President Irfaan Ali on Tuesday announced an investment of $80 million for infrastructure development for Pigeon Island, a community situated on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD).
The Head of State made this announcement while addressing residents during a community outreach.
Finalisation of the regularisation process in Pigeon Island, improving road networks, drainage and irrigation issues were some of the main concerns raised by residents during past outreaches held by the government.
The President announced that the old roads will be rehabilitated while new ones will be constructed. According to the Head of State, advertisements are already out in the newspapers for the construction of the new roads in the area which is currently being regularised. “Those roads maybe asphaltic concrete, these roads, we want to involve you in the development, we want you to take responsibility. So we are going to work in finding the technical skilled people in this community and we are going to design a project in which we will give you a concrete surface road in this community." "The Government, the engineers, and the community will work together, we’ll hire people from right here in your community to be part of the development process," Dr. Ali added.
Technical personnel attached to the Ministries of Housing and Water, Local Government and Regional Development and Public Works have been tasked with designing the concrete resurfacing of the roads within 72 hours. “In about three weeks, the contracts […] the contract for that should be awarded within 3 weeks to 4 weeks’ time, that is separate from the resurfacing." "In addition to that, we have launched a Community Employment Programme...[...] so Minister Dharamlall and the Attorney General will come back to meet with you in this community to work out how many temporary workers we'll have, how we'll bring them under supervision to keep the drain clean and to keep the area clean and well kept," the Head of State posited. President Ali noted that he wants the projects to be completed by the end of this year in this area.
The government through the Ministry of Legal Affairs is also in the process of regularising an area in the community where more than 50 households are squatting. That process is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
However, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall emphasised the importance of cooperation among residents if it has to become a reality.