Govt to construct 1000 houses in Linden – President Ali tells stakeholders

…says jobs will be created to increase disposable income
…hints at training for Region 10 youths in hospitality sector

President Irfaan Ali on Thursday announced the construction of 1000 houses in Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).

President Irfaan Ali and members of his Cabinet during an engagement with youths in Linden

The Head of State made the announcement during a stakeholder consultation with members of Cabinet at Watooka Complex in the mining town.
President Ali, who was accompanied by a number of Government Ministers and State Agency representatives, met with a number of groups and organisations to listen to and address various issues surrounding mining, youth development, logging, farming and housing, among other areas.
The President, in his address, told residents that Government is working along with the Private Sector and the financial institutions to soon make the 1000 homes project a reality.

President Ali addressing stakeholders in Linden on Thursday

“One of the projects which we’re going to embark on very shortly with the Private Sector is the construction of a thousand homes in Linden…and we’re looking as far as possible to get the materials from Linden itself, to get you engaged. So, if you have the lumber yards and the sawmills and the block makers and so on…the Minister of Housing and his team will be coming to engage the young people, women, to see how we can bring people together as a group. If you have masons, if you have carpenters… If you don’t have the capacity, we will try very quickly to train persons also, bring in the technical people, and engage you in the construction of these homes.
That is something that we are working on with the bank and with the Private Sector to commence very shortly here in this Region”, President Ali disclosed.
In response to the issues of squatting and inaccessibility of land, which were outlined as issues plaguing the community by Regional Chairman Deron Adams, the President assured that Government would place focus on the housing sector, to meet the needs of the people.
He also outlined plans to increase the access to land as well as to transform these into assets to raise community value. This, the President noted, will in turn bring economic wealth to the people of the Region.
“The Regional Chairman rightfully pointed out how important housing is. Housing is a critical component in the development of the family. Housing is a critical component in the development of communities”, Ali said.

Job creating
President Ali also indicated that creating employment is critical to the region, and as such, the Government will work to create jobs and to increase disposable incomes.
Ali further stated that Government will ensure that the call centre becomes operationalised and also to work with the telecommunication sector to improve bandwidth in Linden.
In addition, he noted that the Agriculture Ministry will engage farmers to develop a master plan to increase productivity. On this note, he related that the Private Sector has a critical role to play to develop and advance the lives of citizens, as he assured that Government is a friend in development.
“My Government has made it very clear that our only intention is to serve the people of this country, and serve all the people of this country…the people of Region 10 can rest assured that you have a President and a Cabinet and a Government who are ready to fulfill their mandate and commitment in uplifting your lives and making your lives better…,” the Head of State pointed out.
President Ali and his team also met with youths across Region 10, to whom he outlined plans to launch a program for 20,000 online scholarships to assist young people all across the country.

Training for youths
He also spoke of creating an initiative for youths to be trained in the hospitality sector, while noting that there is need to start training for future needs of the country.
On this note, the President encouraged youths to work on projects that will benefit them, their communities and to an extent the country.
Meanwhile, Ali is keen on getting the local stakeholders involved in construction of the 1000 homes project. He noted that the labour and material must be sourced from the region. This, he said, would have a more lasting impact in the community’s development.
The President also promised to encourage Culture, Youth and Sport Minister Charles Ramson Jr to visit and interact with every youth group in Linden, as he made calls for constructive thinking and for youths to be integrated into the vision of the country.
He urged youths to ensure that they work on strong local content, build a master plan, and to think outside of the box. “If you have a product, we can help you to market it”, he said.
Youths also voiced concerns on a number of issues affecting them, and were given opportunity to present solutions.

Multi-purpose facility
Additionally, Minister Ramson, in relating his vision for culture, youth and sport, announced that there will be major expansion for the Mackenzie Sports Club (MSC) Ground within the next 5 years, as well as construction of a multi-purpose facility.
Ramson said the ICT sector would expand over the next few years. He said training, entrepreneurship and education are important components of youth development. The team
also met with members of the region’s agriculture sector, members of religious organisations, members of the Private Sector, and doctors.
Residents also got an opportunity to consult with the President and Cabinet members on issues affecting them.
This was the President’s third outreach since taking office last August. While similar exercises were hosted in Region 6 and Region 2, President Ali said Region 10 is the first region where the entire Cabinet was deployed. The President noted that there will be more consultations in the coming week, as various Ministers will visit communities in the region over the next 10 days to listen to, and address, issues and concern to residents.