How the PPP trans­formed the lives of peo­ple

Weekend Mirror - - EDITORIAL -

The

fol­low­ing is a sec­tion of the PPP Cen­tral Com­mit­tee Re­port at the PPP’s 31st Congress deal­ing with the PPP gov­ern­ment’s achieve­ments in the so­cial sec­tor:

Dur­ing its ten­ure, the PPP/C ad­min­is­tra­tion im­ple­mented a wave of modern pol­icy ini­tia­tives that cre­ated a sus­tain­able hous­ing mar­ket and pro­vided af­ford­able shel­ter to low and mod­er­ate in­come fam­i­lies. These poli­cies were com­ple­mented with sub­stan­tial pub­lic in­vest­ments in the sec­tor. In the last decade of its term (20042014) the PPP/C ad­min­is­tra­tion al­lo­cated more than $30 bil­lion for cap­i­tal works to de­velop new set­tle­ment schemes and re­ha­bil­i­tate the phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture in ex­ist­ing schemes. It also uti­lized these funds to reg­u­lar­ize nu­mer­ous squat­ter’s set­tle­ment.

The var­i­ous pol­icy ini­tia­tives by the ad­min­is­tra­tion yielded the fol­low­ing ben­e­fits:

● The dis­tri­bu­tion of over 50,000 res­i­den­tial house lots across Guyana be­tween 2004 and 2014; bring­ing the to­tal num­ber of house lots dis­trib­uted up to 112,761 since the Gov­ern­ment ini­ti­ated it hous­ing pro­gramme in 1993. Ap­prox­i­mately 80 per­cent of the house lots dis­trib­uted ben­e­fit­ted low in­come fam­i­lies. 3.1 The trans­fer of wealth to low in­come fam­i­lies in the form of land and in­fra­struc­ture sub­sidy. The lower-in­come house­holds were the most sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fi­cia­ries of this sub­sidy. The in­fra­struc­ture sub­sidy to low in­come earn­ers ap­prox­i­mated to $17.6 bil­lion; al­most six times and sev­en­teen times the sub­sidy pro­vided to mod­er­ate and mid­dle-in­come groups re­spec­tively. The Min­istry of Hous­ing suc­cess­fully ad­vo­cated the first mort­gage tax credit.

Im­prov­ing Ac­cess to wa­ter The PPP/C ad­min­is­tra­tion also fo­cused sig­nif­i­cant at­ten­tion to im­prov­ing san­i­ta­tion in­fra­struc­ture and ac­cess to safe wa­ter. The in­vest­ment cov­ered both Coastal and Hin­ter­land re­gions. In the Coastal re­gions, sev­eral new wa­ter treat­ment plants and wells com­mis­sioned. Some of our notable in­vest­ments by re­gion in­clude:

Re­gion 2 – in ex­cess of $ 1.2 bil­lion for the:

● Con­struc­tion of a new wa­ter treat­ment plant at Lima. ● Up­grade of trans­mis- sion/ dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tems at Queen­stown to Wal­ton Hall, Queen­stown to Aurora, Wak­e­naam, Cullen to Zor­genV­lygt, On­derneemn­ing ● Drilling of new wells at Som­er­set, On­derneem­ing, Good Hope, Lit­tle Red Vil­lage (On­derneem­ing), Siriki.

Re­gion 3 - in ex­cess of $2.3 bil­lion to:

● Con­struct of a new wa­ter treat­ment plant at Verge­noe­gen

● Up­grade of Wa­ter treat­ment plant sys­tems at Poul­deroyen and Fel­low­ship. ● Up­grade of dis­tri­bu­tion/ trans­mis­sion sys­tems at Pa­ten­tia, Stan­ley­town, Canal # 2, Plan­tain Walk, Meten Meer Zorg to De Willem, Fel­low­ship to VreedEn Hoop, Poud­eroyen, De Ken­deren to St. Lawrence

● Drilling of new wells at Tuschen, Cor­nelia Ida, Par­faite Har­monie, Belle Vue, Verge­noe­gen

Re­gion 4 - in ex­cess of $5.5 B has been in­vested of which more than $3 B was di­rected at Ge­orge­town and the re­main­ing $2.5 B in­vested on the East Coast and East Bank to:

● con­struct the Cen­tral Ruimveldt WTP

● Re­ha­bil­i­tate the Sewer Sys­tem in Ge­orge­town ● Re­ha­bil­i­tate the Sewer Re­ceiv­ing fa­cil­ity In Tucville ● Re­ha­bil­i­tate the Trans­mis­sion and Dis­tri­bu­tion Sys­tems in Zones W1 ( Fes­ti­val City, South Ruimveldt Park, Guy­hoc Gar­dens, Guy­hoc Park, North Ruimveldt), W2 (South Ruimveldt Gar­dens, Tucville, East La Pene­tence, North East La Pene­tence, La Pene­tence, East Ruimveldt), W4 ( part of East Ruimveldt, Rox­anne Burn­ham Gar­dens, West Ruimveldt, Liang Av­enue) and W 14 (Camp­bel­lville, Prashad Na­gar, Lamaha Gar­dens)

