More CSOs to be appointed to develop Amerindian villages

Government will be reviewing its list of over 1000 Community Support Officers (CSOs), with a view to increasing the number, to further develop Amerindian villages.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, MP, said the Government is poised to bring major development in the hinterland by encouraging youths to take up leadership.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, MP

“There are many other villages that are asking for additional CSOs beyond the limit or beyond the number in which we have asked them to submit. And that’s something we are considering to pursue in the new year, 2022 budget proposals.”

So far, over $720 million has been spent to train Amerindian youths in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, solar panel installation and maintenance and driving.

Currently, 75 Amerindian youths have been trained in computer literacy. Minister Sukhai said these persons will return to their respective villages, to manage and support the ICT projects that are presently being executed by the Office of the Prime Minister.

“Currently we have over 164 students in Georgetown; 80 to be trained as drivers who would be licenced and also another 80 who would be trained in installation of solar panels and its maintenance.

“And the training will be ongoing because we have to complete our target as we agreed and got approval for through the budget.”

Government plans to train some 620 persons in hinterland and riverine communities, in ICT, solar panel installation and maintenance and driving.

Minister Sukhai said they are targeting 220 ICT students, 200 drivers and 200 solar panel technicians.

Apart from this, 137 of the 220 Amerindian villages will benefit from tractors, to boost their agriculture production.

Persons learning to use ICT equipment

“That is a significant investment in every village that receive such an important piece of agricultural machinery. It will not only be confined to use for agriculture but it will assist many villages in transporting goods in and out of the village. It will help also, the transportation needs of the village and for those villages across the hinterland who are part and parcel of the forestry sector, the machine or the tractor will become very important.”

The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs will also be distributing trailers, chippers and ploughs, along with the tractors.

The reinstatement of the CSO programme is yet another promise fulfilled by the PPP/C Government to bridge the gap between the hinterland and the coast.