A TOTAL of $9.7 billion has been set aside in this year’s budget to transform the landscape of Region Three (Essequibo Islands/West Demerara).
The administration has proposed a budget that strikes a balance between catering to the immediate needs of the present and the essential investments necessary for the future, ensuring that both are given appropriate attention. This is done in order to keep its commitments.
Particularly, residents of Region Three should expect a significant improvement in public works, health, and education.
This was according to the Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, on Wednesday, as the National Assembly dissolved into the Committee of Supply for consideration of estimates for Budget 2023.
During the examination of estimates for Region Three, the minister was asked several questions concerning the budget and whether it caters for development.
Dharamlall related numerous works that the government has in store for the region.
Notably, a whopping $259 million was allocated to public works in the region. Key projects the budget caters to are; the construction of bridges at Leonora, Leguan, Uitvlugt, Wakenaam, Crane and Belle Vue.
Moreover, to improve access and living conditions for the residents of Region Three, the construction and rehabilitation of roads in Leonora, De Kinderen, De Willem, Uitvlugt, Stewartville, and Hague will also be on the cards.
With Region Three being dubbed by many as the new hub for development opportunities because of plans in place to establish a gas-to-energy project, works on a US$300 million Vreed-en-Hoop shore base facility, and the two four-lane highways are in the works, it is without a doubt that the region has constantly received tremendous support from the government, including several housing drives hosted under the flagship ‘Dream Realised’ housing initiative.
Meanwhile, as it relates to the education sector, a total of $372 million was budgeted to assist with education delivery. In particular, completing Zeelugt Primary and Hydronie Nursery schools are essential projects to execute.
Moreover, $243.7 million was allocated for health services in Region Three. Projects include the rehabilitation of the health centre at Meten-meer-Zorg, the reconstruction of the health post at Verna Luke and landing at Upper Bonasika, the provision for a ramp and furnace at Aliki Health Post and the upgrading of West Demerara Regional Hospital.
Additionally, funds have also been set aside for the purchase of ambulances.