President David Granger on Friday committed to ensuring that the residents of Whitewater Creek, Region One (Barima-Waini) receive enhanced services in the areas of education, infrastructural development and citizenship.He announced that a new ferry has been procured for the Region, and committed to delivering a school boat and other educational services while ensuring that a team from the Ministry of Citizenship was dispatched to the area to achieve total registration in that village and surrounding communities.President David Granger addressing the residents of WhitewaterIn his address to residents at a community meeting, the President said that investments in education coupled with the development of the physical infrastructure and stimulation of the economy through increased agricultural activity, particularly agro-processing, will play a leading role in the transformation of the Region and the country. In this regard, the President, who spoke of his Five Bs – “Boats, Buses and Bicycles plus Breakfast and Books” – programme and his National Endowment for Science and Technology (NEST), said that these programmes were part of Government’s efforts to ensure that every Guyanese child had access to education, as it was only through education that they could gain employment and become empowered, thereby contributing to the growth and development of Guyana.Whitewater already benefits from a 15-seater school bus under the Five Bs programme which takes secondary school students to school in Mabaruma. In addition to committing to providing a school boat and engine, President Granger said he would explore options to determine the possibility of providing another bus.“From no school buses to 27. Similarly, there are a dozen boats; Pomeroon River has a boat, Essequibo River has a boat, Demerara River has a boat, Berbice River has a boat and, if you need a boat, if you need a boat here, I promise you that I will provide a boat for your children to go to school. Every child must go to school,” he said.One resident noted that the community was particularly happy with the Five Bs initiative.CitizenshipAs far as registration is concerned, President Granger said he would ensure that a team from the Ministry of Citizenship visited Whitewater before mid-year to complete registration services.“This has been a problem, especially in the riverine areas. When I went into office in May 2015, I created a new Ministry of Citizenship, the first time we’ve had a Ministry of Citizenship because I’m very concerned that every Guyanese should be registered. So give me until July 1 and that team will be here, in Whitewater, in Region One, looking after your registration…,” he said.ICT and infrastructureMeanwhile, the President said that Government has been placing heavy emphasis on public infrastructure programmes and Government would continue to work with the regional administration to ensure that Region One got its fair share of the budget for infrastructural development each year.In addition to upgrades at the Mabaruma Airstrip, the Public Infrastructure Ministry is currently conducting works on the Mabaruma road, for the first time in history. Noting that works for 2018 have already been budgeted for, President Granger called on the regional administration to ensure that works for Whitewater and surrounding communities were included in the 2019 National Budget.Whitewater Toshao Cleveland DeSouza, in his remarks, said that the community was grateful for the visit. “I am very happy to have you here. We are very much thankful to the Government for the improvement of our livelihoods within this part of the country. We are privileged to have our President here with us,” he said.
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