AFC outreach to Region Five told about problems with NIS, GWI and squatting

An Alliance For Change (AFC) team in a recent outreach to Region Five was told by residents about problems they are encountering with the National Insurance Scheme, Guyana Water Inc. and a 15-year–old squatting area.

The AFC said in a press release that the team included  Moses Nagamootoo, Gerhard Ramsaroop and Nigel Hughes and they visited Ithaca, Woodley Park (No. 11), Bath Settlement, Hopetown and Armadale.

Problems with the  NIS were expressed at all their  meetings and stops and the issues were primarily incorrect and missing contributions.

And at Ithaca which was the most depressed community of those visited, there was an incomplete cultural centre dating from the Burnham administration, a defunct community centre and ground, and a water tank built in 1999 that never functioned, the release said.

However, the most pressing problem in Ithaca is the water supply, the release noted,  adding that the water is discoloured and has an unpleasant odour.

The residents said that  there is no filtration system at the well and this combined with old distribution pipes result in the poor quality of the water.  Consequently, the AFC is calling on GWI to intervene and rectify this situation immediately.

Meanwhile, in Hopetown there is a squatting area that has been in existence for 15 years ago.  The area is not being regularized and so  the residents cannot access basic utilities such as electricity and water.  Among the residents of this squatting area is a single mother of five who works as a sweeper/cleaner at the Hopetown Primary School and does odd jobs as well, including cleaning canals, just to try to make ends meet.

The AFC is also asking that this squatter problem  be addressed by the relevant authorities urgently, especially in light of other more recent squatting areas in Region Five being regularised.

Subsequent to the outreach, AFC Regional Councillor Herman Anthony organised for Regional Chairman Bisnauth and other regional officials to visit Ithaca.  The Chairman promised improved works in the village, including repairs to drains and kokers after the National Budget is passed and the AFC said the party will hold the Regional Administration to this.

AFC  councillors also visited No. 3 Village where residents expressed outrage at the state of the main canal.  They said that the present heavily clogged state of the canal has been the norm for the past 15 years and the AFC wants  the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) to remedy this urgently.

In keeping with the AFC’s commitment to the sweeper/cleaners in the region, Cindy Sookdeo got a motion passed for them to be registered on the regional payroll, the release added.

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