Government to expand services to hinterland communities in 2012
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UNDER the leadership of newly-elected President Donald Ramotar, the government will be working more aggressively in 2012 to expand the services being offered to the Indigenous Peoples through the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs. This is according to Amerindian Affairs Minister, Pauline Sukhai who made the announcement during the traditional end-of-year press conference at the Amerindian Affairs Ministry on Quamina and Alexander Streets here in the city.
She said that the new year will see massive expansion and drastic transformation of services that redound to the advancement of Amerindian development.
She noted that the focus of the Amerindian Affairs Ministry for 2012 is to support development of enterprise, thereby transforming village economies and consequently reducing poverty in the hinterland, while striving to build partnerships with other agencies.

There are 180 rehabilitation projects to be undertaken in Amerindian communities across Guyana in 2012. These will command the following focus: 69% agriculture, 12% village infrastructure, 8% tourism, 5% manufacturing, 2% village business enterprise, 2% mining, and 1% transportation.
Village toshaos and councillors, the minister said, will be elected in 2012, and this new dimension in Amerindian development will propel the local democratic system.
“One of the major events of 2011 was the 5th National Toshaos Council (NTC) Meeting at the Guyana International Conference Centre (GICC). This paved the way for the continuous development of Amerindian communities, and provided the forum for interaction between the leaders and members of the Government,” she said.
Land demarcation and titling will be another main focus for the Ministry for 2012.
“We will be focusing on the communities’ 36 extensions, 13 titling and 19 demarcations. Some of the projects are rolled-over projects,” Minister Sukhai said, adding: “We will work to ensure that we achieve greater levels of performance, with higher levels of services to the Amerindian villages, (their) households and families.”
She also indicated that the ministry will continue to focus on riverine and land transportation for school children, so as to ease the transportation issues that are currently affecting those areas.
Children in all hinterland regions benefited from Government’s free uniform distribution programme, hot meals or snacks, and a more conducive environment for learning.
“Over 30,000 students from Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine benefited from free school uniforms; while 50 percent of those also benefited from the hot meals and snacks’ feeding programme,” she outlined.
She congratulated the students who succeeded, through the Hinterland Scholarship Programme, at both the secondary and technical levels, noting that some 68 students graduated with creditable performances in 2011.   
The minister noted that the Sand Creek Secondary School will soon be commissioned, and will serve to enhance access to secondary education. 
As part of a commitment made by the PPP/C government, the minister said, additional schools will be built in these hinterland communities to ensure all have equitable access to education.

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