FARMERS of Wakapoa and Akawini, Region Two, have received some $116 million in flood-relief grants after their livestock and cash crops were destroyed during the nationwide flood.
Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues, facilitated the distribution to over 500 farmers during the recent two-day outreach to the region.
During the outreach, the minister acknowledged the severity of the nationwide economic decline caused by COVID-19, but said that the government will continue to implement programmes that will alleviate hardships faced by citizens.
“It has been over a year since we’ve been in the pandemic and it has really put a struggle on our economy. It really has our people struggling; everybody is facing the same challenges now, but you have a government that has made several interventions since we have taken office last year.
“The COVID-19 relief, the cash grant to our school children then coupled with that we had unprecedented rainfall and flooding that affected not only Guyana but several countries around the world. Again, at a government level we have intervened and we have now rolled out this flood relief cash grant to help our farmers,” Minister Rodrigues said.
She also reiterated the government’s pledge to ensure that every Guyanese benefits equally from relief programmes.
To this end, Minister Rodrigues related: “President Ali has personally committed to this. He has said to our farmers that he will be here to lend a hand. And he will be here to help you back on your feet.
“We know that this is a temporary solution, this is bringing some immediate relief to you, but we want to ensure that Guyanese wherever they live can get back on their feet, that you can sustain yourself. Every person wants to know that they can fend for themselves, that they can sustain themselves, that they can work and earn to feed their families on their own.”
She added: “You have a government that is willing to help you, so whether you live on the coastland where there is more opportunity or whether you live all the way out here in Region Two, we want to provide you with the same opportunities. We want to make sure every Guyanese benefits equally and that is something very, very important to our government.”
The government has allocated $1 billion to the flood-relief cash grant initiative, which will benefit farmers across the 10 administrative regions. The relief is expected to assist farmers to return to their livelihoods.