–as community moves to increase income-generation, advance infrastructural development
By Indrawattie Natram
MASHABO, a tranquil indigenous community surrounded by creeks and lush greenery, is looking to “spread its wings” and reveal its majesty to Guyanese and foreigners with the establishment of an eco-resort. The little village, located in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), is anticipating significant infrastructural advancement in the coming months. This potential advancement is expected to be funded through a $10 million disbursement from the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs. Toshao of Mashabo, Sylvin Raphael, told the Guyana Chronicle that the Mashabo Village Council will be utilising a portion of this disbursement to initiate transformative projects in the community, as well as to generate income for residents.
Raphael said the council have since decided to establish an eco-resort within the Amerindian community to stimulate tourism. He said the resort, when completed, will afford persons the opportunity to visit the community and enjoy the tranquility and magnificent scenery.
Additionally, he said the village council intends purchasing a boat and engine, along with a community bus to assist in easing transportation costs.
“All this is done from the grant we recently received; once persons want to come in the community, then we can arrange for the bus to pick them up and take them in; we have the wooden bridge where [sic] a motorist can utilise also,” the toshao said.
From the $10 million grant, $2 million has been set aside for the construction of an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) hub in the community. Raphael said that the children and residents will benefit mostly from the projects. Considering the imminent benefits, the toshao said it was only fitting that he thanks the Government of Guyana and the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs for the funds disbursed to his community. Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, on February 3, 2021 had distributed over $105 million to 10 Amerindian communities and one satellite community in Region Two. Minister Sukhai, during a simple distribution exercise, had said that the contribution forms part of the COVID-19 investment fund, which is geared at helping communities to deal with the devastating economic impacts of the pandemic. She said that hinterland communities were impacted heavily by the pandemic, so the Government of Guyana, in recognising the struggles, has allocated $1.73 billion for indigenous villages.