Kawarab urged to develop an action plan to accelerate development
DPI, Guyana, Monday, November 18, 2019
Residents of Karawab have been advised to develop action plans that will help guide the government and regional council to implement development projects to improve the economy of the village and the livelihood of its people.
Karawab Village is located on the bank of the Pomeroon River, some 40 kilometres off Charity. It has a population of 800 Caribs and is a satellite of St. Monica community led by Toshao Thomas Charles and his deputy Patrick Sanders.
Through Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Presidential Grant programme, Karawab has received $1.5M for the construction of a balahoo boat in 2016; in 2017, $1M for a passenger boat; in 2018, $1M for the installation of a solar system at the village office and in 2019 $1M for the construction of a village shop. Under the Capital Grant programme, a $1.5M village office was constructed.
During a community meeting in the village today, Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Hon. Sydney Allicock reiterated that the government stands ready to partner with villages once provided with suitable project proposals.
He referred to the millions which have been invested in other villages to create economic projects including the Sundried Tomato project and the Lapidary Facility in Pakaraima, Region 8; the Santa Rosa Coffee projects, and the Kwebanna Cassava Processing facility in Region 1, to name a few.
Minister Allicock noted that Karawab is one of the largest populated communities in Upper Pomeroon River; therefore, the village council must work on developing a plan that will guide the village’s development in 2020 and beyond. This plan, the minister pointed out, must include all of the resources available, what is needed to enhance the livelihood of the people and create jobs, and development in health and education.
“Create your plan, create proposals for projects so that you can benefit once the oil resources start to flow in 2020… Guyana is the new kid on the block, a lot of companies are looking at us… So, we have to continue to plant fresh food, people want to see and experience our culture, they want to see nature and therefore you have to develop your product… You also to start preparing your young people – get them trained.”
The minister noted that the government has been doing its part by providing training through the Hinterland Employment and Youth Service (HEYS) programme. The initiative, he said, which is the brainchild of His Excellency, President David Granger has thus far trained 4,000 youths and led to the creation of over 2,000 jobs. Scholarships for students to attend the University of Guyana (UG) and other technical institutions on the coast has also increased. The government has begun the process of constructing technical institutions in all of the hinterland regions with the Green Enterprise Development Centre in Bina Hill being the first to be constructed.
He urged the community to continue to work together to achieve their goals and called on the village council to practice good management, transparency and accountability.
During the interactive session, the residents requested a boat and engine for the school, since most of the teachers are from the coast and have to travel between Charity and Karawab to conduct school business and have to seek their own transportation. Upgrades to the teachers’ quarter and electrical works at the primary school were also requested.
Deputy Regional Executive Officer (DREO), Yvette Hastings (ag) explained that these issues can be remedied immediately and promised to engaged the Regional Executive Officer to have them rectified soonest. As it relates to transportation, she urged the teachers to submit their receipts and the region will reimburse the teachers for their travel expenses.
Minister Allicock impressed upon the village the importance of partnering with the central government and the regional body to address the many issues affecting them.