‘Hinterland has never witnessed such levels of development’ – Mabaruma residents
─ confident that the David Granger-led administration will win next election
DPI, Guyana, Thursday, October 24, 2019
The government’s efforts to bring the hinterland into the mainstream of national development has been welcomed and commended by the residents of the Mabaruma sub-district, Region 1. These measures include the provision of public infrastructure and ensuring critical public services are available to the Indigenous Peoples as well as providing avenues for communities to become sustainable.
During the recent ministerial engagement in the sub-region, many residents said that they have never witnessed such levels of development and they are optimistic that the Granger-led Coalition Government will triumph at the General and Regional Elections in March 2020.
A resident of Hobodiea, Reynold Hudson applauded the Coalition’s move for a revision of the Amerindian Act of 2006. Hudson said the 2006 Act was crafted with little or no consultations with the Indigenous Peoples. “Members of the Opposition have visited the area and told the people that they have provided an Amerindian Act for them. That is a piece of unfair legislation. I have studied it and I was a facilitator on that… when President Granger goes for his second term, a speedy revision will be done on this Amerindian Act,” Hudson remarked.
Consultations on the act’s revision has been ongoing to ensure Indigenous citizens have their input on this key piece of legislation that guides their daily lives. Hudson commended the administration’s commitment to ensuring that the act is fully compliant with international laws and standards which protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Once the rounds of consultations are completed, the act will be laid in the National Assembly for approval.
Hudson also applauded the drive to empower the youths through the Hinterland Employment and Youth Service (HEYS), noting that it would have boosted the agriculture and business sectors within communities. Through this programme, over $650M has been invested in 1,378 youths in the region. An additional sum was disbursed to over 400 young entrepreneurs to boost their businesses.
Hudson said two of his children benefitted from the programme and have a thriving their agricultural business venture. “With the last 50,000 grant they were given, they have already planted 2 acres of cassava, 1 acre of plantains along with vegetables and we have corn yet to add to that. Next year we are adding ginger and other spices.” One of his daughters is constructing her home from the profits she made.
Echoing similar sentiments was Marlon Jerome of Imbotero. He said, “I believe that we are in good hands. We have seen developments… this government deserves a second chance…we need to stop fighting and work together to build and by the help of His Excellency, President David Granger, we will get there.”
While there is more work to be done, Jerome acknowledged that there is much to celebrate. He highlighted the impact of the internet connectivity drive that has seen many villages, schools, community centres and village offices having access to communication. To date, 77 villages have been connected to the hinterland. Students, village leaders as well as schools also benefitted from computers and electronic tablets to ensure they make full use of the internet services provided.
Jerome also highlighted the improvements to the health and education sector in the region, noting that his children are excelling at the North West Secondary School in Mabaruma and the fact there are more services available at the regional hospital.