Tigerbone Banakari residents have the best interest of their village at heart
KATHERINE Alfred, better known as “Kathy,” is a resident of Tiberbone Banakari and she is the Chairperson of the Women in Motion Group, President of the Banakari Heritage body and is former Chair of the Community Development Council (CDC) from 2012, but was knocked off the list of electors.
She has been the foundation for development within the village from the outset and she is geared towards having the community regularised and for the people to have a housing scheme, since they are scattered in the village.
The people of Tigerbone Banakari are descendants of the Carib, Warrau, Arawak and the Akawaoi tribes. They are some Indo Guyanese and others of mixed race in the village and from the look of it, the people get along mostly.
Alfred told the Pepperpot Magazine that she settled in the village in 2002 and she used to reside with the rest of the people which was two miles inland. She explained that the village was registered in 1994 by the then village leader, a woman, who has settled there with her family.
Alfred stated that in 2002, the village was bare, it had nothing in terms of facilities for the people and she had only one child and began her quest to develop the place. She mobilised the people and they collectively formed a CDC and started to ask the government for assistance for a community centre and other things.
Back then, Alfred reported that they had 266 residents and they were given 43 acres of land to occupy, but over time, the population has increased. Alfred added that the people need a concession for large-scale farming and over time they will get that.
“During the elections, the administration made some promises to the people and after they won, those promises came to fruition and things are happening for the community,” she said. Alfred pointed out that the area for the pavilion is being cleared and levelled and it will accommodate a ball- field for sports activities and meetings.
She added that all community activities will also be held at the location that is being developed. Under Alfred’s chair of the CDC, the villagers benefitted from a solar panel and a black per household and a laptop each was also given to 13 families.
She also made a proposal for the upgrading of the sports ground and the construction of a resource building to house the women’s group, the cooking class and residents for skills training.
Meanwhile, Raffeena Williams, Secretary of the CDC, whose father James Williams is the Chairman, reported that they received a grant through the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs to construct a multi-purpose building, but the project was stalled because the foundation is defective and they are awaiting an engineer.
Williams added that an ICT hub is also expected to take shape within the village and a bus will be bought for the transportation needs of the villagers. Rowena Rodrigues is one of 10 Community Services Officers (CSOs) and they are tasked with developing the village by way of a census and beautifying the tourism site within the village.
Rodrigues disclosed that they will plant flowers and trees at the site and do a lot of community-based cleaning and construct benabs with seating accommodation for both visitors and residents. “I would walk to this village from where I live, two hills away, three days per week and we get a stipend plus $30,000 monthly to make the village attractive and clean and I like the job so far, but to make things happen we need to cooperate,” she said.
She resides at Camp Alpha, a small village of 10 houses, about two hills away.