Minister of Housing and Water Irfaan Ali on Monday hosted an outreach exercise with Sandvoort, Angoy’s Avenue, West Canje and Fort Ordnance, Region Six residents to inform them of the plans for the area for this year and to garner feedback on issues affecting their livelihood.
Ali assured residents that though there are several concerns globally regarding the world financial crisis Guyana’s budget “has grown in terms of our social spending and this is a (stimulus) package for our economy.” He said developing better health care, education and water facilities gives the nation access to these resources at reduced and highly subsidized costs. “The investment that the administration is making will ensure that government’s expenditure is made in maintaining the economy,” Ali said.
Meanwhile, residents at Sandvoort voiced concerns about water supply, drainage and irrigation and poor roads. Ali assured them that within two weeks a pump will be supplied to boost water pressure in the community and a machine will be deployed to help clear canals and drains in the area.
As regard road infrastructure, the minister said there are some resource constraints and the roads will be completed on a phased basis. In the light of this he urged residents to exercise patience. Representatives of the Neighbourhood Democratic Council also raised concerns about tax collection and the minister encouraged them to ensure that tax was collected as government depends on it for social development.
According to GINA Ali discussed issues pertaining to squatting, access to land transport and titles with Angoy’s Avenue residents. He told the inhabitants that the New Haven Housing Co-op Society had sought an injunction against the Central Housing and Planning Authority and as such the area cannot be regularized until a resolution is agreed. At the same time some representatives of the Co-op who attended the meeting assured the minister and residents that they were willing to withdraw the injunction.
In the light of this, Ali said he would meet with the Co-op committee and will visit the community on March 6 with surveyors and officials from the Guyana Water Incorporated aimed at regularizing the area.
At Fort Ordnance, the minister told residents that tenders would have been advertised the following day to upgrade the roads in the community.
This includes construction and upgrading of 3,120 metres of fair weather roads to double bituminous surface treatment (DBST) and sand sealed surface. This will serve the area’s approximately 1849 residents.