23 complete boat building project in Baracara

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, September 7, 2019

The community of Baracara in Region 6 lies 42 miles from New Amsterdam and is only accessible by an hour-and-a-half speedboat ride. Residents depend on logging and the cultivation of coffee, rice, and ground provision for their livelihoods.

Boats are therefore a crucial means of transport in the daily lives of the Baracara inhabitants. Recently, 23 members of the community completed a four months boat building project facilitated by the Board of Industrial Training (BIT).

A graduation ceremony was held for the successful participants on September 5.

Speaking to the Department of Public Information (DPI), Cassandra Amsterdam explained that she owns a small grocery shop in the village but decided to learn an extra trade after hearing about the project. “It was very beneficial; I learnt a lot and I am glad I didn’t just sit around but instead earned a certificate and learnt from scratch how to build a boat.”

Claymont Amsterdam, a life-long resident of Baracara applauded the government for the initiative. “All we know here is farming. So, when we have to take our produce to the markets, we would pay persons who own private boats to take us out. Now that we know how to build a boat, we can raise the funds to build our own boats from scratch and even into the business of boat repairs to bring in an income,” Amsterdam noted.

Board Chairman for BIT, Clinton Williams, in his remarks to those gathered, stated that the agency has over the years provided young people in all the regions across the country with vocational skills. He added a total of 25,000 persons will be trained in various skills by the end of 2019.

“Our mandate here at the Board of Industrial Training is to ensure persons who are school dropouts and from depressed communities received the skills they need to start their own business or expand their education,” he said.

Williams disclosed that in the near future, oil giant ExxonMobil will be collaborating with the Board of Industrial Training to introduce similar boat building projects to other riverine communities in Regions 2 and 6. He added that this partnership meets the requirement for international companies entering Guyana to provide capacity building for citizens.

He also added that due to the demands for skills development in the country, the Basic Needs Trust Funds has collaborated with BIT to finance five major projects valued at $180M to increase the number of skilled persons fill the gaps.

Meanwhile, Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Hon. Keith Scott urged the graduates to also seek self-empowerment which will add to the transformation of the Baracara community.

You are now able to build a boat, there will be no need to pay someone to do the job… this government purpose supports every Guyanese in every region, and with the Government’s support, it is now up to you, the residents to work together and seek empowerment.,” Minister Scott added.

In other developments, a 30-foot boat was built by the participants of the training exercise; the material and engine were donated by BIT. The vessel will aid in the transport of their agricultural produce to the New Amsterdam Market.