Gov’t hands over more ATVs to North Pakaraimas villages

The government handed over additional all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) totalling $12.5 million to five villages in the North Pakaraimas, Region Eight.

The off-road vehicles will improve mobility for the Village Councils to effectively serve residents in the respective villages.

Minister Sukhai engaged residents and newly elected councils on their roles and functions

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai officially handed over the vehicles to Toshaos of Paramakatoi, Tuseneng, Yawong, Bamboo Creek, and Taruka Villages over the weekend.

This initiative is part of the $3 billion supplementary financial provision for Indigenous development announced in 2022 by President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali during the National Toshaos Council (NTC) Conference.

Leaders were tasked with identifying priority projects needed in their villages so that financial support could be made available.

Toshao of Paramakatoi, Stephen Anicetus receiving the key to his ATV

Speaking with the Department of Public Information (DPI), newly elected Toshao of Paramakatoi, Stephen Anicetus explained that with the all-terrain cycles, Paramakatoi and its satellite communities will be effectively served.

He also voiced his determination as a newly elected leader to work alongside the government to accelerate his village’s development.

Similarly, Toshao of Taruka, Fel Fel Benette echoed similar sentiments and extended gratitude to the ministry for delivering the gift to his village.

Meanwhile, Minister Sukhai stressed the significant benefits the ATVs bring to these North Pakaraimas villages.

The minister urged the various village councils to ensure the bikes are properly maintained to provide longer service, adding that it could also be used for rentals, creating an additional stream of income for the villages.

The leader of Taruka Village also received the keys

Apart from the handing-over ceremony, Minister Sukhai engaged the newly elected leaders of the villages, including in Monkey Mountain, emphasising their obligation to be transparent and accountable while carrying out their duties.

With the NTC Conference season approaching, Minister Sukhai appealed to leaders to conduct their village general meeting in time for the conference.

Of the $3 billion supplementary financial provision for Indigenous development, some $250 million has been set aside for the development and implementation of projects targeting youths.

The government remains steadfast in its commitment to accelerating development within Indigenous communities with an allocation of $9 billion, including carbon credit funding, in the 2024 national budget.

More than $2 billion in carbon credit resources will be later disbursed to fund agriculture, tourism, youth empowerment, and economic ventures in more than 242 Amerindian villages nationwide.