$232.4M in Presidential Grants for hinterland villages

for 2019

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, October 17, 2019

A total of $232.4M in Presidential Grants has been disbursed to 217 hinterland villages thus far for 2019. Projects supported under the Presidential Grant initiative include: Transportation – procurement of boats, engines, buses, tractors and trailers and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs); Agricultural – cattle and chicken poultry rearing, cash crop farming; Tourism – Guesthouses, Eco-Lodges, benabs; Public Infrastructure – pavilions, multi-purpose halls, village offices, village shops roads, trails, bridges and revetments.

During a presentation at the recently concluded 13th annual National Toshaos Council (NTC), Florence Alexi La Rose, Development Officer of the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, explained that the amount represents a 92% disbursement for the year.

La Rose explained that 17 Presidential Grants are still outstanding, which totals $16. Six villages in Region 1 are still to receive their grants – Barabina, Eclipse Falls, Hobodeia, Powaikuru, Big Creek, Barimanobo; Akawini in Region 2; Lower Bonosika in Region 3; Kurutuku in Region 7; Fair View, Mountain Foot, Red Creek in Region 8; Parabara, Quatata, Semonie in Region 9 and Muritaro in Region 10.

“This is October, reconciliations have to happen. So, when we ask you to submit early, it is to allow the process to happen; so, you can receive your money and complete your project by the end of the year. Now we are both in a position where you are still outstanding and the project is still outstanding so, if you do not hurry the community will end up loosing out of these funds,” La Rose stressed as she called on those villages to submit their projects by the end of this month.

She reminded village leaders of the need for them to properly document their community’s assets and the importance of practising good management and accountability.

The Presidential Grant programme is one of the major interventions undertaken by the government to boost economic and social development for Indigenous People in their respective communities. Villages and communities receive between $500,000 to $2,000,000 based on the population size.

The allocation of grants commenced in 2007 with communities receiving a mere $150,000,000. Some 139 villages benefitted from the grant during that time. In 2016, in observance of Guyana’s 50th Independence Anniversary, the Coalition Government approved a total of $280,500,000 in grants for 212 communities to embark on a project of their choice.  In 2017, $215,000,000 was approved for projects 215 villages.

Last week during the NTC, over $34M in Presidential and Capital Grants were presented to Toshaos for green sustainable community projects. Communities benifitted included- Hururu, Maikwak, Arakaka, Morawhanna, Hotoquai, Hiawa, Fly Hill, Sand Creek, Monkey Mountain, Quarrie, Santa Curz, Karasabai, Wiruni, Tipuru, Bamboo Creek, Tuseneng, Kokshebai, Kanapang, Kaibarupai, Churikadnau, Pai Pang.