Press Release – Minister of Natural Resources addresses issues of Calcutta residents

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As the Government of Guyana continues its outreach efforts, the Minister of Natural Resources Hon. Raphael Trotman yesterday visited the village of Calcutta, Region 5, to address the pressing issues of its residents.

During the visit, upon the request of the residents, Minister Trotman conducted a walk-through inspection of the Calcutta Dam road and identified the area for a proposed bridge to be constructed across the Belamy Canal. With the northern side lands currently being inaccessible, the bridge is expected to facilitate crossing by residents and better their daily business operations. The Minister has since indicated to the residents his interest in assisting with this, providing that that a local village contractor be selected to produce an estimate for the bridge’s construction.

Thereafter the Minister held a community meeting at the Calcutta Community Center, where several residents were present and raised their matters and concerns. Among these were issues relating to infrastructure work, telecommunication, education, agriculture, youth, housing, employment and loans and grants.

Specifically, the residents have requested rehabilitation to the sea dam, repairs to the Burma Road, provision of electricity, upgrades to the Calcutta Primary, street lights, upgrades to the play field, involvement of residents in community projects, assistance with accessing agricultural tools, addressing issues of housing applications processing, easier access to government funding, and opportunities to benefit from the upcoming oil and gas sector.

Upon listening, Minister Trotman thanked the residents for raising their concerns and encouraged them to stand strong and gave the Government’s commitment in addressing the issues as best as possible. Some issues, he observed, have to be addressed by government, some by the community, and others through a joint government and community effort. He told residents that he will make every attempt to ensure that each of these issues raised will be addressed.

The Minister then encouraged the residents to form themselves into a committee and indicated that this will be  first step towards assisting in the community’s development. In this regard, he has promised to donate farming equipment to be used and managed by the residents, pay for diesel and labour costs to facilitate the clearing of drains by residents, assist with the spraying of rice farms, and assist with organizing a seminar in collaboration with the Department of Energy and Ministry of Business to educate residents on business opportunities in oil and gas and other areas.

Upon the meeting’s culmination, the Minister donated reams of paper and ink to the community center, sporting equipment, and seedlings to the residents.

The Minister is extremely pleased to have been able to visit the village, interact with residents and facilitate the meeting held. Minister Trotman recognizes the call for community development and ensures the residents that they are not forgotten. As time progresses the residents of Calcutta and other citizens have the Minister’s assurance and more so Government’s that all matters will be addressed to ensure a good life for all.