The Regional Democratic Council on Tuesday presented five boats along with engines to the Health and Education Sectors on the Essequibo Coast.
The boats were each equipped with a 15HP Yamaha outboard engine. The boats and engines were included in last year’s budget, as part of an effort to improve the services of the aforementioned sectors on the Essequibo Coast and lower Pomeroon.
Three of the boats – allocated to Health – would serve in Hackney, Karawab and a soon to be opened health centre at Marlborough. The other two – for the Education Sector – would serve Dredge Creek and the Bethany/ Good Hope area.
Regional Executive Officer Deryck Persaud said that the Region was thrilled to present the items, since the Region is aiming to improve significantly on services and deliveries.
“These boats and engines were all budgeted for last year, however today we get to hand them over to the Health and Education Sectors. We hope that persons make good use of them… and use them for the purposes intended, that is, to deliver better health and education.”
Persaud revealed that the boats along with their engines cost in excess of five million dollars. He added, “We also recognize that in the health and education sector, we’re not where we projected to be. Year after year the region has been trying to improve on services and deliveries. As such, we hope you take very good care of the boats. If you notice a malfunction, make the necessary report, so we can make the necessary intervention.”
District Education Officer Deodat Singh is confident that access to Education will be improved by means of the two boats.
“I know for a fact that we would have great improvement in attendance and performance in general. Most of you are aware that riverain and lake schools are our most vulnerable schools, in that they bring our percentage down. The cries of our children were heard by our administration. When we visit these schools we see lots of absenteeism. By having these boats, I am positive that these would have better attendance.”
Singh said that the children of Good Hope Creek were in urgent need of a boat.
“As of recent, the children from Good Hope Creek hadn’t access to school; a teacher had to use her personal boat to get the kids to school. Her boat subsequently broke down. In Dredge Creek, the parents said they cannot afford to send their kids to school, so yes, I am confident that these boats would make schooling easier for students.”
Some recipients of the Pomeroon, however, were not satisfied that the RDC took such a prolonged period to hand over the boats. “These boats are too small, I don’t think these boats are ready to face the Pomeroon, we fear the engine may drop off while travelling, because the Pomeroon River is one with scores of obstruction.” Others however expressed a measure of satisfaction saying, “Something is better than nothing.”
Regional Health Officer Afarah Khan, reminded nurses that the boat and engine is to improve the quality of service of the community.
“As for the health sector, we are expected to deliver. There need to be more home visits now that we have these three boats. Emergency referrals must also operate in a timely manner so as to prevent maternal death.”
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