● Drill wells at Cum­ming’s Lodge, Lusig­nan

Re­gion 5 - contributed nearly $1B in cap­i­tal in­vest­ments for the:

● Con­struc­tion of a new state of the art Wa­ter Treat­ment Plants in Cot­ton Tree Vil­lage ● Drilling of a new well in De Hoop

Re­gion 6 in ex­cess of $6B in­vested for the: ● Con­struc­tion of two new state of the art Wa­ter Treat­ment Plants in No 56 Vil­lage and Queen­stown

● Rose Hall Wa­ter Im­prove­ment Project ● Up­grade of dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tems in No 51 to No 73 vil­lage, No 1 Road to Whim, Whim to Bush Lot, Good Banana Land, No 1 to No 50 Vil­lages, No 74 vil­lage to Crab­wood Creek, Glas­gow to Ed­in­burg

● Drilling of a new well at Cane­field

● Drilling of a new well at Rose Hall, Manch­ester and No 47 Vil­lage.

Re­gion 10: in ex­cess $700 for the:

● Con­struc­tion of 2 new state of the art treat­ment plants which are presently be­ing un­der­taken and are sched­uled for con­struc­tion in the first half of 2015.

● In­stal­la­tion of trans­mis­sion and dis­tri­bu­tion mains and up­grade of ser­vice con­nec­tions

Hin­ter­land: more than $G 1 bil­lion in­vested for:

●The in­stal­la­tion of 45 Photo voltaic pump­ing sys­tems have been in­stalled with new tres­tles

● the con­struc­tion of more than 50 potable ● con­struc­tion of two new wells

The in­vest­ments in the wa­ter sec­tor saw:

● The per­cent­age of the pop­u­la­tion with ac­cess to treated wa­ter in­creas­ing from 26% to 50%;

● In­creased cov­er­age in Hin­ter­land from 25% to 84%, and it is tar­geted to achieve 90% by 2016;

● In­creased cov­er­age on the Coast from less than 70% to in ex­cess of 95%;

● In­crease in the num­ber of pen­sion­ers be­ing sub­si­dized from 19,000 in 2010 to 24,000 presently.

In­vest­ment in Health for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment

In recog­ni­tion of the im- por­tance of a healthy pop­u­la­tion for achiev­ing sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, the PPP/C ad­min­is­tra­tion has made tremen­dous in­vest­ments in the health sec­tor. Dur­ing 2014, the to­tal bud­getary al­lo­ca­tion to the health sec­tor was $21 bil­lion, more than 4 times the al­lo­ca­tion of $4.6 bil­lion in 2001. The av­er­age al­lo­ca­tion to the health sec­tor was main­tained above 8 per­cent of the na­tional bud­get while spend­ing in the sec­tor con­sis­tently rep­re­sented more than 4 per­cent of the coun­try’s Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct ( GDP) dur­ing the pe­riod 2001-2013.

In­vest­ment in the sec­tor was aimed at in­creas­ing ac­cess to health ser­vices through the ex­pan­sion and up­grade of the health in­fra­struc­ture. Since as­sum­ing of­fice, the PPP/C ad­min­is­tra­tion con­structed more than 90 new health fa­cil­i­ties. . were mod­ern­ized.

The PPP/C ad­min­is­tra­tion also fo­cused on im­prov­ing the qual­ity of health care through the pro­vi­sion of es­sen­tial drugs and en­hance­ment of the sec­tor’s work­force.. The PPP/ C has also pro­vided many young Guyanese with the op­por­tu­nity to be­come med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers in gen­eral as well as spe­cial­ized ar­eas such as surgery, emer­gency medicine, and trauma. Be­tween 2009 and 2014, more than 2,000 nurses were grad­u­ated from the nurs­ing school and 500 Guyanese Doc­tors from the Univer­sity of Guyana, China, Cuba and other coun­tries joined the health sec­tor.

The mas­sive in­vest­ment in the sec­tor wit­nessed im­prove­ments in all the key in­di­ca­tors of an ef­fec­tive health sys­tem. To­day we have more beds, doc­tors and nurses per in­di­vid­ual than any other pe­riod in our post colo­nial his­tory. The num­ber of doc­tors and nurses per 10,000 pop­u­la­tion in­creased from 1.6 dur­ing and 14.3 in 1980 to reach 9.5 and 15.3 re­spec­tively by 2013. The num­ber of beds per 10,000 pop­u­la­tion also grew dra­mat­i­cally from 3 dur­ing 1980 to 25.4 by 2013.

