Health centres for Aruka Mouth, Imbotero

– Assistance for drainage and irrigation among other interventions

 DPI, Guyana, Saturday, October 19, 2019

Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Hon. Sydney Allicock today, engaged the residents of Aruka Mouth and Imbotero in one of several ministerial meetings being held in the Mabaruma sub-district, Barima-Waini, Region 1, over the weekend.

Aruka Mouth is a riverine community with a population of 305 persons; while Imbotero, located some 20 minutes upriver from Aruka Mouth, has over 200 residents.

The meetings were very interactive, and residents voiced their concerns on issues affecting them and also provided updates on some of the ongoing projects in the villages. Among the issues highlighted was the need for health facilities in the communities and proper drainage and irrigation, to provide relief for farmers during the high tides

Minister Allicock explained that while his ministry does not deal directly with those issues, he will engage the respective ministries to have these matters addressed.

He also reminded of the administration’s efforts to ensure quality health services are accessible to all the citizens of Guyana.

“The president has said that every community should have access to proper health care… So, I will look into this,” he assured.

 It was noted that persons residing in the communities have already identified to be trained as Community Health Workers (CHWs)3.

Minister Allicock also pointed out the administration has been calling on residents to engage in farming and acknowledged that proper infrastructure must be put in place so farmers can have easy access to their farms and markets. In the interim, he advised the chairperson of Aruka Mouth CDC to engage the regional administration to assist the farmers.

Additionally, the representatives of Aruka Mouth requested support to establish a community project that will provide jobs for the residents. Minister Allicock assured that support will be provided after the community submits a plan for the project to his office. He reminded that he has been encouraging the various Indigenous communities to craft their Village Developmental Plans (VIP), which will guide their developmental process over a five-to-ten-year period.

Through the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, the community of Aruka Mouth has benefitted from much support over the past four years. In 2016, the village received $1M for the construction of a school kitchen; in 2017, $800,000 for a boat engine; 2018 saw $800,000 allocated for preventative works and in 2019, $1M for a water system project.

The village also received a boat under the 5Bs programme, and through the Amerindian Development Fund (ADF), the community received $5M for a project benefitting their fishermen. Melissa Pritchard, Chairperson of the CDC, explained that this project has been going well and the profits garnered will be used to establish a poultry rearing project for the women.

Close to $4M was also invested in Imbotero, over the last three years, for the construction of a community centre among other initiatives. Today, both communities also received a quantity of sport gear from Minister Allicock.