500 homes to be built in Bartica – President Ali

…teachers, nurses among residents to benefit

Teachers and nurses will be among hundreds of residents from Bartica and surrounding communities in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) who will benefit from the construction of some 500 homes.
President Dr Irfaan Ali made this announcement on Wednesday during a visit to the mining town, where he held a public outreach with some Cabinet members, including Housing Minister Collin Croal.
Prior to the meeting held at the Bartica Community Centre, the Head of State stopped at several schools and health facilities where he met with teachers and nurses as well as students.

President Dr Irfaan Ali with teachers and students during his visit to Bartica, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) on Wednesday

During those engagements, President Ali disclosed that a common request made by teachers and nurses was to be part of the Government’s housing programme.
“We have just gotten 120 acres of land and we are going to be working with the people in Bartica – the skilled men and women in Bartica – the small contractors in Bartica and Region Seven.
“The skilled contractors in Region Seven, very soon – before the end of August – the Minister [of Housing] is going to come to meet to you, because we want to use that 120 acres of land to build at least 500 homes here,” he declared.
The Head of State pointed out that this initiative would have tremendous spin-off benefits for the community in a number of areas.
“That will not only deliver housing, [but] that would create tremendous opportunities in the value chain for hardware, skilled labour, transportation services. All of this would be created with this one product,” the President stated.
Meanwhile, during an interaction with residents, several leaders from various Indigenous communities in the region requested that housing programmes be extended to their villages as well. These calls were made by the Toshaos of Batavia and Karau, among others.
In committing to have this done, President Ali disclosed that during his time as Housing Minister he had attempted to introduce housing programmes in hinterland communities.
Nevertheless, the Head of State lauded the fact that Indigenous communities were now moving in this direction and was particularly pleased that they were even looking to tap into opportunities from this initiative.
It was the Toshao of Karau, Shane Cornelius, who related that not only did his village request low-income houses from the Ministry but also for the village-owned sawmill to be part of that programme.
“So, we could partner with Government to provide this housing in Karau. As you know, Indigenous peoples are one of the most poverty-stricken in the country and so we are asking to be equal with the coast in terms of the housing programme,” the Toshao stated.
In response, President Ali said: “I love the idea of using your local sawmill for the low-income houses not only for your community, but let’s have a conversation on how you can support other communities as well.”

Meanwhile, upon his arrival at the Bartica Community Centre, the Guyanese Leader was greeted by scores of students and teachers who gathered to welcome him.
During brief remarks, President Ali lauded the work teachers have been doing not only in Bartica but across the country. He reassured attendees that his administration would continue to work towards enhancing their lives through a number of programmes and initiatives.
“I want to assure teachers that I’m also going to work hard to ensure your lives improve – the conditions under which you serve the children of this country and our country will also improve,” the Head of State noted.
He further underscored the importance of having each teacher in the public system trained – a programme being undertaken by the Education Ministry – and the benefits it would bring to them not only in improving their delivery of education but also improving their benefits, such as higher pay.
Turning his attention to the children, President Ali said that the love and warmth shown to him would inspire and motivate him to work even harder and make all investments necessary for their improvement and better future.
These include upgrades and expansion to schools as well as the provision of equipment such as computers. These initiatives will go towards benefitting schools such as Precious Gems Nursery, St John Baptiste Nursery, Future Builders Nursery, Bartica Secondary, and Two-Mile Secondary. (G8)