–as President, team wrap up two-day outreach to Region Six
A TEAM led by President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, was able to resolve hundreds of issues and engage over 2,200 persons during a two-day outreach to Region Six.
Over 16 ministries and agencies were represented at the event, where citizens were elated to see that they were able to not only bring up issues they were facing, but also have one-on-one meetings with the President, and ultimately have their concerns resolved by the highest office.
“When our President can come and meet the people, this is something very new. This has nothing to do with politics, this has to do with the care and compassion that he has and we are very grateful for all the help that he has given,” commented farmer, Edwin Abdullah, who had come out to the event to discuss a drainage problem he was having with his fish farm.
Able to get his issue resolved on the spot, Abdullah described the event as bringing a very positive aura to the Berbice area.
“For many people, you could see the cheerfulness, and the happiness on their faces. Many who I spoke with who had issues were surprised to see the quickness with which their issues were dealt with. All in all, when you look around here you could see that this is a festive atmosphere, it is a good time for Guyana,” he related.
For his part, the Head of State expressed how glad he was to be able to be there to assist the people of the region.
“It was our greatest honour and pride to be with you, serve you, listen to you, interact with you,” Dr. Ali said at a press conference held on Friday afternoon to discuss some of the outcomes of the event.
The President commended the ministries and agencies for their remarkable accomplishment of working almost continuously throughout the 48-hour period.
“I want to compliment the team from the various agencies, and departments, the Regional Democratic Council (RDC), and the private sector officials also. They worked with us in ensuring we were as productive as possible over last two days. The work is still going on, it’s not over by any means,” President Ali said.
The outreach, which is the first of a countrywide effort that will touch every region across the country, is geared towards taking the services of the Office of the President and other government ministries and agencies directly to the people.
Agencies present at the event included the Ministries of Housing and Water, Human Services and Social Security, Agriculture, Education, Local Government and Regional Development, and the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest), the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Guyana Power and Light (GPL), Guyana Water Inc., Guyana Registration Office (GRO), the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), the and Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC), Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) as well as the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) and other regional departments.
GOAL saw more than 160 new applications, and also shared out a number of tablets to students to assist them with their studies. The part-time job creation has also had a tremendous impact on the region.
At GRO, over 70 applications for birth, death, marriage certificates and late birth registrations were done at the event.
The President sang praises to the Ministry of Agriculture and its agencies, the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) in particular, which was very active in getting on the ground to fix issues as they were brought up.
The President was impressed with the remarkable youth participation in the development of the region.
“There is great activism among the young people, a great sense of pride; a sense of things happening and there is an optimism in the region. There is tremendous energy in the region,” the President said.
Aside from meeting with the individual residents, there was a Business Forum, during which the Head of Guyana Office for Invest (GoInvest), Dr. Peter Ramsaroop, and National Security Adviser, Captain Gerry Gouveia met with representatives from the region’s private sector.
The forum was attended by over 90 private sector persons, many of whom were young business persons.
“It was an interactive session on how we can help support them, and integrate our work,” the President said.
ISSUES OF CONCERN
However, though a number of positives came out of the outreach there were also some issues of concern which were highlighted throughout the event.
“More than 75 per cent of the persons with issues were women and one of the things that struck me was that a very high percentage, more than 90 per cent of the women are single parents. That is something that needs specific attention. This is something we need to take into the planning framework and work that we are doing,” President Ali said.
The outreach also identified gaps in the delivery of health services in the region, where the President pledged that there will be improvements.
According to the President, although he heard many stories of improvements in many sectors, there still exists some of challenges which need to be addressed.
The Ministry of Housing had a massive flow of interactions as it regards housing needs as well as issues with the processing of titles and transports for land. Over 200 titles and transports were processed.
Following closely behind housing with a lot of complaints and concerns were the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and Human Services.
The NIS saw almost 200 cases, of which 40 per cent were already resolved during the outreach, while another 20 per cent was in process of being resolved and the remainder are under follow-up action to be resolved.