$13B allocation will greatly improve hinterland residents’ lives- Indigenous Affairs Ministers
GINA, GUYANA, Wednesday, November 30, 2016
The Ministers of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs say the $13B allocated for the hinterland communities in the 2017 National Budget, will significantly improve the livelihoods of the residents.
Speaking with the Government Information Agency (GINA), Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock said that many hinterland youths will benefit with the introduction of advanced technology and the many more opportunities to be presented.
Minister Allicock explained that the $250B, National Budget for 2017 has provided the opportunity for hinterland communities to have access to proper institutions that will be able to offer the training to youths and adults that is desperately needed.
“This will lead to the establishment of industries within the hinterland, which will in turn bring the country together, since we have been divided too long,” Minister Allicock explained.
The Minister added that the $100M for the construction of 115 subsidised housing units and 45 roof and water catchment system subsidies in Regions One and Nine are also welcomed. He said that the allocation provides an opportunity for the hinterland communities to have better houses and security, especially since the population is growing rapidly.
“We are a people who live dispersed, and because of the population growth, you have to take a better approach on how you do housing in the communities because you must ensure there is space for agriculture and other developments, especially since there are talks about going inland, so I look forward to this being a big support to our people,” Minister Allicock underlined.
Additionally, the Minister pointed out that the allocation will also create job opportunities especially for those persons who make the burnt
blocks using shingles, tiles or leaves. “It will be a better organised way of developing the communities,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Minister within the Ministry, Valerie Garrido-Lowe told GINA that while she’s very pleased that the Hinterland Employment and Youth Service (HEYS) got $991M to continue the other half of the programme, she is more thankful that works will commence on the Mahdia hospital. This health facility has been in a deteriorating state for years.
“I’m very happy that the Mahdia hospital is being upgraded because no one had much faith in the hospital, even myself. I am also happy to hear that a specialist will be going there to provide services for the hinterland communities, they really need it,” Minister Garrido- Lowe said.
The Minister indicated that the $991M allocated for the HEYS programme in 2017 will be used for training of approximately 2000 youths and stipends for facilitators. She highlighted that in May 2017, the second phase of the HEYS programme will commence across the remaining 106 hinterland communities. Youths from a similar number of communities are currently benefitting from the programme.
Minister Garrido-Lowe is appreciative that other infrastructural works will be undertaken to improve roads, bridges and airstrips.
By: Ranetta La Fleur