PM injects $3.5M to help rebuild Linden houses damaged by landslide

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Prime Minister Mark Phillips handing over the cheque to Region REO aid with the reconstruction of the two houses destroyed by a landslide in Linden

Following last year’s landslides that destroyed two houses in Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips on Saturday handed over a cheque of $3.5 million to the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) to assist with the reconstruction of the homes.

On November 30, 2022, a private contractor, who was conducting excavation works to facilitate drainage works, had triggered the landslide which damaged two houses and electricity poles at Poker Street in Wismar, Linden.

The incident had left several elderly persons homeless – the Bob and Fraser families.

Works ongoing to rebuild one of the homes destroyed in the landslide

At the simple handing-over ceremony on Saturday, PM Phillips said he is “happy that the project has started” and promised to work along with the families affected.

“We know what happened, and at the end of the day we want to see you back in your own homes. We’re working together to get you back into your homes,” he reassured.

The monies handed over to the Region 10 RDC were facilitated through the Special Projects Fund of the Prime Minister’s Office.

“Every year my office is allocated money for special projects. So, I decided to treat this as a special project,” he explained.

Regional Executive Officer (REO), Dwight John, who accepted the cheque on behalf of the Regional Administration, stated that the people of Poker Street, particularly those whose homes and means of subsistence were directly impacted by the landslide, welcomed and appreciated the support.

Residents of Wisroc raising their concerns with the Prime Minister during his recent visit

During the Prime Minister’s visit to Linden, he also met with residents of Second Phase Wisroc, whom he assured that their community and by extension, Region 10, will not be left out of the transformational development that is taking place in Guyana.

“We are looking for investors to create opportunities in Linden. I can assure you that Linden will not be left out of any development,” PM Phillips, who is performing the function of President, indicated to residents.

Several issues, including security, small business grants and loans, scholarships and education, ICT connectivity, job opportunities, and road construction, were raised by Wisroc residents and addressed by the Senior Government Official.

The acting Head of State also committed to addressing the Region’s ICT issues, which falls under his purview.

In addition, a working group will be formed to follow up on scholarship applications for youths in the region. This includes a visit to Linden by the GOAL Scholarship team.

PM Phillips vowed to address the deplorable roads in West Watooka, Linden

PM Phillips also paid a visit to West Watooka, where he toured the community, interacted with residents and listened to their concerns.

During his visit, he assessed the area’s deplorable back road while residents raised issues such as small farmer assistance, small business grants and loans, and infrastructure development.

The Prime Minister assured residents that the Government will continue to allocate funds for the rehabilitation of roads including several in the region.

PM Phillip subsequently wrapped up his visit with a meeting with residents of Block 42 – a development community in Mackenzie, Linden.

Prime Minister Phillips engaging residents of Block 42 Mackenzie, Linden to pave the way for the construction of an access road in the community

While there, residents voiced concerns over the development of the local road system as well as the occupancy and distribution of lands in the area.

The Prime Minister also cleared up boundary disputes through consultation with locals, enabling the first access road which was budgeted for in the 2022 Budget to the tune of $37 million to be completed.

He reaffirmed the significance of Linden and added that the issues raised would be dealt with both the regional and national levels of Government.

“Linden is part of the development plan in terms of the infrastructural development for Guyana. So basically, all the issues that were raised will be followed up by the subject minister and ministry,” PM Phillips committed.