Mainstay/Whyaka, Region Two, commissioned its community ground with a grand inter-community football match yesterday, GINA said.
The ground is now equipped with floodlights and a pavilion that can accommodate more than 300 persons.
The ground, which was commissioned to the tune of $7M, was made possible through support from United States oil company, ExxonMobil.
Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock and Minister within the Ministry, Valerie Garrido-Lowe, Region Two Chairman, Davenand Ramdatt and Carlton James, Public and Government Affairs Manager, ExxonMobil were present at the commissioning. GINA said that there were also visiting football teams from Moruca, Wakapau, Manawarin, Akawini, St. Monica, Kabakaburi and Waramuri.
GINA said that Allicock also spoke about the discovery of oil in Guyana. He told the residents that they must be prepared for the anticipated benefits this new and emerging sector will bring.
“What we are seeing here, it is the social corporate responsibility of the company (ExxonMobil) to help communities such as this. Take the lead, get up and get…while this money is coming don’t forget the other sectors, like agriculture to ensure that we have enough food,” Allicock told the gathering. He urged them to look at the indirect benefits from this new sector.
Garrido-Lowe, who GINA said is responsible for men, women and sports, said that, “It’s always a happy moment to be somewhere where sports is taking place. To me sportsmen and women are God’s gift to this world, because they sacrifice so much to make us proud.”
Meanwhile, James said that this project is one of many that ExxonMobil will be undertaking in communities on the coast.
“When first we came, the entry point was games, football and volleyball. The leader indicated that his priority was to have this ground equipped with lights, he considered it a centre of activity for the entire Essequibo Coast, a centre for activities for the lake district and so we responded and the light is one of the contributions from the company,” James said.
James added that another project that the company will be working with the community on is the transfer of traditional knowledge between the elders and the youths.
Chairman of the National Toshaos Council Joel Frederick said that the ground will be of significant benefit to the residents, especially the young people. He however, noted that much more needs to be done to bring the community to a certain standard.