Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, urged the community leaders of Mahaica-Berbice (Region Five) to take their responsibility to their communities and fellow residents seriously as he noted that they have a duty to work with every community member to improve their quality of life.The State Minister was at the time delivering the feature address at the opening of the Community Leaders Leadership Forum on Sunday evening, at the Belladrum Secondary School.Minister Harmon said that community leaders and community development organisations play an important role in the consolidation of local democracy and governance through the local government administration, as well as fuelling the momentum towards development. Noting that the theme, ‘Working together for the upliftment of the community’ is most appropriate, he said that the community leaders must understand, appreciate and be committed to resolving the issues that the communities face.Minister of State, Joseph Harmon chats with members of the community“We, as Government, recognise that we cannot foster true development in communities across Guyana by the mere infusion of resources from the top but rather with the full and effective involvement of community based organisations that are mandated to undertake community initiatives for the benefit of all residents of the community, which makes them the best conduit through which information, resources and development activities can be channelled from the Government to the community. Simply put, community development organisations are the best channels for effective administration and communication between the Government, the Regional Democratic Council (RDC), the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) and the people,” the minister is quoted by the Department of Public Information as saying.Noting that Guyana has a rich history of people centred, people focused, and people driven community initiatives, Minister Harmon said that over the years, numerous self-help groups, cooperatives and community based groups have emerged as change agents within communities. These institutions have made and continue to make immeasurable contributions to the development of communities across Guyana, but Minister Harmon said that a more collective and cooperative effort is needed to address issues in the community.“I hope you will decide on a way to create greater synergy with central Government, RDC and the NDC in the area of policy, programmatic interventions and other activities that the community would like. I would also like this forum to reinforce the unquestionable virtue of collaboration for the use of limited resources to develop the community and to create the environment for a strong, effective, self-sustainable community through collective endeavours. It is important that at the end of this forum, you as community-based organisers should no longer see yourself as a mere community activist but rather, as developmental partners working in collaboration with all levels of Government to ensure the good life for all particularly the members of your community,” he said.Chairman of the NDC, Emile Wilson in an invited comment, said that community members are pleased with the progress that has been made in several of the villages since this administration took office. He noted that the cooperation and support that have been given to the communities in the Region by the administration must be commended and applauded.After the opening ceremony, residents were given the opportunity to raise their concerns with the minister, many of which were addressed on the ground.
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE – Personnel of the joint strike fighter integrated test force are testing possible methods for decontaminating an aircraft exposed to chemical or biological weapons. The joint strike fighter is the first U.S. fighter aircraft to have a requirement for both chemical and biological survivability. Being done on a recently retired Edwards Air Force Base F-16 jet, the test uses a simulated chemical agent and a simulated biological agent. The biological tests use a harmless spore that has the same hardiness characteristics as biological agents such as anthrax. The spore was injected into the jet’s running engine to contaminate the plane’s environmental control systems, said Mark Chace, program manager of the JSF Integrated Test Force. The testing began in October and is scheduled to be complete by Dec. 20. Future tests are expected on the F-35 environmental support system, support equipment, pilot flight equipment, and a complete F-35. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals The aircraft was pulled inside a portable, inflatable rubber hangar and exposed to vaporized hydrogen peroxide for two or three days. The vaporized hydrogen peroxide breaks down into water and oxygen. The team has completed one of three biological trials, and is in the third of four chemical trials. The final biological trial will be this week, and the remaining chemical trial will follow, Chace said. For the chemical tests, the aircraft is sprayed with a vaporized simulated chemical agent, then put inside a hangar for decontamination using heat at about 180 degrees Fahrenheit or six days, a process called “accelerated weathering.” The heat brings the chemical agent down to acceptable levels so the maintenance and air crew don’t have to wear chemical warfare protective gear, Chace said. The aircraft is closely monitored by air samples, video surveillance and temperature sensors during the entire process.