Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Some Amerindian communities tardy in accessing help – Minister tells Wiruni

GUYANA (Stabroek News) - Government will continue to support the transformation of the economies in Amerindian communities but slow responses from areas like Wiruni have been affecting increased development.

According to the Government Information Agency (GINA), Minister of Amerindian Affairs Pauline Sukhai, during a recent Cabinet outreach to the community of Wiruni in Region Ten, stated that the Amerindian Affairs Ministry has been engaging residents but slothfulness in several areas such as the non-submission of Community Development Plans (CDP) by some communities has been affecting development.

According to GINA, the creation of CDPs are essential to the development of village communities as they outline key developmental projects and Minister Sukhai indicated that to aid the process the agency created and distributed templates of a CDP to communities.

She said that the late submissions are causing setbacks leading to a call for village management to be upgraded. She added that the President had given one month for the development plan to be on stream and according to GINA some $5M will be distributed to each community for financing of the plan. The Minister stated that the funds derived from an initiative of the government to commit state forests even though Amerindians have not yet committed their forested area.

Minister Sukhai also stated that some communities have been late in uplifting their presidential grants which in turn leads to slow development with Wiruni highlighted as one community which is yet to uplift its grant for 2009. She also stated that some villages have weaknesses as regards governance but government was committed to working with such areas.

Residents at Wiruni raised several concerns with the team, including the establishment of a secondary school for the area as well as the non-distribution of National Identification cards by the Elections Commission.

GINA stated that the visit by Sukhai and a team, included Liaison Officer Norman Whittaker and Region Ten Regional Executive Officer Devon Bremner. The purpose of the visit was to have an interactive forum with residents of the community, including its Toshao Rohan Fredericks. Minister Sukhai stated that most projects highlighted in this year’s National Budget are in progress and at the same time Cabinet members are visiting communities to establish whether citizens are satisfied with service provided.

She said President Bharrat Jagdeo has demonstrated the administration’s commitment to the Amerindian people by donating his financial reward of US$40,000 from his Champion of the Earth award towards Amerindian development.

GINA stated that the promotion of food security and transformation of village economies are being encouraged by the administration and the government is encouraging Amerindians to engage in sustainable farming practices.

Source: Stabroek News

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