Last Updated on Saturday, 26 December 2015, 20:59 by GxMediaThe National Assembly Monday evening approved a sum total of $1.461B for administrative Region Nine; Upper Takutu/Upper Essequibo to realise various development schemes in the region under the programme heads; regional administration and finance, agriculture, public works, education delivery and health services.
The allocation provides for undertaking the programmes and policies in regional administration through the sum of $117.830M. For agriculture, $42.457M will be spent, in public works; $271.547M, education delivery; $765.209M and health services $264.371M.
The provision under regional administration will see $5M being made available to provide for the construction of a conference room and sanitary block at the Amerindian Hostel. Following an inquiry from APNU Member, Africo Selman, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Norman Whittaker clarified that the intervention of the conference room targets improving the lighting system at the cost of $1M. He said that the sanitary block will be three units, 16x26x9 and it will cost $4M. Also under regional administration, $1M will be used to purchase bicycles and $2.1M for the purchase of a boat and engine.
Minister Whittaker said that 25 ft boat will be for Sand Creek and the engine, a 15HP, will be used at the Rupununi village crossing to transport children, education and health supplies. The Minister was providing a response to Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Sydney Allicock, who hails from Region Nine.
Meanwhile an allocation of $18.454M under the agriculture programme covers provision for abattoir, sheds, fences, laboratory, furniture and equipment. It was clarified that upgrade would be brought to the Lethem abattoir, the nursery sheds and fences will be constructed at Sand Creek and Aishalton and the veterinary laboratory at St Ignatius will be rehabilitated. The provision also covers the purchase of microscopes, stereoscopes, centrifuges, sterilisers, measuring cylinders, and weight sets among others.
During the consideration of the budgeted amount for public works, Minister Whittaker was asked to explain that of a provision of $36M that provide for the construction of bridges. These structures will be built are Pai Pang, Baishaidrun, Awarewanau and Chiliwau and will be wooden and concrete, the Minister said.
Minister Whittaker also explained a $65M that that is earmarked for roads. The House was told that the allocation targets five different areas and will benefit close to 300 metres of roads. The areas targeted for the intervention include such as Lethem, Potarinau, Katoonarib to Sawariwau, Aishalton to Awarewanau and Awarewanau to Marunanau. The intervention in Lethem will see at total of $49M out of the $65M being expend and the roads will be brought to asphaltic. The remaining roads will be brought from sand tracks up to laterite, Minister Whittaker said.
Also under public works, $27.5M has been set aside for the construction of culvert at Karaudaranau Potarinau and Hiawa, $9M for the purchase of a tractor and trailer, $6 M for the provision of solar panel and $19.1M for the provision of wells, trestles, solar panel pumps and accessories for Jawari, Curicock, Yakarinta and Cracrana; the upgrading of water distribution system at Crash Water and Rewa.
Minister Whittaker responding to inquiry said that the tractor and trailer will be used by the public and work department in the region to transport material from Central Rupununi to outlying areas. He said too that the solar panels were for the Annai nurses’ quarter, Aishalton nurses’ hostel, the Sand Creek Doctor’s quarter and Lethem Port Complex to improve lighting and security.
Meanwhile under the Education programme, $62M will cover interventions such as the completion of the teachers’ quarters at Sand Creek School, the extension of St. Ignatius and Yupukari primary schools, the construction of teachers’ quarters at Moco Moco and Toka and the construction of sanitary blocks at Nappi, Annai, St Ignatius, Hiawa, Wowetta and Yupukari Primary and Sand Creek Nursery Schools. A sum total of $15.212M will be used to purchase furniture and equipment for schools.
In Health, $23.5M will provide for completion and construction of several health facilities and sanitary blocks. The incinerator at Lethem Hospital will be completed, and there will be, as well, the construction of a maternity waiting home at Lethem for high risk mothers and sanitary blocks at Annai, Nappi and Karaudaranau.
The sum of $12.625M will be used to purchase health furniture and equipment and $3M to purchase six motorcycles (125CC) to be used by Community Health Workers (CHWs,) Minister Whittaker said. The CHWs in Rupunau, Potarinau and Massara are to benefit, he said.