The in­fant mor­tal­ity rate was low­ered from 41 per 1,000 live births in 1980 to 13.8 per live births by 2012; thereby al­low­ing Guyana to achieve Goal 4 of the MDG. Ma­ter­nal mor­tal­ity rate also de­clined con­tin­u­ously from 140 per 100,000 live births in 1991 to 116 per 100,000 live births by 2012; plac­ing Mean­while the preva­lence of un­der­nour­ish­ment was re­duced from 21 per­cent in 1992 to reach 2.2 per­cent by

2012. Fur­ther, the life ex­pectancy at birth also im­proved by 4 years; from 62 years in 1991 to 66 by 2013.

Em­pow­er­ing our peo­ple with ‘life skills’ to cope with new global chal­lenges

The PPP/C has rad­i­cally trans­formed the coun­try’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem through the im­ple­men­ta­tion of world class poli­cies and ex­pan­sion of the ed­u­ca­tion in­fra­struc­ture and work­force. The PPP/C ad­min­is­tra­tion has con­sis­tently in­creased its al­lo­ca­tion to the sec­tor from $1 bil­lion in 1991 to $23.6 bil­lion by 2013. Dur­ing the pe­riod 2001-2013, in­vest­ment in the sec­tor ac­counted for more than 15 per­cent of the na­tional bud­get, com­pared with 6.5 per­cent in 1991. Ad­di­tion­ally, the ed­u­ca­tion bud­get ac­counted for more than 4.6 per­cent of the coun­try’s Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct (GDP) since 2009; un­der­scor­ing the im­por­tance the PPP/ C ad­min­is­tra­tion at­taches to em­pow­er­ing its peo­ple through ed­u­ca­tion.

Spend­ing in the sec­tor tar­geted the three im­por­tant pil­lars of an ef­fec­tive ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, namely, ac­cess, qual­ity and de­liv­ery of ed­u­ca­tion. In ex­cess of 20 per­cent of the to­tal al­lo­ca­tion went to­wards ex­pand­ing and maintaining the schools in­fra­struc­ture so as to en­sure eq­ui­table ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion by all Guyanese. A new univer­sity cam­pus was es­tab­lished in Ber­bice in 2000 and two (2) new Tech­ni­cal and Vo­ca­tional In­sti­tutes (TIs) were built in Leonora and Ma­haicony. Dur­ing the pe­riod 2007-2014, more than 30 schools were also con­structed or re-con­structed.

The largest por­tion of the sec­tor’s bud­get was di­rected at im­prov­ing the qual­ity and the de­liv­ery of ed­u­ca­tion. Over 60 per­cent of the ed­u­ca­tion bud­get was al­lo­cated for im­prov­ing the qual­ity and de­liv­ery of this im­por­tant so­cial ser­vice. To en­cour­age greater at­ten­dance and par­tic­i­pa­tion, the PPP/C ad­min- is­tra­tion also ap­plied tar­geted in­ter­ven­tions, such as, the school feed­ing pro­gramme, na­tional school uni­form pro­gramme, and the pro­vi­sion of trans­porta­tion to stu­dents in hin­ter­land com­mu­ni­ties.

The ad­di­tional school­ing ca­pac­ity cre­ated by higher spend­ing in the sec­tor wit­nessed over­all im­prove­ment in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor. Avail­able sta­tis­tics sug­gests that the coun­try has achieved Univer­sal Pri­mary Ed­u­ca­tion (Goal 2 of MDG). Equally re­mark­able, is the im­prove­ment recorded in the rank­ing of Guyana’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem. Based on the Global Com­pet­i­tive­ness Re­port 2014-15, the qual­ity of Guyana edu- cation sys­tem is ranked 54th in the world and 4th in Latin Amer­ica and the Caribbean. The qual­ity of the pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem is ranked even higher at 37thin the world and sec­ond only to Bar­ba­dos in Latin Amer­ica and the Caribbean (LAC).

The in­vest­ment in the sec­tor also wit­nessed the con­tin­u­ous in­crease in sec­ondary en­roll­ment rate plac­ing Guyana on course of achiev­ing univer­sal sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion. Based on the Global Com­pet­i­tive­ness Re­port 2014-15, the en­roll­ment in the sec­ondary sys­tem is cur­rently 101 per­cent; the third high­est in Latin Amer­ica and the Caribbean.

The av­er­age at­ten­dance rates at the pri­mary and sec­ondary levels were above 70 per­cent dur­ing 2013. Mean­while the drop-out rates at these levels have also trended down­wards over the years. In­deed, the drop-out rates for Guyana are be­low the levels recorded in Latin Amer­ica and the Caribbean.

Im­prove­ment in the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion is also re­flected by the num­ber of trained teach­ers in the school sys­tem. The num­ber of trained teach­ers at the pri­mary level was 2,637 in 2011, com­pared with 1,875 in 1994. Con­se­quently, the per­cent­age of trained teach­ers at the pri­mary level im­proved from 55.3 per­cent in 1994 to 77 per­cent by 2011.

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