Guyana: Indigenous Orealla Village now has six internet hotspots

The vllage of Orealla in the Courantyne River in the easternmost part of Berbice is now online. Minister of Public Telecommunications, Cathy Hughes, and head of the National Data Management Authority, Floyd Levi, on April 19, 2019 officially commissioned six Internet Hotspots spread across the community.

These hotspots are located in the Community Benab, the Community ICT hub, the Police Station, the Health Centre and the school building.

Now the residents of Orealla have free, unimpeded access to the Worldwide Web via the government donated laptop computers and any other computerized device. The benefits for every single residents are many, Minister Hughes said, as she urged the residents to make full use of their connectivity.                 

The benefits to the delivery of modern healthcare to villagers were especially singled out. Dr. Lerone Henry, at the Orealla Health Centre, said that the Internet Connectivity will do a great service for the community.

For the first time in history, doctors and healthcare providers at the Orealla Heath Centre now have direct video communication with doctors and specialists at Central Hospitals such as the New Amsterdam and other Regional hospitals as well as the Georgetown Public Hospital.

Access to the Internet, he said, greatly improves their ability to conduct diagnoses with direct assistance from specialists national and international, and in real time.

He also said that he would no longer have to make the two-hour journey up the river to the coast for consultations on difficult cases.

The Orealla Police Station is also online allowing police officers to connect directly and in real time with central and divisional Police stations and outposts.

While commissioning the Orealla Community ICT hub, Minister Hughes said that the hub will serve as the gateway for students and teachers to the world of information. Ten laptop computers were installed there, all connected to the Internet and loaded with most of the textbooks used by the Ministry of Education.

This, she said, is a tremendous help to parents who would not have to purchase these books in hard copy at great cost.

Toshao of Orealla, Carl Peneux, expressed the residents’ appreciation for this initiative of the Public Telecommunications Ministry. He stated that this was a history-making occasion because Orealla had remained cut off from national activities and benefits for some decades.

He outlined one more major benefit – the village council’s plans to boost its visibility to tourists and show off its attractive culture which includes indigenous handicraft will come to fruition.

While expressing their appreciation, the Minister was told that the residents had already begun to earn revenue from the online sale of two intricately indigenous hammocks woven by the Women Group of Orealla.

Before leaving, Minister Hughes donated five new Tablets to five crucial community groups in the village including the Women’s Group, the Farmers Group, the Sports and Fisheries Groups. (MoPT)

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