Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, over the weekend made an extensive visit to the various places of East Berbice-Corentyne in Region Six, including many villages, schools, streets and other places of interest.
During the visit Minister Harmon made donations to the Canje Secondary School and the New Jersey Humanitarian Project, in addition to meeting with a visiting delegation and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana.
Minister Harmon first visited the Canje Secondary School where he donated a sum of money to assist the school in purchasing a Public Address (PA) System. This was in response to a request made by the school’s Parent/Teachers Association for assistance to procure the PA system.
The Minister had challenged them to raise half the cost and his Ministry would match the sum. He was pleased that the group was able to raise the sum within a very short timeframe.
The Minister of State made a second donation, in the form of two computer systems, to the Humanitarian Mission of New Jersey Arya Samaj Incorporated (HMNJAS), to aid in promoting computer literacy among the youths in the area.
The donation was made following a request from President of the HMNJAS, Pandit Suresh Sugrim.
The Minister’s visit to the Region also included a brief meeting with Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Mr. Ivelaw Griffith, as well as a visiting delegation of past students at the University’s Tain Campus.
The delegation visited both campuses, as part of a partnership with the University of Guyana, to aid in the development of the University via donations and other resources. Minister Harmon said that the investment in education is important to the development of Guyana and that the government is grateful that the delegation has partnered with the new administration of the University of Guyana in order to develop its facilities.
The Minister also visited a number of projects which are to benefit from the recent award of $130 million in contracts in several communities. He visited along with community members and contractors from the areas to ensure that the community is fully involved in the projects. Among the areas visited were- High Dam, Caracas, and West Canje, Berbice where the 453 metres, High Dam Road would finally be paved. He also visited Lancaster, Middle Walk Dam and Middle Walk Dam Liverpool; the Independence Arch, Hogstye; Second Street, No 65 Village and Arjune Street, Hampshire. Koker Dam Fyrish North was visited on Saturday morning. The visits were to assess the work to be done in those communities where community meetings were also held.
At those locations, some residents were concerned with obtaining some form of employment from the work that would be done. Minister Harmon agreed that residents should have the benefit of being employed, stating that it was part of the reason for his visit.
Several residents also took the opportunity to air their concerns including the need for recreational centres for children, the installation of street lights, the alleviation of flooding and the prevalence of bandits in some of the areas. The Minister promised to look into all of the concerns in the shortest possible time.
He said that it is important that the residents are involved in what is happening in the communities. He told the contractors to make sure that people from the community are employed. I want to make sure that whatever work is done, there is reflective of community involvement.
Minister Harmon also said that there must be a change in the perception that contractors are all about putting money in their pockets.
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