Millions in developmental works planned for Victoria

– village to get farm access, community roads & heavy-duty equipment

By Jarryl Bryan

A number of Cabinet Ministers visited the community of Victoria on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) on Saturday in a ministerial outreach which saw scores of residents both hear about the development plans for the community, as well as to vent their concerns.

Prime Minister Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips

The outreach was led by Prime Minister, Brigadier (retired) Mark Phillips, who informed the residents that the Cabinet’s presence in the community is a testament to the People’s Progressive Party/Civic’s (PPP/C) people-centred approach to Government. He also informed them of the road works that will shortly commence in their community.
“Four roads will be done in Victoria. Third Street, Young Street, Green Field East to West… the Railway Embankment. And we have the East to West bridge on Moravian Street. Those are the lists that we have here but this list is not finite. And that’s why we’re here. We’re going to listen to you and extend this list.”

Local Government and Regional Development Minister Nigel Dharamlall

“This Guyana that we’re working on, another ten years, it’s not going to be as it is now. It’s going to be far more developed. As long as we are in Government, our development will be people-centred. It’s all about improving the lives and livelihood of the people,” the Prime Minister further said.
The people-centred approach of the Government was reinforced by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, who pointed to the PPP/C’s governance style, ditching air-conditioned offices to reach the people directly. And he also told them about the Government’s plans for the ECD.
“We have about five new housing schemes emerging right here on the ECD and two water treatment plants being constructed here…. I say that to say to you that the East Coast is part and parcel of the developmental agenda of our country. And we plan to interact with you directly as a Government, as we try to equip you and make you part of the transformational changes,” Minister Nandlall said.
He further urged them to equip themselves to take advantage of new and emerging sectors in the country. According to Nandlall, while the community is full of raw talent in various trades, certification is important.
“You have to educate yourself… to equip you to work in these new and emerging sectors. At the industrial complex, for example, we will need all types of technicians. And we would like them to come from the East Coast, but at this advanced age, you will not get employment without certification…. We need you to be qualified, and that is why we are encouraging you to join these programmes,” the Attorney General expressed.

Equipment & farming
Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall spoke of the Government’s plan to not only build roads but also listen to the community’s concerns and take appropriate action.

Attorney General Anil Nandlall during the outreach

Dharamlall said that over the next few months, some $60 million will be spent on community development. Additionally, he revealed that a new tractor and trailer, at a cost of $6 million, has been procured for the community to aid in garbage clean-up and to help farmers transport their produce. Approval has also been given for a mini excavator for the NDC area.
“We’re doing quite a lot of road construction. We’ve developed a [network] of roads across the country. And we have a list of many roads that we’re doing within the NDC area. We also have quite a number of programmes specifically for Victoria, during the course of this year. And I hope during the engagement, we’ll be able to make some commitments specifically for what the residents raise.”
“We’re also spending, over the next three or four months, nearly $60 million within this community alone, for community infrastructure. We have quite a few bridges we’re going to be building. We have some maintenance work on community infrastructure. And beyond that, we’ll be able to work with you to provide greater support,” Dharamlall said.
In the area of agriculture, Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha spoke of the help the Government has been giving and will further give to the people of Victoria. According to him, unlocking the village’s agricultural potential is important for the Government.

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha

“When I became Minister of Agriculture, I was in this community here for the first time. And farmers would have requested a number of projects. And to date, we have desilted all the major canals and infrastructure in this community. We have worked with the farmers and we have ensured that they are going back to the land.”
He explained that for 2023, the Government will work to fulfil requests made by the community including for an all-weather road. This road has been approved and according to Mustapha, the tender is out for the all-weather road that will allow them to access their farmlands.
Other Ministers who attended the outreach included Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony, Minister of Social Protection Dr Vindhya Persaud, Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Oneidge Walrond; Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Charles Ramson Jr; Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water Susan Rodrigues and Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Kwame McCoy.