I am willing to make my contribution
The programme called ‘Let’s Talk Essequibo’ hosted by Mr. Romel Roopnarine every Friday night on R.C.A. Channel 8, at times has seen guests such as Ministers of Government or the Regional Chairman responding to callers – giving advice or telling the residents of this region what the Regional Administration has done or is about to do in relation to their many concerns or problems they have.
I am not certain what this progamme sets out to achieve or what it may have achieved so far, but what we all know is the large amount of people that make calls to this programme, and by the host’s admittance, the significant numbers who would send text messages to him stating their problems.
What is abundantly clear is that there are many, many problems in this region, most of which existed for years, and many that can be solved in a few hours, costing a few dollars also.
While residents should not expect all their problems in the region or community would be solved immediately or the village can be problem-free, there are times when the Regional Administration took the political will to put systems in place to solve or reduce to the minimum level some of the problems stated below:-
1. Roadside vending, including the sale of alcoholic beverages.
2. Sale of alcoholic beverages at N.D.C. markets.
3. Accepting sub-standard work from some contractors.
4. Failing to ensure that Rates and Taxes due to the State are paid.
5. Failing to have a re-valuation or valuation done, so as to enable the municipality and Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) to have a stronger revenue base, so that more and regular works can be done.
These are only some of the things that need to be addressed, but the political will of those who can ensure these systems are put in place or actions taken, is seriously lacking.
Others are garbage collection, digging and cleaning of drains, maintenance of streets, indiscipline at schools, the much needed upgrading of the Suddie Funeral Parlour and the mismanagement of that facility. I trust that enough is said about corruption, and the Supenaam Stelling and the long overdue ferries. These are some of the issues persons would call in to talk about.
It is however interesting to note that in 2006 when I was elected a member of the Regional Democratic Council as an Alliance for Change representative, all and many more of the problems listed were reported, discussed and promises made – in many areas they was little or no progress, and it would be a fair comment to say that some areas of the situation have deteriorated.
The fact is that many residents would give few marks to the NDCs. People are simply fed up with promises; the truth is that in some instances the body simply does not have the money for the works to be done.
A lot of the people are frustrated and looking at other areas to lodge their complaints.
I am not certain what the host of this programme sets out to achieve, but I am willing to make my contribution if I am invited to be a guest on Mr. Roopnarine’s programme.
It is good to have persons from various groups, backgrounds, experience, and not necessarily only those that are employed by the state or senior regional officials.