KINGSTON - Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Hon. Annette Ferguson, conducted ministerial outreaches to the communities of Mahaicony and Parika on Saturday April 22 and Sunday April 23, 2017, respectively.
The purpose of the outreaches was to gain feedback from the residents and listen to their concerns on their communities, with the ultimate goal of rectifying these issues as expeditiously as possible.
In Mahaicony, Minister Ferguson met with residents and local councillors and, during fruitful discussions, made note of the major issues. Among these issues were insufficient electricity supply and a need for improved roads, drainage and irrigation, and increased agricultural opportunities. Concerns were also raised on youth unemployment and the lack of recreational facilities.
In response, Minister Ferguson gave her commitment to look into the issues and address them, where possible. She reminded the residents of the Ministry’s annual budgetary allocations and the need to meet these previously outlined obligations. However, she said, efforts will be made to offer some solution to the raised issues within this year. If not, she added, the issues would receive priority in the 2018 National Budget.
Meanwhile, similar concerns were raised by residents when Minister Ferguson visited Parika. On that occasion, Minister Ferguson met with the residents along with councillors from the Regional and Neighbourhood Democratic Councils and heard about concerns on sea defence; the occupation of Government reserves; insufficient water and electricity supplies; and the need for recreational facilities.
She noted that many of the issues were on the Local Government level but she indicated that Central Government will strive to assist. She also committed to revisiting the community to conduct a walkthrough of sites identified as being in urgent need of infrastructural intervention.
In both communities, Minister Ferguson emphasised that not all issues raised fell under the Infrastructure Ministry but would be forwarded on to the relevant agencies and ministries for a comprehensive approach.
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