Frontline villages have nothing to fear – President

Frontline villages have nothing to fear – President

first_img…as GDF intensifies security at Kaikan VillagePresident David Granger said Guyana depends on ‘frontline’ villages like Kaikan, located in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), a stone’s throw away from the border with Venezuela, to be the watchmen of Guyana’s borders and therefore, these villages must be strong, stable and their citizens safe.“I have come here with a promise to ensure that Kaikan is fully integrated into this region and this region is fully integrated into Guyana. Have no fear, if we are united, we will prevail. We will be able to live in a strong, secure and stable country… Frontier communities are guardians of Guyana’s territorial integrity andPresident Granger and his team – Regional Chairman Gordon Bradford; Toshao of Kaikan, Claude Anselmo; and Minister Dawn Hastings walking around the village of Kaikannational security. They are our first line of defence against any attempt at incursions and invasions,” he told residents at a community meeting held at the Kaikan Primary School.President David Granger and his delegation received a brief of the situation on the ground. The residents, who have had a number of terrorising encounters with the notorious ‘Syndicatos’ gang, welcomed the boosting of security in the area by the Guyana Defence Force (GDF). The community now benefits from 24-hour security. This was necessitated by the situation in neighbouring Venezuela and escalated by the age-old border controversy, which was recently referred to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by the United Nations.Like the village of Whitewater in Region One (Barima-Waini), which the President visited last week, Kaikan too has been seeing an influx of Venezuelans, particularly traders and persons seeking health care. During a briefing with GDF ranks deployed in the area, the President was told that Venezuelan civilians and even military personnel come over to the Kaikan Health Post to seek medical attention for malaria and other diseases, while the traders come over to sell or to barter their goods with villagers from communities like Kaikan and Arau. Toshao of Kaikan, Claude Anselmo, said that while these might be seen as legitimate activities, a number of illegal activities are also taking place. He informed that he has received reports of smuggling of illegal substances such as marijuana and cocaine. This, the GDF pledged, to eradicate at all costs.Turning to the residents, President Granger said while the Army and the Police will intensify their efforts to ensure their safety, they have a significant role to play as they are the eyes and ears on the ground.The President spoke of his 10-point improvement plan for frontier villages which aims at ensuring access to public services in the areas of citizenship, registration and immigration, education, human safety, information communication technology, national defence, public health, public infrastructure, social cohesion and social protection.Community developmentSpeaking of community development, the Head of State urged the residents to work closely with the three tiers of Government – local, regional and central – to find solutions to some of the problems the community faces in terms of socio-economic development. He called on the Regional Chairman to work closely with the community to devise plans to add value to their food production through agro-processing, which will enhance their competitiveness and boost their village economies.Education was another major area that the President focused on. He noted that while Kaikan is far-flung, no effort should be spared to ensure that every child attends school.The President was accompanied to Kaikan by Public Affairs Minister Dawn Hastings-Williams, Chief-of-Staff of the GDF, Brigadier Patrick West and other senior officers of the Force. This visit follows a similar outreach to Region One, last week.last_img

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