Building Semonie, one brick at a time

DPI, Guyana, Sunday, September 29, 2019

The town of Lethem welcomed Government Ministers on September 28, as they embarked on several community meetings in central Lethem and other far-flung villages in the Rupununi region.

Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe met with residents of Semonie a small satellite village of Katoka. The community has a population of approximately 250 persons and is only accessible by boat

During a walk-about the village, Minister Garrido Lowe engaged the residents who mostly speak Makushi and through her ministry’s official translator gathered much information on their concerns for their community.

The Minister also highlighted the Hinterland Sustainable Housing Programme which she said will see “… the residents of Semonie benefitting from a housing project where the government will build 32, two-bedroom clay brick houses for families. The monies are supplied to the village council of Semonie for the purchase of materials so that the families can commence construction.”

It was pointed out that construction for 16 of these homes had already commenced. Aside from the bedrooms the homes will be outfitted with a kitchen and dining area, complete plumbing installation and one 500-gallon black water tank for water storage.

In the meeting the issues of having a doctor stationed permanently at the village health centre, more sports activities for the village youths, establishing a woman’s group, and creating entrepreneurs through the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs HEYS project.

“Your Government is here today to listen to you, bring resolutions to your concerns and to develop your village,” Minister Garrido-Lowe responded.  She noted that in her walk-about there was “no source of communication” and pledged to return in December with “a generator and a radio transmitter so you [residents] can be connected to other neighbouring villages.”

Among other government interventions in the community are a Health Centre, a Multipurpose Building, and Nursery and Primary Schools.

Minister Garrido-Lowe also distributed sports gear and school supplies to the villagers.