Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Kellawan Lall and a team visited a number of Region One communities to do assessments based on expressions of interest from foreign investors.
According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) report, Lall and his team, along with regional officials, assessed sites at Matthew’s Ridge, North West District, including a prospective mining site for Reunion Manganese Incorporated, a Canada-based company interested in resuscitating manganese mining there.
The company has already built several roads and is looking to improve other infrastructure within the community to facilitate their activities.
According to Lall, the company has already employed several locals and government is confident that these steps will revitalise the community’s economy.
The minister said his visit was to allow him a firsthand view of some of the operations, based on requests for investment government had received. Lall also toured a site that Digicel is developing to put up a solar-powered cellular tower in order to introduce cellular phone service to the community.
Region One Chairman Fermin Singh said these developments were good for the community. He noted that 2010 “was not the most successful year for the region” as its main economic source—farming—suffered due to erratic weather.
Singh said this also had an adverse effect on the implementation of the region’s work programme which is only, to date, 85% completed.
Meanwhile, at the Pakera Hospital at Matthew’s Ridge, Lall met with resident doctor Maya Lane and he committed to installing solar panels at the facility to provide a back-up power system.
Lane told the minister of the need for a reliable power source, especially at nights and for emergency cases.