By Enid Joaquin
Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge yesterday said that Government outreach programs like the one held in Linden last Saturday would be continuous to enable residents to highlight their concerns and have them addressed.
He said that such interaction would also be beneficial to residents as Local Government Elections approach.
“Part of the outreach has to do with awareness, and the other side is more specific political work to try and ensure that we are known to the community, and that people can come to us with their problems- that exercise is going to be a continuous one. It would be a periodic one that would be geared towards problem solving,” Minister Greenidge said.
In alluding to the walkabout in the Mackenzie Municipal market, Greenidge said the exercise allowed people in the market to highlight their issues, which were many.
He pointed out that the development of the infrastructure of that facility has been ‘’arrested’’. “There are problems of leaking, not enough footpaths or drains and people could tell you of any number of problems, but the good thing is that the focus was not on the problems’’, he asserted.
MP Audwin Rutherford said that the outreach was very successful.
He related that some of the issues highlighted included lack of accessibility to farmlands, and the problem of erosion and drainage facing some residents.
Rutherford noted that some farmers are convinced that Region 10 has the capacity to feed its residents, and as such every effort would be made to assist them in that quest.
He also pointed to the issue of the access road to communities such as Old England, Coomacka and Three Friends, which has over the years been of much concern to residents.
“A resident from as far as Three Friends Mines was here early this morning, and his main concern was the state of that access road; so we will definitely be looking into that. As a matter of fact, within the budget we have made provision for that road, and we have in fact done some work on it last year and we will continue to do so; so residents can rest assured that that is an issue that will be looked at,” Rutherford said.
As it relates to electricity, personnel from both the LECI and LUSCSL pointed out that generally there were not too many complaints by residents.
However, Avery Trim of LECI expressed concern that residents are not employing conservation techniques as there has been a spike in electricity consumption over the past three months.
Trim said that what was most surprising was that January far surpassed the month of December- a month that traditionally has the highest rates of consumption.
“So we are appealing to people to conserve, not just only conserve, but they should do it systematically. We all need to conserve, because on a monthly basis it (electricity) costs the government in excess of 200 million dollars.”
Those sentiments were echoed by personnel from the LUSCSL, who also emphasized the need for conservation.
Works Committee Chairman of the Board of Directors of LUSCSL, George Joaquin admonished against the burning of “lights twenty four seven”, and said that the entity would be looking at establishing sensitization programmes to raise residents’ awareness of this issue.
Lindeners applauded the Government outreach, but a few persons felt that the exercise should have included persons that are not affiliated to the APNU/AFC coalition.
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