More Region Nine villages receive flood relief grants

Farmers of Aishalton, Karaudarnau and Achawib of Region Nine are now able to rebuild their livelihood, after suffering a devastating loss caused by the nationwide flooding earlier this year.

This follows the distribution of the government’s flood relief fund led by Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall, at the weekend.

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, M.P

“Amerindian people as you know more than anyone else, have always gone through a lot of struggles and even whilst the people on the coast go through struggles, many of them do not understand the daily struggle that you have to go through just so you can provide for your family.  Amerindian people are farmers at least most of them are subsistence farmers so when you lose a crop, you have basically lost food for a year,” the local government minister said.

Today’s exercise is our government’s commitment to you to ensure that despite all of the struggles that you have, and these struggles are more often rain or too much sun, and that is how you tend to be affected so a lot of it is natural and not man-made, but you are able to still continue to produce, to take care of your villages and families.” 

In July, President Mohamed Irfaan Ali announced that over $7.8 billion had been earmarked to provide financial assistance to farmers and households, who were severely affected by the nationwide floods.

From this amount, about $7.3 billion will be direct cash injection to those who suffered losses, while the remainder will be used by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Over 300 communities and 52,000 households will benefit from the programme which commenced in August, this year.

It was revealed that more than $3.5 billion will be transferred to homestead and kitchen garden farmers and households. Homestead farmers will receive $100,000 each, kitchen garden farmers $50,000 and persons with households $50,000 each.

A section of the beneficiaries in Aishalton, Region Nine

Additionally, over $3.2 billion will be distributed to rice farmers since over 50,000 acres of rice land were directly affected.

Minister Dharamlall reiterated that this exercise is not a political movement, as is being touted by some, but rather, government’s commitment to improving the quality of life of every citizen.

He also spoke about the various ongoing programmes which the government implemented to provide relief to residents amid the pandemic, including the COVID-19 cash relief and one-off COVID-19 economic grant, among others.

“You are going to see quite a lot done during next year and moving forward in health and education, as well as your infrastructure and also in terms of your livelihood but even whilst we are doing all of this, the country is heavily affected by covid,” the local government minister said. 

To this end, he urged residents to understand the role they play in preventing the spread of the disease by getting inoculated.

Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zulifar Mustapha and his team were also in the region overseeing the exercise at Shea, Maruranau and Awarewaunau.

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