Govt working to reduce transportation costs for Region 8 – President

…says flurry of investments underway

President Dr Irfaan Ali on Monday revealed that there are many investments in the pipeline for Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), geared at sustainability, improved services and fostering economic drive.
He made this announcement during a simple ceremony as the Oath of Office was administered to the Chairman and Vice Chairman of Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) – the final officials that were awaiting their official instruments.

President Ali with new Region Eight Chairman Headley Pio and Vice Chairwoman Claris Francisco

The newly-elected Chairman is Headley Pio while Claris Francisco will serve as his Vice Chairperson at the regional organ. They were not sworn in last year with the other nine regions, owing to challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Ali took the opportunity to note that investments will follow in the various sectors to improve the lives of residents, as well as sustainable efforts to sustain the vast natural resources and promote food security.
“This region will see tremendous investment and improvement in healthcare, education, social services but importantly, we will be working closely to ensure that we build sustainable communities through sustainable livelihood programmes and sustainable employment opportunities. We also want to engage the region in the diversification of its localised economy, with particular attention to food security and agriculture.”
One inhibitor of economic development in the region has always been the air travel expenses to leave and enter the area. President Ali said this is another issue which Government is looking to alleviate.
Dr Ali recognised, “Access to many of the communities within this region is very expensive, it requires air travel and as such, the cost of transportation is an inhibitive factor in terms of regional development. We’re also working to bring ease in the transportation network and ultimately to reduce the costs of transport within the region itself.”
He shared that while the region has the lowest population, it is blessed with an abundance of natural resources that positively impacts the ecosystem, biodiversity and most importantly, the Low Carbon Development Strategy.
“This region, therefore, plays an important part. It is a centrepiece in our national development. I have already announced that our developmental trajectory would be based on an expanded Low Carbon Development Strategy. Therefore, Region Eight will continue to play a critical role in the advancement of this strategy and as a core component of national development,” the Head of State positioned.
The intention has been to expand the LCDS in the areas of biodiversity, water management and other sectors as Government creates a coordinated and efficient mechanism to deal with climate and environment-related issues.
Earlier this year, the Head of State explained to US-based Guyanese Broadcaster, Farook Juman, that opportunities will not be centralised to the city, but rather expanded to all regions. Development will first be concentrated at the community level, to ensure that citizens have improved access to basic services, this will then be connected to a wider regional and national plan—a three-tier system.
Plans surround special emphasis on community needs and ensure that it creates “growth opportunities, or growth hubs within a cluster of communities that can generate employment, create sustainable development at tier one”.
He had said too that regional developmental infrastructure will be linked to national transformative infrastructure. (G12)