Barima/Waini up close
- it's twice as big as Trinidad and Tobago

Guyana Chronicle
June 9, 2001

DID you know that Barima/Waini is 11 per cent the size of Guyana? Region One is about two times bigger than Trinidad and Tobago.

This vast, mostly hilly area has many spectacular sites. A few of these sites are the Kissing Rocks at Mabaruma; Turtle Conservation Site - Almond and Kamwatta Beach; remnants of an ancient civilisation - drains and streets and trees growing in columns as if they once bordered parapets.


- In accordance with the education policy document, the Government is taking the necessary steps towards providing equal access to quality education for all children and youths of Region One. Fifty-nine schools have been constructed/rehabilitated in the region since 1992.

Areas such as Aruka, Barima, Moruca and Santa Rosa are among the numerous districts, which now have more access to schools. The presence of more schools increases children's access to education. In many cases, children no longer have to travel long distances to get to school.

Steps are being taken to ensure that adequately qualified staff manage the education system. Teacher training is easily accessible to the teachers of Region One because of an ongoing teacher training programme - GIBET. This distance education programme, which is run by the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE), started in 1998.

GIBET offers training at Primary and Secondary levels. This facilitates the training of more teachers in Barima/Waini every year. Teachers within this region are no longer obliged to attend CPCE, hundreds of miles away from home, to be trained.

- One of the aims of the administration is to ensure that access, affordability, timeliness and appropriateness of health services is provided to all. More than $24.6M was spent by the Government to construct health facilities throughout Barima/Waini.

Twenty-five hospitals and health huts are currently functional. One of the main hospitals in this area, the Mabaruma Public Hospital was recently rehabilitated at a cost of $5.5M. Areas which now have health huts are Lower Waini, Lower Kaituma and Red Hill, among others.

The construction of numerous health huts is absolutely essential because of the size of this region.

- At least $25.8M has been invested in agricultural development in Region One. Existing drainage and irrigation systems were rehabilitated to promote the development of lands for agricultural purposes.

For instance, revetments were constructed in areas such as Kumaka Water Front and Barima Road End.

The major crops grown in Region One are non-traditional crops; peanuts, citrus and ground provisions. Because of the Government's support the volume of these crops has dramatically increased.

Gross Domestic Product at current factor cost of other crops (in G$ Million)

1998 - $4,478; 1999 - $5,482; 2000 - $6,326

- Under the Project Youth Choice, $3M was allocated to Region One. Sixty-eight projects were completed and some 14,846 people, especially youths, benefited directly. Some of the projects that were completed are the construction of four community centres, three research and computer centres were established and equipped, craft and sewing centres equipped.

In addition, 24 agricultural projects were launched and two joinery workshops were set up and equipped.

These projects have given the youths of Region One avenues for skills development, which will enable them to initiate business ventures. - (Research Unit, Guyana Information Services).