The visit by the Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo to the community of Linden the day before yesterday drew people in the vicinity to listen to what he had to say. The people did not rebuke him and surprisingly some complained to this man, who offered them an ear. As President, Mr Jagdeo was responsible for the community’s marginalization, the lack of employment for our youths and the devastating economic state of the community that sadly still prevails today.
The people want more, and they want to see and hear from the leaders whom they elected, not the opposition leaders, not those who were forced upon them in this region, and not those leaders who are failing them and continue to do so. Why is it that only a select few, and not those in this community are afforded the opportunity to see and engage with the President?
As a Lindener and resident of Region Ten I am most saddened by the state of how things are. Since 2015, what is there of value that we in this township and region can point to as a reflection of betterment for our community? The unemployment situation remains the same, despite having hundreds more certified school leavers. Garbage collection is still a major issue, despite the fact that the council now has far more revenue. The Mackenzie Market Square, the emblem of our dismal economic reality, is a potential fire waiting to happen. Its cobweb of electric wires dangling in the air among an array of undisciplined buildings which follow no building codes could cause mayhem if, God forbid, a fire occurs.
Our infrastructural development is moving at a sloth’s pace. No new roads in any community have been constructed; there is only rebuilding and the patching of old ones. Our so called state-of-the-art hospital is always out of drugs. I mean the very basic ones too, but the pharmacies that some doctors and nurses own and do some part time work for, always have those drugs. The hospital is still not in possession of a mortuary. The levels of professionalism and service from our health care providers leave much to be desired. No new schools have been built or extensions done to a satisfactory degree despite there being a need. Are overcrowded classrooms and ever growing communities not enough indicators for these so called leaders to see and make the necessary recommendations?
Despite this community having an abundance of talented athletes, no infrastructural development worthy of mention has been done, despite billions being allocated to education. Fencing a paltry number of community grounds and providing a few lights is not visionary, nor is it money well spent. What happened to our synthetic track that our Youth MP, the only one, spoke so eloquently about? Oh yeah, work is “supposed” to start in a few weeks. Really?
Where are the musical instruments and other paraphernalia to enhance music and culture in our schools that the President spoke of so passionately and then ensured that the resources were provided? Why are our contractors not benefiting from our share of the Region’s budgetary allocations to empower them and at the same time create jobs for our people? I blame all of them: the Regional Chairman, the members of the Regional Tender Board, the Regional Evaluation Committee, the Works Department and regional engineers, as well as the previous REO who is the head of administration of the Regional Democratic Council for the poor performance. He is now gone, so the Regional Chairman has the lion’s share of the blame to take, along with some of his invisible councillors.
Region Ten is in a ditch, and the people with the spade of leadership are digging us further down that hole of going nowhere.
Budgetary allocation to this region by government is not being spent effectively. I challenge the regional administration to say that a big chunk of this year’s money will not go back as was done in years past. I’ve heard that the Region has not spent 60% of its share of an allocation which was passed in December 2016 so that works could start in January.
The residents shared their concerns with the Leader of the Opposition, a man whose history has shown he does not care for them. They complained about the President’s visit that occurred last Sunday and the fact they were not aware of it until reading about it in the next day’s paper. Who was responsible for the President’s visit, and why was it so poorly organized, so that now he is being blamed for this blunder by the organizers.
I dare say that the government is not failing Region Ten, it is the incompetence of the leadership which is failing us. I call on the Minister, moreover the President, who has entrusted so much confidence in his soldiers, to act. They are failing him; they are giving him false reports and false hope; his supporters don’t love or respect them. We are tolerating them out of love for him, and for the sake of his good name, integrity and character, we are being patient.
It’s only because of the President we are curbing our revolutionary spirit and remaining docile. He has a few real soldiers I must admit, who are working for the people’s interest and for this good life he promised us, but they too are keeping us at bay and it’s rough. We want more and we deserve it. We held the fort for twenty-three years for his arrival, and it seems we are still waiting. There is only so much one can bear; a hungry belly knows no loyalty and we are hungry holding an empty plate.
Quincy Hope Lamazon