Gap between coast and hinterland rapidly shrinking – Bharrat

…points to improved hinterland access to education, infrastructure

Long existing gaps between the coastland and the hinterland, whether they be in infrastructure or the provision of critical services, are rapidly shrinking due to the work being done by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government to bridge the divide.
This was according to Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, while addressing residents at Nappi, Region Nine (Upper Takutu/Upper Essequibo), when a team of government officials visited there over the weekend.
According to the Minister, successive PPP/C governments from 1992 to 2015 and from 2020 to present, have been hard at work to bring back hope to both the coast and the hinterland communities. According to Bharrat, the gap between the hinterland and coastland is smaller than ever.
“His excellency and the cabinet have been working very hard to ensure that we bridge the gap between the hinterland and the coastland. And today, we see that gap is narrowing. We see it is much narrow than it used to be in the past.”

The Government has invested over $50 billion in hinterland communities since 2020

“Today we can have healthcare facilities right here in region nine, that is being offered on the coast. Today our children can study and earn a diploma or a degree, right in your own village. With WIFI coming from your own community. That is the kind of accomplishment that we have achieved over the short three and a half years since our President took over. Today, we can boast that we have better healthcare. Better education. Better infrastructure.”
Notwithstanding all of that, Bharrat expressed the view that the greatest achievement of the PPP/C government is that it was able to restore hope in Guyana, from 1992 onwards. He referenced the mass migration of people from Guyana’s shores in the post-independence period under the government of former President LFS Burnham.
“Because I’m sure the senior folk here can recall there was a time when Guyanese lost hope. You lost hope in your own country and the government back then. That is why today, we see that there are so many Guyanese outside of Guyana, more than living in Guyana,” Bharrat further told the crowd.
“And when we look back at the reason why, it is because of the post-independence period, 1966 to 1992, when people lost hope due to rigged elections, poor infrastructure and dictatorship. Our people were running to Venezuela, to Brazil, to Suriname, on the coastland. Many Berbicians from where I came from, they went to the US, they went to Canada.”
Only in February, the government had announced that in a bid to minimize the country’s carbon footprint while addressing energy disparity, they would be procuring 10,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) home systems for use by hinterland households this year.
A total of $95.7 billion was allocated in the 2024 budget for the energy sector. Of this, $4.8 billion was provided to finance several solar power projects across the country. Further, to improve reliability by reducing the voltage drop and network losses, as well as provide access to electricity to over 475 new households, $180 million has been budgeted to upgrade the primary distribution networks at Ituni, Kumaka and Kwakwani.
When it comes to infrastructure, only last year $5 billion had been set aside to be spent across the hinterland regions, with the aim of transforming existing road networks to benefit residents in Regions One, Seven, Eight, and Nine. These initiatives promise improved connectivity and transportation networks across these regions.
And back in December 2022, the Guyana Government had signed a historic multi-year agreement for the sale of certified carbon credits to major US energy company, Hess Corporation to the tune of US$750 million – 15 per cent of which is going directly towards the development of hinterland communities.
The PPP/C Government has been making other, considerable investments in hinterland communities since its return to office in 2020. One such investment is its capital expenditure in hinterland communities, which has crossed the $50 billion mark. (G3)