Jan 26, 2009 News
NEW AMSTERDAM, BERBICE – Region Six Chairman, Zulfikar Mustapha, is optimistic that 2009 would be the year to unwrap the potential of East Berbice/Corentyne.
He is optimistic that the opening of the Berbice River Bridge would serve as a catalyst for development, along with other efforts of the government of the day.
Mr. Mustapha pointed to some projects on stream for the eastern section of Berbice. These include the industrial site at Belvedere, on the Corentyne.
So far, manufacturers have indicated an interest in 16 plots at the site. These include factories for the production of furniture, garment, and poultry feeds.
Later this year, with the help of the Agriculture Ministry, a new packaging plant is slated for Number Forty-Three Village, Corentyne. This would assist farmers in the export sector.
This plant is expected to grade the produce and package it for sale abroad. A similar one was constructed at Parika, on the East Bank of Essequibo, last year.
He stayed away from the topic of the Skeldon Sugar Modernization Project.
Meanwhile, over the weekend, Mr. Mustapha recalled, the Regional Democratic Council successfully completed 99 percent of its 2008 capital works programme, despite some challenges.
In March last year, the Region Six Democratic Council unveiled a $2.5 billion budget for current expenditure in the areas of administration and finance, agriculture, public works, education delivery and health services.
For Administration and Finance, $60 million was released; and almost the entire amount was spent by the end of the year. Under Agriculture, of the $315 million released, $314 was used up.
For Public Works, of the $105 million allotted, $104 million was expended. Under the Education Delivery budget, the majority of the $1.3 billion was spent. In the area of Health Services, a total of $627 million was expended out of the $631 million available to the administration. Under its capital expenditure for the year under review, the administration exhausted a total of $261 million — a figure close to that budgeted.
Some $21 million went to the construction of two heavy-duty bridges at Orealla, Corentyne River, and at Mibicuri, Black Bush Polder; nine footpath bridges at Number Fifty-Two/Seventy-Four Villages, Black Bush Polder and the Number Forty-Seven/Forty-Eight areas on the Corentyne.
Two nursery schools were constructed at Number Seventy-Nine Village and at Gibraltar, while living quarters for teachers at Siparuta was constructed. In the neighbouring reservation of Orealla, the Regional Administration upgraded a dormitory.
Rehabilitation works were done on the Crabwood Creek and Lighttown Primary Schools, Canje Secondary School, and the Information Technology Laboratory at the Black Bush Polder Secondary School. In the Health Sector, a concrete reservoir was erected at the New Amsterdam Hospital. Incinerators were constructed at Port Mourant, Skeldon and Mibicuri Hospitals. Remedial work was also carried out at the Mibicuri Hospital.
The Regional Chairman indicated that the major focus of the Administration during 2008 was on drainage and irrigation system. The entire $82 million that was budgeted was absorbed in this sector.
That in itself was not enough to spare East Berbice /Corentyne from the wrath of Mother Nature during the months of December and January, when several sections of the eastern part of the country were flooded.
Under the drainage and irrigation category, work included the re-construction of six timber bridges at Black Bush Polder, Number Sixty-Two Village and at Hack’s Canal. Timber revetment was carried out at Crabwood Creek, Numbers Sixty-Six and Sixty-Seven Villages, and at Lonsdale.
On the East Bank of Berbice, breaches were sealed at the Mara Crown Dam, while regulators were re-built at Seaforth. Other works included the construction of culverts at Belvedere, Wellington Park and New Forest. According to the Region Six Chairman, the Administration expended a total of $47 million on roads.
Nine roads at Crabwood Creek, Number Sixty-Four Village, Joanna and Yakusari in Black Bush Polder, and Johns, at Port Mourant, were rehabilitated.
AUBREY NORTON FRIGHTEN RENEGOTIATION AND RING-FENCING
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