As the new government makes preparations to award Bartica township status, a decision has been made to reopen the Bartica office of the Guyana Gold Board (GGB).
In 2014, the office was closed after allegations of gold tampering surfaced.
According to a release issued by the Ministry of the Presidency last evening, the office will be re-opened later this month by Minister of Governance with responsibility for Natural Resources and the Environment Raphael Trotman.
The release said several key officials, including Trotman, Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson, Presidential Advisor on the Environment Rear Admiral Gary Best, and Head of the Force Unit, Ministry of Public Infrastructure Lawrence Mentis yesterday visited Bartica to see the work being done to prepare the GGB office and the region as a whole for 2016, when the community will be declared a town.
Trotman noted that the closure of the office was having a negative impact on the mining community and, as a result, the decision was taken to revamp and re-open it to make business operations easier for the miners and traders in the region.
“The Bartica office, which is located in what is considered the gateway to the interior and a hub of mining activities, had been conducting operations for years and has been one of the main sub-offices for the GGB,” the release said, while quoting Lisaveta Ramotar, Head of the GGB as saying “the office will be ready for commissioning by month end.”
It continued by noting that “Ramotar reported to Minister Trotman that the staff is currently undergoing training in George-town even as final preparations are being made at the office. She added that strong security measures have also been put in place and once the office is opened, these systems will be fully operational.” These security measures were not identified in the release.
Additionally, the release noted that Trotman and Patterson, who have been appointed as the ministerial team responsible for the establishment of Bartica as a green town, used the opportunity to visit the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) plant to examine operations there.
Noting that residents have been crying out about the service of GPL, Patterson was quoted as saying, “We wanted to see that was happening and how things were progressing. We are here to examine the works on the roads and more particularly the situation with GPL and the generators. I wanted to assess for myself what was happening.”
Patterson, the release added, told residents that the government has awarded a contract to repair the Bartica Stelling, while works will be done on the One to Five Mile roads and next year the Bartica-Potaro road to Mahdia will be completed to bring relief to miners and traders. He said the airstrip in the region will also be upgraded.
The team also visited the identified location for a proposed dumpsite in the region and Trotman, on behalf of the Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan, swore in the Commissioners of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) that will oversee the work being done for the community’s township status.