Region Five is now set to deliver efficient education, health, agricultural, infrastructural and administrative services now that the region’s 2017 budget has been approved.
Although Opposition Members of Parliament bemoaned the fact that the agriculturally sustained region’s allocations have been reduced in some areas, Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan noted that this will not affect services.
An estimated $3B which was budgeted was approved today, by the Committee of Supply. The allocation will be spent on:
Opposition MP, Harry Gill
Regional Administration and finance – $ 159. 431M
Agriculture – $ 276. 143M
Public Infrastructure works – $ 266. 113M
Education delivery – $ 1.576B
Health services – $ 728. 841M
Some of the projects that will be addressed in 2017 are:
Regional Administration and Finance – Training and capacity building of staff of the Regional office which has been factored into the region’s budget while security services and electricity utilities have increased for 2017. Furniture and equipment will also be purchased in 2017.
Agriculture – Drainage and irrigation channels and structures will be constructed to provide improved drainage to farmland and inland communities in Region Five. An additional $90M has also been set aside for other drainage and irrigation works under current expenditure, along with the maintenance of sea and river defence structures in the region.
Public Works (infrastructure) – Money has been budgeted for road maintenance for Kingelley, Calcutta, Ross, Cotton Tree, and De Hoop among other villages in Region Five. Bridges recently built across the region that are in need of rehabilitation will be attended with monies from this budget.
Education delivery – 30 primary and 11 secondary schools (4500 students and 100 teachers) in this region will get new furniture and benefit from new equipment that will be acquired by the ministry. The budgeted cost for this major objective under the regional subsector is $17.1M.
Health services – a number of new health facilities have been provided for at a cost of $ 63M while $ 31M has been budgeted for furniture and equipment for these and other health facilities that are already in existence.
Opposition Member of Parliament, Harry Gill questioned Communities’ Minister, Ronald Bulkan as to why there have been no budgetary allocations for repairs to an excavator which will assist with drainage of farmlands that are usually affected by flooding.
Minister Bulkan noted that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure has taken other initiatives to curb and or prevent excessive flooding within the region. However, monies have been allocated to the region to address flooding and other drainage and irrigation issues.