- The president hosts successful meetings in the region.
President Irfaan Ali has been visiting riverine and hinterland communities across the country to meet with citizens and hear their concerns and about the challenges facing them with a focus on ensuring that solutions are provided.
Two of his recent visits were to Orealla and Siparuta in Region Six on Saturday where he hosted successful meetings during which commitments were made to provide the necessary support to the residents while some issues were addressed on the spot.
President Ali's first stop was at Orealla. There issues such as the need for residents of Orealla to also benefit from the Government housing initiative, upgrades to the playfield in the area, support for the fishermen’s co-op, and the need to have a secondary school built in Orealla were some of the key concerns highlighted.
Similar issues were also raised in Siparuta. However, residents complained about the situation at the Amerindian Hostel at Corriverton and the way some residents are being treated at the facility along with transportation for residents to take their goods to and from the village.
Among the interventions that were disclosed by President Ali to the people of Orealla is to immediately have the playfield upgraded along with the provision of sporting equipment for youths in the area, the establishment of a housing programme in the community to support the youths will get underway shortly while funds will be made available for the establishment of a nursery in the area to support farming among others.
Additionally, five marine cages will be provided to Orealla. This is to support the aquaculture industry there through the Ministry of Agriculture.
President Ali also promised to have two additional boat captains to support the health sector in the area, and a road to the health centre while an assessment will be done to determine the way forward in having a jetty for the water ambulance.
However, President Ali turned his attention to the performance of the Regional Education Officer, Bhagmattie LaCruz and the Regional Executive Officer, Narindra Persaud when he heard that a teacher from the Siparuta village was owed reimbursement for conducting duties on behalf of the Education Department in Region Six. The woman told President Ali that the money was owed to her since December of last year and ever since, she has been contacting the Regional Democratic Council for an update but is being told that it is not ready.
The Regional Education Officer was immediately called to the stage and questioned on the matter and she explained that she was unaware that the teacher had not been paid her reimbursement. The Head of state further went on to question the Regional Executive Officer, Narindra Persaud who was also unaware of the issue but promised to look into the matter as soon as possible.
“Listen, let me make this very clear quickly now, I don't know where you are going with this region, y'all have up to Monday [...] You have up to Monday coming to get this woman to get her full reimbursement and from now on if when I go to communities and people sending in reimbursement for more than a month and don't get it, I will ask for your salary REO to be withheld for the same period that they don't get their reimbursement” President Ali added.
He said that it is the only way the system can be fixed “people need to feel the pain sometimes that other people feeling, since December […]The government provides the money to reimburse her but somebody sit down and warming the seat and didn't reimburse her and REDO I don't know what you are doing. You have to look out for the welfare and the interest of these people too you know”
The president was also informed that there are vacancies for teachers in the village but the youths who have the relevant CXC subjects are not given the opportunity to teach despite the issues being raised with the REDO on numerous occasions.
“We have too many little kings and queens in the system, every single application that we have I am the president, if they want to blame me, blame me but if they are vacancies in the teaching system and we have people who are qualify bring them on as teaching assistance and temporary teacher until teaching service commission comes in place”
Meanwhile, a team comprising the Ministry of Local Government, Amerindian Affairs, Agriculture, Natural Resources, Housing and Water, the Regional Democratic Council, and the Office of the President will be tasked with ensuring that the commitments made by the president are executed promptly in both communities.