Major developments for Masakenari in 2019

– $15M budgeted to upgrade Parabara to Kassaikaytu trail

DPI, Guyana, Friday, December 14, 2018

Residents of Masakenari, Deep South, in the Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo region will see major developments in their community in 2019 including an upgrade to the Parabara to Kassaikaytu trail.

During a community meeting with the residents, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Alfred King explained that this will significantly reduce travel time. The upgraded trail will also make it easier for supplies to be transported into the community.

King further explained that monies were also provided to strengthen and continue the Hinterland Entrepreneurial Youths (HEYS) programme. He noted that specialists/professionals will be recruited into the community to provide students with a variety of skills and business ideas. The four most improved businesses will receive an additional grant of $50,000 in 2019.

“We will not stop there we will continue to work through the presidential grants to how best we can improve your livelihood. In the area of governance, we are working with your Toshao on a Village Improvement Plan to also improve your education and health,” King explained.

Though the Indigenous Affairs Ministry is not responsible for education, it will work along with the Minister of Education to see there are adequate teachers in the community. The ministry will also work along with the Ministry of Public Health to ensure there is a timely supply of drugs.

Additionally, the sum of $20M was provided to extend the Amerindian Hostel in Georgetown to accommodate approximately 200 people who come from the hinterland with medical issues.

The Permanent Secretary urged the Toshao to submit the community’s 2019 proposal.

Meanwhile, Ministerial Advisor, Mervyn Williams commended the community for its upstanding leadership which led to it becoming the first hinterland community to become a protected area. Williams stated that the community has demonstrated its capacity to make the best decisions for the community.

“The trend of waiting to receive instructions is being reversed and this village has led the pace. Therefore, this land is yours and will remain yours, no one will take it from you.”

The Ministerial Advisor also revealed some major plans for 2019. This includes the completion of a dormitory facility for students pursuing tertiary education.

At the community meeting, the residents used the opportunity to raise some concerns which were addressed. HEYS students also received their stipend.

Also present at the meeting was Deputy Commissioner, Guyana Protected Areas Commission, Denise Fraser.

Ranetta La Fleur

Images: Kennyann Bacchus

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