Gov’t continues to deliver on promises to Amerindians -Min. Sukhai

Minister of Amerindian Affairs Hon. Pauline Sukhai says the development of Amerindians across Guyana remains a priority of the PPP/C Government.

Minister Sukhai was addressing residents of Capoey on the Essequibo Coast, on Tuesday. She outlined the progress made by the Government in the delivery of its manifesto promises.

Minister Sukhai arriving at Lake Capoey.

Among those commitments is the re-establishment of the Community Support Officers (CSO) programme, which is currently being rolled out.

We have in excess of 1900 young Community Service Officers across the Ten Administrative Regions engaged in community development and serving their community,” Minister Sukhai said.

The Government is seeking to recruit some 2000 young persons for the programme this year. Seventy youths are still needed to achieve this target. The Minister said some communities have been slow in submitting the names of officers. However, they are being engaged.

Capoey Toshao Mr. Ralph Hendricks

The Government has also distributed the COVID-19 Investment Fund to Amerindian communities, which will see the establishment of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) facilities in villages.

Capoey has already received its grant and has established an ICT facility there.

Minister Sukhai said the fund will also help to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19.

Capoey Mission

Two hundred and twenty Amerindian villages received a total of $1.73 billion, when you think of $1.73 billion injected into Amerindian villages, it means that cash is circulating or will be circulating, it means that projects will be embarked on and it means community members will be involved,” Minister Sukhai stated.

Another promise fulfilled was the increase of the presidential grant which will see Amerindian communities benefiting from economically viable projects that will sustain their livelihoods.

Those communities who were getting 400,000 are now getting a million, those who were getting 2 million are getting 2.2 million those who were getting 800, 000 are getting 1.2 million so we have increased the presidential grant fund also, and it’s all based on a commitment that our Government the PPP/CIVIC Government made to the people of the hinterland,” Minister Sukhai said.

A beach frequented by visitors to Capoey

Amerindian land issues have been a concern for several communities, and Minister Sukhai said with the PPP/C Government back in office, these issues will be addressed.

We have acquired the project manager, she has been working on the work plan and we expect before the end of the year, that we will have titling for some extension, the extension for some villages and we will commence the cadastral surveys for those who received their extensions from us when we were in office and those who will be titled within this period,” she said.

The Minister noted that Capoey was one of the communities that was investigated and recommended, and therefore its issue should be resolved soon.

Transport in Lake Capoey

I can assure you that now that we are back, we are addressing the land matters, so I would not want to give you a timeline, but before the end of the year, we are going to proceed to title some extensions and also to survey areas that have been approved and those that will be approved in this year,” Minister Sukhai said.

Amerindian villages across the country are currently holding elections for the post of Toshao.  Capoey has re-elected Mr. Ralph Hendricks as its Toshao.

During a meeting with Minister Sukhai, Mr. Hendricks raised the issue of land extension for his community, along with the need for a 40 hp outboard engine for community use.

The engine was already approved in the budget and will be available in two months’ time. The village is also looking into the prospect of offering training in Bamboo Craft.