The Government of Guyana will be reinstating the electrification programme in an effort to bridge the gap that exists between the hinterland and coastal communities.
“This PPP/C government will continue to work with all communities, with all people, with all villages, with all leaders to ensure that we seek to implement and plug wherever there are gaps,” stated Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal in an address to residents of Region Seven.
The programme is expected to be functionable in the coming year, with households outside of the central grid being provided with a 120-watt solar panel. This will see new households and those who were not captured in the past benefiting.
Upon returning to office, the PPP/C-led government also re-established the Community Support Officers (CSO) programme to upskill and ensure self and national development of hinterland residents.
Following the return of the electrification programme, CSO’s are currently receiving training in solar installation.
Among the new initiatives to be unveiled is the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) programme which will provide citizens in the hinterland communities with access to free internet through ICT hubs.
Thus far over 200 CSO’s were trained in the ICT programme, imparting in them several components of ICT including Computer Fundamentals, Microsoft Word Processing, Microsoft Excel 2016, and Internet and Email.
Two CSO’s from every hinterland community will also be trained in water system maintenance. Their responsibilities include the immediate fixing of leakages, ensuring that the equipment is working as it should, and to provide immediate feedback.
Additionally, with the increase of potable water access in these communities, the government through the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) to implement a water system maintenance programme.
Apart from the new training programmes, CSO’s are also being trained in engine repairs and tractor training. Upon successful completion of the programme, participants will be issued a tractor license.
Training offered is suited to the growing needs of hinterland communities, creating a competent labour force from within to cater to these needs.
After completion of training, CSO’s will return and serve their communities receiving a stipend of $30,000 monthly. (Extracted and modified from the Department of Public Information