President Ali engages residents in Herstelling, Grove during visit

Squatting, infrastructural improvements, other issues addressed

His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, on Saturday conducted a walkabout in Herstelling and Grove, East Bank Demerara to address the concerns of the residents.

Residents raised concerns about illegal electricity, drainage, flooding, housing and water related matters, crime, road infrastructure, squatting and derelict vehicles. 

President Dr Irfaan Ali during the community engagement on Saturday

The head of state reiterated that the cleanliness and upkeep of the community is a shared responsibility, as he encouraged the residents to do their part when it comes to the garbage disposal. 

In an effort to address squatting in Herstelling on ‘Sea Dam’, President Ali tasked representatives from the housing ministry to inform the squatters about the cement and steel initiative.

President Dr Irfaan Ali interacting with residents during the community engagement on Saturday

“We will be giving the cement and steel. We will work with them on the low-income houses. We will get NBS [New Building Society] to come and qualify them, GBTI [Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry] and Demerara Bank to have one meeting with them to qualify them. We will build the houses. Let us try to get the houses completed in six to eight weeks. All of those who have house lots, we will build on their house lots,” the president stated.

The president said when the houses are completed, the residents will need to vacate the area immediately, as the conditions are not conducive for families.

As the government continues to work aggressively to provide job opportunities, President Ali noted that, “those who do not have jobs. We can get them trained immediately to work in the construction sector because we are short on labour in the construction sector. We can train them as carpenters and masons.”

In relation to flooding, President Ali said an amphibious machine will be utilised to clean the trenches within the community.

He also called on residents and community leaders to work along with the Ministry of Public Works to identify the derelict vehicles.

President Dr Irfaan Ali interacting with residents during the community engagement on Saturday

Noting that the social issues in the community must be tackled collectively, the president pointed to the Men on a Mission [MOM] initiative, which aims to make direct and meaningful impact across the country.

The president was at the time engaging an elderly resident who lives with her grandson and needed assistance.

“Let us walk through these communities, you have old people like these, let us help them to build a walkway to get into their houses, fix their steps, help with simple wood and fix their houses,” he urged Police Commissioner (ag), Clifton Hicken, who was part of the team that accompanied President Ali.

In addition, the president informed residents that, “from now to the end of the year, we are hoping to have another 11 kilometres of roads completed in this locality.”

As part of his ‘One Guyana’ vision, President Ali and members of his Cabinet continue to engage citizens from communities across the country, listening to and addressing their concerns.

The president was also accompanied by Natural Resources Minister, Vickram Bharrat, Member of Parliament and Attorney of Law, Sanjeev Datadin, Chairman of Little Diamond and Herstelling Neighbouring Democratic Council (NDC), Puneet Jaigopaul, and engineers and officials from several ministries.

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