The gold mining township of Bartica, considered the gateway to the interior, is set to become Guyana’s seventh town in less than one year from now.
The date set by President David Granger is April 23, 2016.
He made the announcement on Sunday, June 21, 2015 at a public meeting held at the Bartica Secondary School. “I made a promise when I was campaigning and I promised that Bartica will become a town before the 26 May, 2016, the 50th Independence anniversary, in fact Bartica will be a town on the 23rd April 2016,” he was quoted as saying by the Government Information Agency (GINA).
Granger said his decision was in keeping with Ordnance made by the British government 178 years ago when Guyana was still a British colony. Speaking to the significance of the date set, the President told the gathering that it was on April 23, 178 years ago that the ordinance was made by the colonial government and his government will make that ordinance into a reality.
Guyana’s other towns are Georgetown, Linden, New Amsterdam, Rose Hall, Corriverton and Anna Regina Town
Speculating that April 23 may coincide with the Easter Regatta celebration, the President called on all to come out and celebrate the township and show solidarity for the community moving forward.
However, moving forward the President charged the residents to make the necessary preparation for township status as he called on them to make Bartica the “first green town”.
“I would like you to use the next ten months to make Bartica the most beautiful town in the entire country. There are economic reasons, there are health reasons for that, there are political, social and cultural reasons for that.”
President Granger pointed out that making Bartica a “green town” is important so that when persons visit everything should reflect Guyana’s pristine hinterland region.
“…By a green town I mean that you must look at your energy, stop bringing in diesel and gasoline, let us use wind and sun power…but we have to adopt green energy and Bartica must be Guyana’s first green town.”
To this end, the President said the use of Styrofoam and plastic must be minimised while much attention should be given to proper solid waste disposal.
“Let us ensure that energy generation is sustainable, let us ensure that our schools, our hospitals, our clinics, and our homes use green energy, sustainable renewable green energy from sunlight, from the wind.”
It is also important too that children are brought up learning how to properly dispose of waste and how to utilise the good things that are produced locally, in an effort to minimise the importation of commodities including plastic.
“So by being a green economy Bartica will renew itself, sustain itself, and not damage the environment as I see happening now.” Speaking of some of the adverse effects on the environment by human practices, the President pointed out that there still remains the issue of “predatory and rapacious attitude to the exploitation of our resources.”
Pointing to the fact these resources are not renewable, the Head of State said it is therefore important for citizens to start thinking of a sustainable economy. In so doing, the President challenged the residents to let reforestation and lesser use of harmful chemicals be foremost as they continue to ply their trades.
Meanwhile the residents were also encouraged to get involved in cleaning up their surroundings and beautifying the environs as they prepare for township status.
The Head of State said a collective effort would be needed to bring Bartica to what it should be as a town in every aspect.
Also at the meeting, residents were afforded the opportunity to raise some of their concerns which includes the urgent need for a proper waste disposal site and the delay of the requisite permit for a crematorium.
Residents of Karrau raised some concern over land distribution in the village and called for a thorough investigation and audit into the Village Council activities.
The President gave this undertaking and noted that several other Amerindian villages have been calling for same.
Minister of Public Health, Dr. George Norton and Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection Simona Broomes were also present at the meeting.