President offers solutions to age-old West B'ce problems
Guyana Chronicle
April 20, 2004

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GINA -- RESIDENTS of Lichfield, West Berbice, will forever remember April 17, 2004, as the day when solutions to age-old problems were found and the day when, for the first time, a Head of State under the People's Progressive Party/Civic Administration (PPP/C) visited their village, a fact noted by one villager.

President Bharrat Jagdeo was in Region 5 (Mahaica/Berbice) as he continued a series of cross-country visits to communities, meeting with residents and, where possible, finding immediate solutions to their problems.

It was to a round of applause that the President announced that he would secure funding for a nursery school in the community. Nursery-aged pupils are currently housed in the Primary School building. This situation has led to overcrowding and students are being forced to attend schools outside of their communities. Nursery teachers had requested a separate building some years back.

The President was told that funding for the Nursery School was supposed to have been secured from the second Loan Project of the Social Impact Amelioration Programme (SIMAP). Unfortunately this did not materialize.

Government has given US$17M to SIMAP for community projects. This range of funding should see some 200 projects being executed countrywide.

"If it is for children, you will get that," the President promised the nursery school teachers.

At a request from young Darren Wade, a student of Bush Lot School, the President promised to find the resources to complete a road leading to a play field in the area. One villager who lost his sight was promised assistance to rebuild his home, while others with land issues will also have their problems resolved.

One of the possibilities that will be examined to assist smaller farmers is the establishment of a machinery pool.

At Ithaca, the President gave the commitment to see to the immediate installation of power to a newly constructed community centre. Residents have also been assured of sewing machines and equipment to assist in the training of young people.

Meanwhile, small farmers will soon be able to return to their land. They were forced to abandon their farms due to the lack of fresh water and the inflow of salt water. These problems are expected to be solved in the next two weeks.

And at an unscheduled stop at Zorg-en-Hoop, the President promised that by April 21, his staff will be in the area to discuss residents' electricity problems. Some 150 households are requesting power supply.

In other instances, President Jagdeo undertook to send his Ministers to ensure that solutions to problems affecting some Region 5 residents are found.