$17M in Presidential grants for Moruca communities

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Parakese Senior Councillor, Terrence Edwards receiving a cheque from Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock. (DPI photo)

…funds to be used to open up businesses, other ventures

SEVERAL communities at the Moruca sub-district in the Barima/Waini will be able to undertake infrastructure works among other projects following the receipt of over $17M in Presidential Grants.

The grants were presented to Santa Rosa and its satellite communities on Sunday in the form of cheques which were handed over to the senior councillors by Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock during a community engagement.

He was accompanied by Legal Advisor, David James and Project Officer, Alexi LaRose and other government officials.

According to the Department of Public Information, the villages of Koko-Hutawari, Cabrora and Rincon each received $3M for the construction of multi-purpose buildings; Huradiah $1M to furnish its multi-purpose centre and purchase floodlights; Kumaka $1M to fence the Santa Rosa Guest House compound and to purchase woodworking tools and machinery to complement its woodworking facility.

In Kamwatta, $1M will be spent to convert a bond to a craft centre and purchase craft items; at Karaburi, $1M will be utilized to construct a market place; at Wallaba, $1M will be expended to execute repairs to the village vehicle and to establish a 5-acre coconut plantation.

At the village of Mora, a $1M grant will be spent on repairs of its cargo boat and establishment of a floating/mobile grocery shop while at Seven-Mile Branch Road, a satellite of Waramuri, the sum of $800,000 will be utilised to purchase a 15 horsepower Yamaha outboard engine and boat to assist the community with its transportation needs, especially the farmers.

Some of the items which were handed over the village leaders. (DPI photo)

Parakese village received $1M to purchase carpentry and boat building tools and sport gear and Senior Councillor, Terrence Edwards explained that the people recognised that there is a need for more activities for the youth within his village, so, the villagers decided to use their 2019 grant to purchase the equipment and the remaining monies will be used for a boat building workshop that will commence soon.

“The youths are our future, we will go and leave them and we as leaders need to ensure that we set that foundation for them, we have to groom them now,” Edwards emphasised. He expressed gratitude to the government for making this possible.

Minister Allicock commended the village council for creating projects that target the young people in the village. He said it serves as motivation for the young people who are willing and ready to learn a skill and help with the development of their respective villages. “We have a lot of children who are involved in a lot of illegal things, we also have teenage pregnancy and some are not involved in any activities or not earning a living. In this part of Region One, we are very happy to see the councillors and Toshaos willing to teach and be involved in the development of youths,” he said.

The minister reminded the councillors of the need for proper management and accountability of village assets, and the need for villages to create more activities that will assist in creating jobs for the people and generate an income for the village. Santa Rosa is the largest Indigenous village in Guyana with a population of over 10,000 residents spread out in the 11 islands. These islands are managed by a Toshao along with 22 councillors. The Presidential Grants programme is aimed at creating self-sufficiency within the hinterland villages and communities through green, innovative projects. This year, over $200M will be invested in 215 villages and communities under the programme.

According to the DPI, over the past month, Kopinang and Bamboo Creek in Potaro-Siparuni, Region 8; and Wakapau, Kabakaburi, St. Monica and Mainstay/Whyaka in the Pomeroon-Supenaam, Region 2 received presidential grants over $8M, while, Patarinau, Region 9, and its satellite, Baitoon and Katuur received $3M.