President David Granger yesterday commissioned a $21M stelling at Ykinipa Village, Pomeroon-Supenaam (Region Two), which leads from the Akawini Creek into the village.
The launching follows years of residents being forced to traverse makeshift boards along a treacherous path under the previous administration even though a similar stelling was constructed farther up the creek, the Ministry of the Presidency said in a statement yesterday.
The 1440 foot-long stelling is one of the many projects, which residents of Ykinipa and other villages in the Akawini are benefitting from, the release said.
Speaking to residents, President Granger said, “When I first came to this community and walked on that bridge, I said that this is very dangerous and that no resident deserves to access their community in this manner so I am very happy to see this. I am here because of you. I will be faithful to you. There are 215 villages but as far as possible, we will consider all of your requests and try our best to honour them,” he said.
Minister in the Ministry of Public infrastructure, Annette Ferguson said that initially $19M was spent on the project but after consultations with the Toshao it was realised that it need to be extended farther inland bringing the cost to $21M. The stelling was done with a workforce drawn mainly from Akawini and also most of the material was sourced from the lower Pomeroon, thereby providing income for the region. Toshao of Ykinipa, who also has responsibility for Baracara, another village located in the Akawini Creek, David Wilson praised the Government and said residents are grateful to the President for honouring his promise as the community was severely neglected under the former administration.
“We are very lucky to have completed that stelling. We were also able to achieve a nursery class right at Baracara. For many years our children suffered. They never had breakfast in school and they had to go hungry whole day and so under this Government they have built us a hot meal kitchen at Baracara. We also got a Presidential grant to construct a Mess hall so that children could sit in one area and have their lunch. All of these structures and developments happened in just 24 months under this Govern-ment. In School Islands, another small village in the Akawini Creek under Mr. Wilson’s purview, a hot meal kitchen, which we have been longing for many, many years was also constructed and we also built a mess hall at this location. We were also lucky to accomplish a community centre. It is all because of the kind hearted and caring Government that we have,” Toshao Wilson said, according to the press release.
The release reported Granger as saying: “I am President of all Guyana. I know what you need and as long as God gives me the strength, I will ensure that I deliver what you need. Every Guyanese must have access to public services. I don’t believe in bush. I believe in people and whether you are living in Akawini or Orealla or Kwakwani, you deserve access to public services. As far as President Granger is concerned, I treat all citizens equal”.
At Kabakaburi, Toshao of the village, Cleveland Simon, in his remarks, also praised the Government for the work it has undertaken to improve lives in the community. He said that in addition to the repainting of the Primary School, the provision of an oxygen bank at the Community Health Centre and the construction of a sport hall in the community, the Government has also made provision in the 2018 National Budget for additional works.
“Mr. President, you have promised us and you have fulfilled your promise. Thank you so much, Mr. President, for your Government’s good work [that] they have been doing. The road leading from Kabakaburi to Akawini, a cargo boat and the ATV, which [are] in the 2018 budget, Mr. President I thank you for doing such a great work for us. Mr. President, on behalf of the residents of Kabakaburi, I thank you for your kindness to us and the work you [are] doing. You are transparent in all your doings and your reward will be great,” Simon said.
Minster of Public Affairs within the Ministry of the Presidency, Dawn Hastings-Williams, in her remarks to the residents at Ykinipa said that Govern-ment is making strides in the provision of education.
“Coming from a school environment, I have a keen interest in the education of our children particularly the hinterland communities and riverine areas. So I am very pleased to hear that you now have school feeding programmes and dining halls for the children so that they can sit comfortably and eat their meals. I want to encourage you boys and girls to make the best out of these opportunities. Our President is a man who has a heart for children because he needs to see Guyana move forward and the vehicle to do that is through education,” she said.
At the end of the visit to Ykinipa, the President donated a quantity of sports gear inclusive of bats, balls and cricket pads and volleyball and football gear to the Toshao of Kabakaburi and distributed toys to over 600 children, the release said.