While Mabaruma has come a long way since receiving township status in 2015, more financial support is needed to ensure that it forges ahead with its plan to become a model hinterland town, according to Mayor Henry Smith.
Speaking to this newspaper recently, Smith informed that in keeping with government’s green state development initiative, a green park was established at Hosororo.
Additionally, the town has seen the execution of a number of road projects, including the construction of a concrete roadway from the airport to the Mabaruma main road junction and from the Kumaka waterfront to the main road. Presently he said, the construction of a concrete road from the Kumaka Junction road to the secondary school in the area is being done.
“Yes, we have achieved immensely. We have been able to do a lot of work for the town,” he told this newspaper, while also stressing that more finances are needed.
Smith pointed out that the town does not generate revenue since it has not yet started the collection of rates and taxes and instead it depends on the annual subvention received from the government and money from subcontracting. On the latter, he explained that the contracts from the region would be subcontracted to contractors and the council would get a percentage of the contract cost. He said that money is used to pay salaries to staff and a stipend to the councillors. Smith pointed out that the money is not always paid over to the council in a timely manner. The government subvention, he added, is used for travelling, for the purchase of supplies for the township and any other things that the council deems necessary.
Town Clerk Barrington Wade had told this newspaper during an interview last year that the town was established in what he considers to be a very strategic area in Guyana and therefore the council was looking to incorporate certain aspects of Mabaruma’s history and the culture of its first peoples into the modernisation and development of the town.
The municipality had taken over the Kumaka Market Tarmac and effected rehabilitative works, which included the construction of 22 stalls intended to house the more than 100 vendors who ply their trade at the Kumaka Waterfront.
Wade has also outlined the plans to ensure access to safe water and food, construction and rehabilitation of roads and a garbage collection system.