Amidst recognition of the necessity for continued improvements, there is much evidence to confirm a transformation of Region 10 took place under the PPPC Government, from the sad deteriorated state it had become under the PNC leading up to 1992. Once one of Guyana’s most thriving regions and economic drivers for its bauxite production, a gradual degradation took place over decades of PNC mismanagement of this key industry; and their role in stifling developmental opportunities while in control of the Region for over 50 years.
The PPP/C inherited Region 10 as in most of the country, as failed region devoid of economic viability, so much that former President Hugh Desmond Hoyte had signalled his intentions to sell the State-controlled bauxite industry and its appendages as scrap. Many Lindeners and citizens residing in the Region were to move to other regions or become collateral damage, as there was no financial support to advance the alternative diversification into Agriculture. There was loss of jobs and massive retrenchments taking place; together with attenuating social, education and health standards, which the PNC dignified with continued false promises to residents.
It was a time of one of the greatest threats to the citizens and test of the incoming government who took decisions to subsidize and re-engineer the industry in the interest of thousands of residing residents and the Country at large. Incrementally over the years, the PPPC Administration transformed Region 10 into a Region where our people standard of living developed many folds and a bright future was in the making.
Although one would argue and many believe that the PPPC should have done much more, it is of note that the Administration took over the country, with no money in the treasury and was highly indebted with over 94% of revenue had to service the debt created by the PNC Administration. There were also many accompanying setbacks, which they had to manage, but the PPPC did so in improving the standard of living in Region 10 over the period. I take this opportunity to highlight some of the developments that took place under the PPP/C during the period 1993 to 2015.
In the health sector, the PPP/C built and rehabilitated several hospitals, Health Centers and Huts across the region in an effort to complement the access of citizens to medical care. Standout achievements in this respect include:
1. A new ($1.8 billion) State-of-the-Art Hospital at Mc Kenzie, replacing the old hospital built by DEMBA.
2. A New Hospital at Ituni
3. Complete rehabilitation of the Kwakwani Hospital (formerly built by (Reynolds).
4. Built several new Health Centers in the Berbice and Demerara River.
5. Built Health ‘Huts” all over the interior areas of the Regions in the interest of our Amerindians brothers and sisters were delighted with the development of health facilities in their communities.
6. Provided sustained supported opportunities for our young people to study medicine and gain employment as nurses and health aids for which many are indeed thankful.
In 1992, almost all our schools in our country were in a dilapidated state with leaking roofs, broken windows, and unsafe steps and floors. The PPP/C advanced the development interest of youths and citizens in Region 10 by building, rehabilitating and supporting several educational intuitions including:
1. A New State-of-the-Art Linden Foundation Secondary School, which is comparatively the best resource-wise, in the Caribbean.
2. New Secondary schools at Wisroc ($350 Million); One Mile; Kwakwani along with a State-of-the-Art Student Dormitory.
3. New Primary schools at Watooka (formerly built by DEMBA; the New St. Aidan’s Primary school; at Mackenzie; Ituni; Coomacka, Muritaro, Malali, Great Falls, 47 and 58 Miles, Rockstone and Anarika and at River View.
Rehabilitating and or expanding:
4. The Mackenzie High School,
5. The Wisburg Multilateral Secondary School.
6. Most other schools in the Region. Today, most of the schools need repairs and the APNU/AFC is not doing much to maintain the schools.
INFORMATION COMMUNICATION INFORMATION:-
The PPP/C built the first-ever Call Center in Linden at which over 100 young people from the region gained employment. It is very sad that the jealous APNU/AFC closed this center down in 2015.
In an effort to address some of the dust issues and development requirements in the Linden community, the PPP/C resurfaced several roads; and asphalt-covered the Burnham Drive public road right down to the Christianburg Burial Ground while also constructing a vehicle parking area. In addition, the new Winifred Gaskin Highway was constructed and built a brand new road through Canvas City. The PPP/C also over the years expended millions of dollars on into community roads network and continued to maintain the Linden to Kwakwani roadway over the period.
The nation has witnessed the massive housing drive at Amelia’s ward phases 1, 2 and 3; at Block #22 Wismar, and at other areas in the region, where over 2500 house lots were developed and issued with massive road networks. The development approach addressed much of the Housing needs of the region and remains incomparable to any initiative of housing ownership and distribution of house lots to the residents under the PNC Administration or any other period in the history of region 10. Complementing this massive housing drive was the construction of:
1. A brand new Fire Station at Mackenzie.
2. A brand new Court House at Wismar.
3. Two new Police outposts at Amelia’s Ward and Wisroc.
4. * Rehabilitation of the Charles Roza Training Center
5. *Rehabilitation and Expansion of the Technical Training Complex.
Built two new Water Treatment Plants – ($1.7 billion) at Wisroc & Amelia’s Ward.
In 1992, PPP/C inherited an agreement entered into between the departed PNC Administration and the multilateral financial institutions (MFIS) which funded and placed an International Mining Company (MINPROC) to manage The Linden Bauxite Company (LINMINE). MINPROC’s purpose was to determine and demonstrate whether Linmine could be profitable, and if not, the company would have been closed by the then PNC Administration. Although MINPROC declared that it could not see way to make the then operations profitable, the PPP/C did not close the industry because of the unthinkable hardships that would have overwhelmed the citizens. Instead, they injected over US$5m every year to keep the Company in operation until a partner in OMAI was brought on board to invest and manage operations, providing jobs for hundreds of persons in the region.
Other investors were encouraged to come including BOSAI who is still here keeping the operations going. With the privatization of LINMINE, the PPP/C Government had find G$2.5 Billion Dollars to pay off the workers. It may be recalled that during the downside in the Bauxite workforce, the PPPC had introduced the LEAP programme providing over G$700 Million in loans for alternative projects, to persons in the Region.
Other projects done under the LEAP programme included the building of the Benjamin Center, Rehabilitation of the Mackenzie car park, enhancement of the greater Mackenzie waterfront, and many more. When an assessment of the per capita investment by the PPPC Government in Linden, it would have resulted in more money spent in this highly populated PNC supported region area than in any PPP populated area in Guyana.
Further, the PPP/C Government employed 400 community D&I workers from the region to work 4 days at 4hour/ week to maintain their community.
Over $22 Billion were spent in electricity subsides in Linden/Ituni and about $800 million in Kwakwani, over the period. In addition, the PPPC installed solar electricity in the entire Amerindian villages in Region 10.
The PPPC spent over $200 million on the agriculture roadway at West Watooka and Moblissa. Further, a total of over $3.2 billion was allocated to the Regional Democratic Council for capital projects over the period, which was spent on small projects such as the health centres and the rehabilitation of bridges, etc. The PPP/C also introduced the Women of worth (WOW) project. The PPPC developed this programme to help single parents in 2013 and over 44 loans were issued.
The foregoing brings into perspective some of the interventions made under the PPPC and although there are many who have attempted to underscore these programmes, they represent factual positions that the naysayers should not attempt to discredit.
Previous PPPC governments did not leave Region 10 behind and the massive developmental programmes will continue under a newly elected PPPC administration.
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