Pres Ali announces employment opportunities, training, health interventions for Reg 7

– says Bartica to get 2 new mines, call centre

Residents of the mining town of Bartica, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) will soon benefit from training activities to prepare them for full-time employment opportunities along with healthcare interventions.
This was revealed by President Dr Irfaan Ali during a visit to the mining town on Friday.

Residents from communities across Region Seven at Friday’s meeting with
President Dr Irfaan Ali in Bartica

While addressing residents, the Head of State disclosed that two large-scale gold mines were set to come into operation before the end of this year. As a result, he noted that training would be done for full-time employment of more than 700 persons who are needed to work in the mines.
“During the construction phase, we will need approximately 1500 workers and then more than 700 persons [to work in the mines]. I think they’re already in discussion with the Mayor [of Bartica] and in discussion with different stakeholders here and that training programme will start very soon.
“So, these are things that we are working on so that we can expeditiously move towards the operationalising of those large-scale mines and the full-time employment of persons,” the President noted.
He further added that some young people from the area have also suggested the establishment of a call centre in the Cuyuni-Mazaruni region. The Guyanese Leader said while this would be looked into, other factors would have to be taken into consideration such as the availability of labour.
“I’m going to ask the technical staff to look at the feasibility of establishing a call centre, ensuring that we have enough persons to be employed because one of the things is that when we are looking for labour, the labour is in very short supply across our country now,” Ali stated.

Food security
According to the Head of State, his Government is working on an ‘economic plan’ for every region across the country and they want to invest in Cuyuni-Mazaruni’s economy to position the region as a prime producer of goods and services for hinterland development.
To this end, he announced plans to expand honey production in Guyana. In Region Seven, the President said they are going to be supporting various communities to set up between 400 and 500 new hives by the end of this year to add to the country’s honey output.
“We already have a market for that honey production,” he told the residents.
In addition, the Government is also looking to have large-scale citrus farming in Region Seven, and according to Ali, “we have already identified the areas through which we want to expand citrus farming in this region. We’re working now on the expansion of the sweet cassava programme, looking at high-yielding variety so that we can put the land to productive use.”
These are all efforts to aid in Guyana’s food security agenda that the Ali-led Administration has been pushing across the country since coming into office three years ago. In fact, the Head of State disclosed that to date, the Government has expended close to $500 million through the Agriculture Ministry to improve and increase the productive capacity in the Cuyuni-Mazaruni district so that the region could move closer to food sustainability and food security.
In education, he noted that billions of dollars were expended on various initiatives such as the upgrade of school buildings. Another $1 billion for the Because We Care Cash Grant coupled with some $138 million in grants for teachers to access teaching aids and materials have also benefited children in the region.
President Ali also disclosed that the housing and water sector has also racked up a significant bill in the region with the establishment of new housing schemes and other facilities.
“So, if you look at housing and water, agriculture, and education; these three areas alone are $13 billion in investments. If you divide $13 billion by the number of residents living in Region Seven, then you will understand the magnitude of per capita the investment that we’re making here in this region,” the Head of State posited.
He added that another $2.4 billion has been expended on road works across Cuyuni-Mazaruni that have completely transformed areas such as Bartica and another $15 billion to improve municipalities as well as other bodies that fall under the Local Government Ministry while spending on social services such as old age pension have also benefited residents.
“So, we’re going to continue to make these investments to ensure that the people of this region continue to benefit from the investments we’re making,” the President added.

Health interventions
Meanwhile, Ali also highlighted plans to commence work on a new hospital in Bartica.
The Head of State also announced a Health Ministry-led outreach in the mining town next week that will see persons benefiting from the distribution of treated mosquito nets.
Eye tests will also be available for residents and those in need of spectacles will receive vouchers valued $15,000. This Budget 2024 initiative targets pensioners and school-aged children.
In addition, the Ministry will also facilitate persons who require eye surgeries to go to the National Ophthalmology Hospital in Port Mourant, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).
Another intervention that President Ali announced on Friday is the fast-tracking of operations for women on the waiting list to have fibroid surgery. Next week’s outreach will also see female residents between the ages of 21 and 65 receiving an $8000 voucher to get screened for cervical cancer.
Apart from these interventions, President Ali also addressed several issues and concerns raised by residents from Bartica and surrounding communities in Region Seven. (G8)