Amerindian leaders urged to efficiently utilise govt’s investments

Government is urging Amerindian leaders to use government investments to better the lives of villagers.

The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs has been making heavy investments in hinterland villages across the country, with the aim of bolstering economies.

Subject Minister, Pauline Sukhai, MP, visited several villages in Regions Eight and Nine, reminding villagers that they have a partner in government.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, MP, hands over a brush cutter to the Community Support Officers of Parashara.

“Our government is making the investment. You, as villagers, now have the opportunity to advance progress in your various communities.”

One of the commitments made and delivered by government is the increase of presidential grants; an initiative started by a previous PPP/C Government.

The grant is given to all Amerindian villages and satellites to execute projects discussed and approved by the village councils, that will benefit all villagers.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs Pauline Sukhai delivers items to Nappi villagers.

“When we returned to office, we increased the presidential grant by $20 million, from $280 million to $300 million, so, every village got a top up.”

In addition, government has recognised the severe hardships cast upon hinterland residents, and made available an economic grant to every Amerindian village and satellite.

That grant ranged between $5 million to $15 million and was dependent on the geographical size and population of the area.

“It was an income generating grant that was given to cause employment in the village, for young people in the village, male or female and to earn the village funds that are so needed.

Toshao of Nappi, Samuel Fredricks

When Toshaos need to travel to collect presidential grant, they have to take some out for meals and travel because they don’t have money in the village,” Minister Sukhai highlighted.

Meanwhile, Toshao of Nappi, Samuel Fredericks underscored the importance of government’s continued assistance.

“It is important because it helps us to move on the way forward. We were really down during this pandemic. But now with all investments like we are going back to normal, and it’s helping a lot of people you know, get back to normalcy in this life.”

Another resident of the village, Ricky Buckley noted that the economic initiatives spearheaded by government ensure youths are employed.

Resident of Nappi, Ricky Buckley

“We see cohesiveness beginning to return to the village, which is a plus for us because we were not reaching out to each other in the pandemic. We are grateful that the young people are being engaged positively. We prefer positive than the negative side.”

Meanwhile, Minister Sukhai also delivered a weed cutter and two sewing machines each for Nappi and its satellite Parashara. A quantity of insecticide was also delivered to the villagers.

Governance issues in Parashara was also addressed during the ministerial outreach. Accompanying Minister Sukhai was long-serving Member of Parliament, Yvonne Pearson, a team from the Amerindian Affairs Ministry and regional leaders.