The sum of $19.4 million has been allocated towards the purchase of river ambulances in 2018 to serve Upper Demerara/Upper Berbice (Region 10).
Junior Minister of Communities Valerie Patterson-Yearwood related such while responding to questions in the Committee of Supply on the budget allocations for Region 10 on Thursday.
Asked about the areas the ambulances would service, the minister indicated Malali, because it is “the furthest up the Demerara River” and Maruni, because it is “centre and can serve both sides of the Berbice River”.
PPP/C Member of Parliament (MP) Gail Teixeira voiced her concern that enough areas would not be serviced by the vessels, stating that it was “regrettable” that Patterson-Yearwood could not coordinate with the regional democratic councils to have the resources shared in the area. Teixeira named locations such as Great Falls and Endeavour, situated on the Essequibo River, as areas that are also in need of these services.
Patterson-Yearwood thanked Teixeira for the recommendation, which she committed to relaying, but added that ultimately, it was up to the authorities to decide how they will utilise their resources.
Region 10 is also to benefit from a 32-seater bus, which will cater to the 150 students that have been transferred from the Christianburg Primary School to the St Aiden’s Primary School, which the minister related is 10 miles away.
The cost of the bus is $14.5 million.