– links poor infrastructure to increased likelihood of crimeBy Jarryl BryanGuyana has a long road ahead of it when it comes to poverty reduction, with a recent report from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) highlighting that poverty remains entrenched. In fact, Guyana has more poverty than the regional average.According to the IDB’s Reformulation, Upgrade and Expansion of Road Network report, compiled under the Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme, 26.6 per cent of the population were “multi-dimensionally poor”.The Bank compared this with a regional average of 18 per cent. The report, which focused primarily on infrastructure and housing, went into detail about the real cost of housing deficiencies. The IDB noted that these shortfalls are perceived to contribute to crime rates.“In Georgetown, poverty is evident in various measures of the standard of living and housing deficits,” it stated. “Twenty-nine per cent of the population live in overcrowded housing (of) over two people per room.”“Criminality in Georgetown is also high, 33.8 murders per 100,000 people; above the regional average of 26, perceived to be exacerbated by the lack of community facilities and public spaces. Basic infrastructure in new and established housing sites developed incrementally by [Central Housing and Planning Authority] CH&PA,” it added.The report acknowledged the work of the CH&PA, noting that there are programmes enabling housing construction and extensions by upgrading infrastructure, allocation of land and titles. But it noted that much more needs to be done.“Despite the gains made, an estimated 249.5 kilometres of roads and associated drainage still needs to be completed to improve the living conditions of over 32,000 households, according to the CH&PA. Census data shows these deficits occur in non CH&PA villages such as D’Urban area, Industrial Estate and East La Penitence.”The IDB also noted that local Neighbourhood Democratic Councils lack sufficient institutional capacity for long-term site management.It is understood that in June 2012, the IDB approved the operation “Road Network Upgrade and Expansion Programme” for US$69.2 million, following a request from the then People’s Progressive Party Government. The objective of the Multiple Works (MW) Programme was to enhance urban and suburban mobility and safety by reducing vehicle operating costs, travel times and road fatalities.The loan included civil works for primary roads and safety components in the capital Georgetown and surrounding regions. This included proposals to improve transport systems along Georgetown’s Sheriff-Mandela road, the sample project.In September, officials from the CH&PA held a consultation at the Sophia Primary School. The consultation saw the attendance and participation of residents of A and B Fields.The proposed works to be carried out include road construction, upgrades to community grounds and buildings, the installation of street lights, construction of sidewalks and providing subsidies for the construction of core home and home improvement projects.The communities to benefit were Pattensen/Turkeyen (Section B), Turkeyen (Section C and D), Section “C” Cummings Lodge (Cummings Park), Block E Sophia (Farmers group), Block “X” Liliendaal (Section A), Block “F” Sophia, Plum Park and Block “R” Sophia.
Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez Rafa Benitez believes his Newcastle players are starting to show self confidence after they got back into the fight for Premier League survival with a helping hand from arch-rivals Sunderland.The Magpies’ 3-0 home victory over Swansea on Saturday, coupled with the Black Cats’ success at Norwich by the same score earlier in the day, means they are within three points of the 17th-placed Canaries with a game in hand ahead of Manchester City’s visit to St James’ Park on Tuesday evening.Sunderland remain in the better position to secure survival, with only one North East club likley to overtake Norwich, but Benitez is pleased that his players are starting to beleive top flight survival is possible.When asked whether the mood in the Magpies’ dressing room has improved, Benitez replied: “Obviously [it’s] much better. Everybody was happy and I think they are now thinking that we can do it and they believe.“They have this feeling, like all the fans watching the team working as hard as today, everybody thinks we can do it. That’s the main thing. As I have said a lot of times, we will fight until the end, but now we are closer and it will be easier for me to give this speech.”Swansea wasted a number of chances in front of goal to deal another defeat to the Tyneside club, but Benitez is not too bothered seeing as the three points came on the celebrations for his 56th birthday.He said: “When you are expecting something from your players and they give you this, three goals and three points and the way that we won, you have to say congratulations to them and congratulations to our fans because they deserved this game.“The players worked so hard and they showed the passion, the character, the commitment we were looking for and the fans appreciate that, so I am really pleased for all of them, and it’s a good present for me.“Now with some players, some friends, my staff, hopefully we can enjoy today – and then tomorrow, we have to start working because we have Manchester City.” 1