Min. Hamilton to help Kuru Kuru residents address challenges

Minister of Labour, Hon. Joseph Hamilton has promised to resolve several ongoing challenges affecting residents of Kuru Kuru, Soesdyke-Linden Highway, to foster much-needed community development.

The Minister made this commitment during an outreach there on Saturday. 

Minister of Labour, Hon. Joseph Hamilton (first right) listens to residents concerns during an outreach exercise at Kuru Kuru.

“I am here with the intention of resolving the ongoing issues in this community, and so we must work together to ensure to achieve that goal to foster development in education, infrastructure and even water… I am committed to help you to get to the place you want,” Minister Hamilton said.

Land matters were among several issues raised by residents. Some lamented not having access to land, while others complained that some persons have land and are not utilising it. The Minister was also informed that there had been unsolicited attempts by members of the Kuru Kuru Co-operative Society to sell lands to private entities.

As such, Minister Hamilton told the gathering that his Ministry would conduct an integrity audit into the group’s operation.

“This co-operative society does not belong to one person, but everyone… It needs to be accountable and transparent with residents, and if this cannot be achieved, then the members will need to be replaced,” he said.

Chairman of the Co-operative Society, Mr. Henry Wickham told the Minister that while he does not disagree with this perspective, the group’s main challenges stem from persons refusing to pay their dues and inactive members. 

Chairman of the Kuru Kuru Co-operative Society, Mr. Henry Wickham

Currently, the co-op society is owed $65 million, which led to implementing a payment plan, Mr. Wickham said. He added that they are compiling a list of the community’s landowners to address this issue. This is to be completed by the end of the first quarter of the year.

In response, Minister Hamilton advised Mr. Wickham and the members to provide him with a list of the registered households, landowners, and the date of acquisition within the community on Monday. This data, he explained, will allow them to discuss the way forward.

As it relates to training opportunities for the youths, the Minister said it is unacceptable that the youth within the community are not given the same opportunities as others to attend the Kuru Kuru Training Centre (KKTC). To this end, he will discuss with Minister of Culture, Youth, Sport, Hon. Charles Ramson Jr., the possibility of providing workshops.  

“We must do everything possible as leaders to find the methodology for youths to develop themselves,” Minister Hamilton said. 

The Ministry also intends to appoint Co-operative, Labour, Occupational Health and Safety, and Board of Industrial Training Officers to ensure the community has access to training and other services. 

Concerning requests for installing streetlights and road infrastructure, the Minister said he would engage the relevant agencies. 

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