Govt proposes lottery for mining regions
─ local communities to be given first preference
─ initiative will separate mining from agricultural lands
DPI, Guyana, Thursday, February 7, 2019
Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman has proposed holding a lottery for mining regions of Guyana, as a means of ensuring local communities are not robbed or taken advantage of in land allocations.
During a visit to Mahdia (Region 8) on Thursday, Minister Trotman listened to concerns of residents regarding mining and land allocation. In a meeting with Regional Chairman, Bonaventure Fredericks, the minister said he had taken step towards holding a lottery to benefit the local community.
“I have written Mr. Dennison about a lottery to maybe make it mining districts specific, so the people who are in this mining district will benefit and not somebody coming from outside,” he said.
Minister Trotman said everything has to be balanced between settlements, now that Mahdia has been declared a town.
“There are some tension and conflicts between where the town’s boundaries are and mining lands, we have to resolve those.”
The lottery for mining properties is expected to particularly assist small miners. However, this is not the only reason the initiative is being proposed, as according to the minister, this will also aid in the separation of Agricultural lands.
“If you are going to be a town you also have to sustain yourself with agricultural produce,” he noted.
Minister Trotman has described as a ‘necessary pilgrimage’ the two-day visit to Mahdia which was made by Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes on Wednesday and his subsequent visit on Thursday.
He said Mahdia is an integral part of the Guyanese community both economically and culturally and the government will continue to do what is necessary for the town’s development.
Images: Akeem Thomas.