…Min Bulkan tells Region Three at National Day of Villages
MINISTER of Communities Ronald Bulkan reminded residents that they have important roles to play in the development of their villages, as he delivered the feature address at the third annual National Day of Villages, hosted by the Region Three Regional Administration on Wednesday at the Hydronie Market Square, East Bank Essequibo.
The day saw a number of cultural performances in the form of dance, songs and poetry to commemorate the day which is celebrated to promote togetherness and a sense of belonging among people.
“National Day of Villages provides a great opportunity for villages to reflect not only on [the] history of our respective villages, but to recommit ourselves to its continuous development and ultimately the development of our beloved country,” Bulkan said to the gathering, which included a number of students from schools within the Region.
“We believe in people’s empowerment and development from the grassroots level, the level of our villages. The rate of our development as a country is dependent on the rate that the 10 regions, 10 towns and 70 Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) develop, hence, our work to strengthen the capabilities of local organs to deliver effective services.”
Bulkan emphasised that because of this mandate, it is even more important for residents to ensure that they go out and vote at the upcoming Local Government Elections slated for next Monday, November 12.
“Each village must do its bit, therefore Guyanese will be given a historic opportunity to directly contribute to the development of their towns and villages next Monday, thanks to this administration. Residents are now empowered to manage their own affairs. Residents are now the ones making the rules and regulating their own affairs,” Bulkan said.
National Day of Villages is an initiative pioneered by President David Granger in 2016. The day is celebrated every year on November 7.
The November date was chosen, since it coincided with the date that the first village was established when newly freed Africans in Guyana started the Village Movement. The first village was Plantation North Brook, now called Victoria.
Other villages were established in this same way, such as Buxton and Friendship on the East Coast of Demerara; Lichfield, Golden Grove, St. John and Providence in West Berbice, and Queenstown and Williamstown in Essequibo.
“This administration is working towards stimulating the village economy. It is our intention to create a more enabling environment for self-sufficient communities through the promotion of local economic activities,” Bulkan noted. “In collaboration with local organs, several local area economic profiles have been crafted. This provides a mapping of the economic potential and resources of those areas.”
Also making remarks at the event was Geeta Chandan-Edmond, who spoke on behalf of Minister of State Joseph Harmon, who could not make it to the event. “The village economy remains critical to the national movement. It is important that we use every opportunity to celebrate and recognise our diversity. Today’s activity indicates a healthy development that promotes a good model for other regions to follow,” she said.