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Please accommodate me within your columns to champion an appeal and make a
request on behalf of the citizens of the Demerara-Mahaica Region (Region No 4).
Over the last two years, our country has been hit severely by several plagues that have
diminished the standard of living of the Guyanese people. Political contention,
COVID-19, the high cost of living; severe flooding, disruption of the supply chains and
presently an on-going war between Russia and Ukraine have all attributed directly and
indirectly to the daily woes of our citizens. Jobs have been affected, family finances
have been dwindled and the term ‘the new-normal’ seems not to be sitting well with
the general populace.
These are some of the issues that presently confront us. However, the list of social,
political and economic challenges that our people face on a daily basis is far more
comprehensive. Like many other Guyanese, I continue to take note of what is being
done by the central government to alleviate these challenges.
It is clear that the ears of the government have caught some of the echoes of the people
and this has resulted in initiatives such as the COVID-19 Cash Grant, the Flood Relief
Cash Grant, the Because We Care Cash Grant, Fisherfolks Cash Grant; cash grants for
affordable housing and I am sure there will be others. Editor, it is not my desire in this
letter to discuss the merits and demerits of the distribution and delivery of these cash
grants, instead, I see it as my duty to make an appeal and formal public request for a
cash grant that is much needed at this time for the People of the Demerara-Mahaica
By way of this, my letter to the editor, I hereby make a formal request to the
Government of Guyana to introduce the ‘Cost of Living Cash Grant’ for deserving
families and households in the Demerara-Mahaica Region.
A request is hereby made for the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand GuyanaDollars ($250,000) to be distributed to each family/household of the Demerara-
This request comes on the heels of the current government initiatives being implemented in other Regions where agriculture grants, small business grants and other welfare-oriented grants are being promised by; distributed by, and championed by, senior government officials. It is in this regard that I ask that this request be treated with the urgency that the situation demands. I am placing this request for economic relief to the Demerara-Mahaica Region on public record. At a regional level we have done our due-diligence and the request made, stems from meaningful consultations, thorough discussions
and interactions with groups, organisations and households in the Demerara- Mahaica
With such a grant I can see single mothers being immediately relieved, distinguished
members of our disciplined services being immediately relieved, our diligent educators
being immediately relieved, our noble and heroic healthcare providers being
immediately relieved, our loyal public servants at the minimum wage being immediately relieved and the most basic of a family structure being immediately relieved and everyone generally benefitting from a generosity that will not only bring relief but give a much needed jolt to our economy.
Editor it is not my intention in this letter to debate the effects of direct cash transfers,
nor the effects of becoming a welfare state. I am here to make an urgent appeal for
relief of the people of my region. I do not believe in the practice of only giving to some
while others are in need. I do not believe that it is good governance to pander only to
the base. I believe however, in the equitable distribution of our patrimony. I therefore
encourage our duly elected leaders, nationally, regionally and at the local levels to
make similar appeals and requests so as to alleviate the current high cost of living crisis
that is facing our nation.
To truly serve our people, we have to consult with them to understand their needs.
While governing on the programmes of finance, health, education, agriculture and
public works may be confined to a structured approach. We cannot forget the human
aspect of governing; that is, with compassion for our fellow citizens. As it was aptly put
but one citizen as he applauded the many needed public works projects; “you cannot
stew bridges, or fry roads”. As leaders as a government, we must show a compassionate
face; what affects one of us affects all of us. Compassion asks us to go where it hurts,
to enter into places of pain; Compassion means full emersion in the human condition.
To the Government of Guyana, my formal public request is placed before you. This
request is made because it is needed by the people of the Demerara – Mahaica Region
as they struggle daily to make ends meet.
Submitted for your kind consideration and approval.
Daniel Seeram, J.P.