.
Region 10 Councillor