Differing Daag Point residents break deadlock
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Constituency Nine Representative, Shellon John (left), and the newly- elected Chairman of Daag Point Community Development Council, Michael Singh (right) have decided to work together (Richard Bhainie photo)
Constituency Nine Representative, Shellon John (left), and the newly- elected Chairman of Daag Point Community Development Council, Michael Singh (right) have decided to work together (Richard Bhainie photo)

THE deadlock between residents of Daag Point, Region Seven, which resulted in recent protests, has been broken with representatives agreeing to work together, for the development of the community.

Recently, it was reported in the media that residents of Daag Point took to the streets of Bartica, Region Seven, to protest the installation of an Interim Management Committee.

Lucile King, 85, a resident of Agatash, receiving the first hamper from Local Government and Regional Development Minister, Nigel Dharamlall (Richard Bhainie photo)

During a visit to the community by Local Government and Regional Development Minister, Nigel Dharamlall, on Monday, residents aired their concerns regarding the Interim Management Committee.

Speaking to the Guyana Chronicle, Michael Singh, the newly-elected Chairman of the Daag Point Community Development Council (CDC), explained that elections for the new CDC was conducted on February 14, 2021; however, the elected members were yet to be sworn in.

“The reason for the protest is that the people them want the new body to swear in, the new council, and we don’t want no interim thing,” Singh explained.

Further, Andrea Cumberbatch, a newly-elected assistant secretary/treasurer for the CDC noted that the protest was as a result of residents being misinformed regarding what exactly the IMC is, and objecting to the Constituency Nine

Local Government and Regional Development Minister, Nigel Dharamlall, addressing residents of the community of Agatash

Representative, Shellon John, spearheading the IMC.

Minister Dharamlall explained that the Interim Management Committee was a temporary measure that was implemented to have oversight of the community affairs until an audit of the former CDC was conducted and to prevent any tampering of the audit by the former CDC councillors.

With the audit to be soon completed, the minister informed the residents that the members of the community must consult with Regional Executive Officer (REO), Kerwin Ward, to decide on the way forward, and set a date for the swearing-in of the councillors.

Consequent to the intervention of the minister, an agreement was reached by members of the community that the swearing-in will be held on Wednesday morning.

SATISFIED

“I feel satisfied right now that the minister is here and addressed our issue and I am satisfied with all his comments and I’m pleased,” Singh said.
“I am very happy and I am pleased with the minister and his ruling, and we are grateful for what the minister has done and we are willing to work with the minister,” Cumberbatch told this publication.

Constituency Nine Representative, Shellon John and the newly-elected Chairman of the Daag Point CDC, Michael Singh, pledged their commitment to put aside their differences and to work together for the development of the community.

Residents of the community of Agatash, Region Seven, were also a part of the protest action. When the minister visited the community on Monday, the residents registered similar concerns. An IMC was also implemented in this community, as an audit into the former Agatash Community Development Council is underway as well.

Neil Tracy, a resident of the community told the Guyana Chronicle that the protest was as a result of “misinformation”. He explained that residents were informed that the IMC will be performing the role of the CDC, something that did not sit well with residents.

The residents also took the opportunity to highlight issues that they were facing in the community, which included lack of access to potable water and no electricity in some areas. Minister Dharamlall, in addressing the concerns of the residents, noted that he welcomes protest. He appealed to the residents to protest for the development of their community, such as for better education and healthcare.

It was brought to the minister’s attention that schoolchildren in the community were often faced with difficulty regarding transportation to and from school. In response, he announced that the Government will provide a boat for school children from the community.
During his visits to the communities of Daag Point and Agatash, Minister Dharamlall distributed over 200 hampers to residents there.

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