Ministry takes Sustainable Village Development to Moruca Sub-district

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Eleven villages and satellites in the Santa Rosa, Moruca Sub-District, Barima/Waini, Region One are benefitting from a four-day Village Improvement Plan (V.I.P) workshop. The initiative, being executed under the Sustainable Development Framework (SDF), is aimed at building sustainable village economies.

Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe.

The V.I.P was launched on Tuesday, March 13, in Santa Rosa, Moruca.

In the feature address to village leaders, councillors, and residents, Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe said “indeed, if you are honest with yourselves you will admit that there has been a drought of sustainable plans for some years now in Santa Rosa. And even if the great ideas were there, the will and skill needed to implement have been lacking for some time now”.

Emphasising the need for villages to formulate V.I.Ps, the Minister said “many villages do not have plans for the future, so we are going to help you strengthen your economies. We need to make plans that would last us for years to come- sustainable plans. Not plans that will change with the election of new Toshao’s. We need the people to get on board with these long-term plans – not just a Toshao and a few Councillors.  This is the only way we will continue to move forward.”

Attention was paid to two major projects that will soon be executed in the region – the Coffee Project in Santa Rosa and the Cassava Flour Project in Kwebanna. Another potential economic driver is the establishment of a bakery. Noting the many benefits to be derived from the soon to blossoming Oil Sector, the Minister Garrido-Lowe advised “now is the time to prepare ourselves and our community to benefit”.

She pointed out that among the key areas that should be considered for inclusion in the respective V.I.Ps are education, culture, health, governance, livelihood, nature and environment and economic diversification.

Special mention was made of the support received from Conservation International Guyana which has been and continues to be a key partner in rolling out the V.I.Ps. The plan has, to date, made significant strides in Region Nine (Rupununi). Forty percent of the villages and satellites in that region have completed their V.I.Ps with another forty percent to be completed by the end of next month.

Similar results are expected when the program is rolled out countrywide.

Geophysicist and former Chief of the Bear Clan, Glenn Nolan.

Meanwhile, also partnering with the Ministry was the Canadian High Commission through Geophysicist and former Chief of the Bear Clan (Canada’s First Peoples) Glenn Nolan, who shared pertinent information with residents.

Chief Nolan, who is on his maiden journey to Guyana, is also a key figure in Canada as it relates to mining and the indigenous people there. Nolan said his community ventured into mining in the 40’s as an opportunity and today there are many success stories to be told.

“We didn’t have all the conveniences that we have today so we started off working in mining as laborers, some of our people had little or no education, they worked with the company to get their education so that they can become tradespeople whether welders, mechanics or electricians and they became the role models for the next generation which is my generation.”

He added that based on what he has seen during his visit, the area has tremendous potential and he is looking forward to returning to see the strides the villages will make.

The Cabinet approved SDF has been rebranded and is now known as the Sustainable Indigenous Villages and Communities Policy.

The Village Improvement Plan was designed to support the Indigenous people by improving their well-being as Guyana pursues a green, diversified and resilient economic development path.

The V.I.P is among several innovative projects on stream in pursuit of the Green Agenda.

Some of the residents who participated in the opening of the Village Improvement Plan (V.I.P) workshop.

 

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