The opposition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has promised to push for Bartica to be designated a town and for a number of ills like poor waste disposal to be addressed.
Already, the area is often described as a gold mining township where business has been booming largely due to a spike in the price for the precious yellow metal.
APNU Chairman, David Granger told residents of Bartica and several areas at a town hall meeting at the St. John’s Anglican School that his coalition would like to see that community become Guyana’s seventh town.
Authorities have also identified the need for Lethem near the Guyana-Brazil border to be designated a town. The other towns are Georgetown, Linden, New Amsterdam, Rose Hall, Corriverton and Anna Regina.
“Brigadier Granger said that APNU would use whatever clout it has in the National Assembly to make Bartica a Town,” APNU said in a statement about the Town Hall meeting that was held on Sunday, March 30.
Brigadier Granger’s remarks focused on the need for Local Government elections and the neglect of Bartica and the Cuyuni-Mazaruni by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic Administration. He said that local elections were needed in order to give residents the power to run their own communities. The Opposition Leader said that the poor roads, problems of solid waste disposal and inadequate water and light plaguing Bartica was a direct result of the PPP/C’s domination and mismanagement of the Local Government system. Brigadier Granger said that Bartica was one of the oldest communities in the nation and deserves to be a Township/Municipality.
Granger was among eight APNU parliamentarians who participated in this exercise. The APNU Members of Parliament along with regional leaders and supporters of the Partnership fanned out into the community going door to door informing residents about APNU’s position on several matters of national and local interest. The door-to-door exercise was followed by a Town Hall meeting at the St John’s Anglican School, Bartica. The meeting was addressed by Mr. Joseph Harmon, MP and APNU Shadow Minister for Public Works; and Opposition Leader, Hon. Brigadier David Granger. The APNU leaders addressed a packed hall that included residents from Bartica, Rivers View, Batavia, Kartabo and Dogg Point.
In Mr. Harmon’s address, he gave the residents an explanation of what constitutes money laundering and APNU’s work in the Special Select Committee and the Partnership position regarding the amendments to the current legislation. Mr. Harmon said that APNU was committed to ensuring that Guyana not only have strong enforceable Anti-Money Laundering laws, but was working to ensure the autonomous governance of the critical agencies responsible for ensuring the effective efforts to combat the national scourge of Money Laundering surrounding the new legislation was effective and enforceable. He told his audience that the PPP/C has neglected the hinterland regions of Guyana and made special reference to Regions 1, 7, 8 and 9.
During a very lively question and answer segment, the questions from the audience were incisive and covered several areas of concern to residents including: Trafficking in persons; poor transportation and security; inadequate electricity and water supply; the lack of vocational and technical education in the region – the immediate need for a Technical Institute at Bartica; the domination of mining areas within the region by Foreign Nationals (who push out the locals, depriving them of a livelihood); illegal drug use; and the PPP/C’s non consultation with the residents on the proposed road from Parika to Goshen.
Brigadier Granger said that APNU was committed to the Cuyuni-Mazaruni region and urged residents to get registered in preparation for upcoming elections. He further urged residents to develop the agriculture potential of the region to provide cheap and abundant food and engage in agro-processing; thus developing a rich and diverse regional economy.
The APNU team included; Ms. Amna Ally, MP; Ms. Volda Lawrence, MP; Dr. George Norton, MP; Mr. Joseph Harmon, MP; Ms. Dawn Hastings, MP; Ms. Annette Ferguson, MP; Ms. Renitta Williams, MP; Mr. James Bond, MP; and Regional Chairman, Mr. Gordon Bradford.