Moraikobai’s tourism drive gets a boost

─ $500,000 worth of items donated to enhance the services of the Eco-lodge

DPI, Guyana, Monday, April 1, 2019

The regional administration of Region 5 (Mahaica-Berbice), last week, handed over $500,000 in items to the Moraikobai Village Council in support of the village’s tourism drive.

Deputy Regional Executive Officer (DREO), Sherywn Wellington presented mattresses, blankets, cutlery and other kitchen utensils to the caretaker of the Hostel at Mahaicony. These will be sent to the village located ninety miles inland.

The Caretaker at the hostel at Mahaicony, Megan Adrian receives some of the items from Deputy Regional Executive Officer (DREO), Sherywn Wellington.

In 2016, after an assessment of the community of Moraikobai, and after consultations with the village’s residents, the then Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Indranauth Haralsingh proffered that Moraikobai in Region 5 could be the next local tourism destination.

The residents have since been upgrading the accommodations in the area including the eco-lodge to attract tourists to the community for activities such as bird watching, fishing, the wildlife, flora and fauna and other forms of relaxation in a natural setting.

The lodge will be equipped with nine cabins, a bar, dining area and a craft centre. It will also have a library where materials will be available on the history of the village.

Wellington said that more items to upgrade the facilities for visitors are to be acquired from savings on the $7M subvention granted to the village from Central Government last year.

He disclosed that the annual subvention to Moraikobai, which is largely spent on the acquisition of fuel for generating electricity to the village, will be increased to $10M this year.

In 2018, Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, who has responsibility for tourism, disclosed that his ministry is in the process of developing a community tourism partnership model. This will see the government, private sector and members of various communities working together to push eco-tourism. Among the suggestions was the construction of eco-lodges.

Minister Gaskin said while the government would like to finance the construction of eco-lodges in all the Indigenous communities across the country, it cannot do it alone.

“The need for private sector partnership and investment are key to the development of eco-tourism.”

Situated some 96 miles away from the junction of the Mahaicony river, Moraikobai is the only Indigenous community in Region 5. It has a population of just over 1,200 residents.

Story and image: Clifford Stanley.

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