Apr 10, 2016 News
–to decentralize Government services
The government is looking to put in place a town in each of Guyana’s coastal regions; Region Three
(Essequibo Islands/West Demerara), Region Four (Demerara/Mahaica) and Region Five (Mahaica/Berbice).
President David Granger made this announcement on the weekly television show ‘the Public Interest’. He pointed to the regions’ decentralized system of government services as something which can be fixed if they each have capital towns.
“As you know, there are three coastal regions which do not have capital towns,” Granger stated. “In Region Three (Essequibo Islands/West Demerara), you have Vreed En Hoop, which is not much of a town.”
He also referenced Region Four, pointing out that Georgetown was the capital of the Republic of Guyana and not Region Four. Granger went on to note one location of interest, Triumph/Beterverwagting, which holds the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) office.
“And then in Region Five (Mahaica/Berbice),” Granger stated. “(There is) Fort Wellington (which has) the Police Station and Magistrate’s Court.”
Pointing out the disadvantages of the current system, Granger noted that in Region Nine, to register a business one has to travel to Suddie, in Region Two. He described this current system as bizarre, when they should have been able to transact their business in their own region.
“That is how bizarre our current system is. If you are a businessman in Rupununi/Lethem, (why should) you have to go to Suddie? It’s a crazy system. So we are trying to regularize the system by having capital towns. If you live, for instance in Aishalton, you ought to go to Lethem.”
“I am looking to create three capital towns in these three coastal regions, so that every region can have a capital town, and that capital town will have its own airport, banks, NIS and GRA office. The idea is that people living in any region should be able to go to that capital town and transact their business.”
According to the Head of State, these regions currently had ‘proto-towns’; that is they haven’t fully developed. He named Vreed-En-Hoop or Parika in Region Three and Blairmont or Rosignol in West Berbice as locations Government was looking at.
“All the government functions that are so centralized, should be decentralized. It has started to happen. In East Berbice, there is already a Supreme Court and government offices. And this should be replicated in all ten regions.”
Granger also responded to queries on why Mahdia has not been designated as a town yet. He stated that technical and legal issues such as boundary demarcation still had to be sorted out. However, he stated that before year end Mahdia would be a town.
Guyana has ten Administrative Regions and nine Towns. Those towns are Georgetown, Linden, Rose Hall, Corriverton, Anna Regina and New Amsterdam, Bartica, Mabaruma and Lethem.
Mayors and Deputy Mayors for each of these towns were recently sworn in by Granger, though controversy subsequently erupted regarding the election of Henry Smith as Mayor and Astrilla Gammel as Deputy Mayor of Mabaruma.
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