In a recent interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), Deputy-Chairman of Leguan’s Interim Management Committee (IMC), Albert James, said a lot has been taking place in recent years for the island of Leguan, located in the Essequibo River.
James explained that in 1989, the sea defence structure on the island was in state of disrepair, but the current administration has, over the years, invested in its rehabilitation. This, James said, has been welcomed, as residents and farmers are not as vulnerable to overtopping at high tides as compared to back then.
“Sea defences have been restored and persons were able to return to the rice industry…at present 3721 acres of rice are under cultivation…in 1981 there was only 1500 acres under cultivation,” James said.
He asserted that the current administration must be commended for its efforts which led to a resuscitation of the rice industry, providing for a better standard of living, not only for farmers, but also for residents.
“We have about 60,000 rods of draining length in Leguan…most of the trenches are clean…we will soon get an excavator on the island to ensure these trenches and drainage and irrigation remain…the NDC, with little resources, has been able to provide thus far an effective and efficient service,” James said.
Turning his attention to roads, James indicated that several were recently rehabilitated on the island, such as Enterprise, Blenheim and Waterloo, among others which speaks of significant improvement for the island that gives residents the encouragement to stay and help in the development process.
“Because of this, the standard of living for the people has improved tremendously…there are many people from abroad that are returning and building new homes and rehabilitating old ones…this is so because of the conducive conditions that exist, because of a caring and loving government,” James said.
Two significant road projects which assist farmers and commuters on their daily activities, and were recently rehabilitated are James and Zul streets, which saw government spending $32M, while five other streets have been highlighted for rehabilitation during this year.
Sheik Mohammed Inshan Ayube, resident and councillor, said that he has enjoyed a number of benefits under the current administration and continues to do so.
“A lot of sea defence works has been done…there are ongoing works at Blenheim, which was in a critical situation …very shortly such work will be completed…in Maryville, Leguan, we have a lot of sea defence work that will be completed soon… because of the timely intervention of the government, we were able to feel secure,” Ayube said.
He believes that improved sea defence evokes a lot of confidence in the people to invest in Guyana, which is seen in the types of buildings being constructed currently.
Ayube also indicated that over a number of years, emphasis has been placed on the health and education sectors, which have always received upgrades over the years to ensure quality service is provided on the Island.
“Schools are far better than what we used to enjoy… rehabilitation works are ongoing on the Success and Endeavour primary schools and, the Leguan secondary school…our secondary school is also equipped with a computer laboratory… we cannot help but express our heartfelt thanks to this government for the effort and money that has been spent to enhance education in Leguan,” Ayube said.
He added that testimony to the investments made to the education sector is a student achieving seven Grade Ones at the recently concluded CSEC examinations.
“This is all possible because the environment for education is far better… we have more qualified teachers, the class rooms are better equipped, more text books are available…we cannot help but express our heartfelt thanks,” Ayube said.
Recently the Head of State, along with two of his Cabinet ministers, visited the island, thereby giving residents an opportunity to raise their concerns. It was noted that residents no longer relied on the use of bottle lamps but enjoy electricity and potable water, which obtains in every household.
Early in the year, more than 100 residents of the Region 3 Island benefitted from eye care and VIA services, as a result of a Ministry of Health’s medical outreach held at Leguan’s Cottage Hospital.
While Leguan falls under the Region 3 Administration, as one of its islands, other areas in the region have not been left out of the administration’s development thrust.
Recently, more than 400 families were recipients of laptops under the administration’s One Laptop per Family Programme, which targets improving national literacy levels in the use of Information Communication Technology.
Additionally, in excess of $15B was spent in the region’s housing sector to benefit an untold number of people, who can now boast of the opportunity of owning their own homes, which did not obtain in the past.
Some of the areas that have benefitted from development include Zeelugt North and South, Tuschen North and South, Tuschen Phase One and Two, Parfaite Harmonie, Onderneeming, Uitvlugt, Westminster, Recht Door Zee, Belle West, Plantation One and Two, Anna Catherina, Leonora and Cornelia Ida.
The region enjoys a $639.5M allocation under the Community Roads Improvement Programme (CRIP) which will see a number of community roads, along with the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) offices being rehabilitated and upgraded
The sum of $427M for a new technical Institute and a synthetic athletic track, $110M on a Diagnostic Centre in Leonora, and $293M for a secondary school at Leonora, all form part of government’s development thrust that was established and maintained countrywide over the years.