Region Nine on its way to becoming the most dynamic region in Guyana – PM Nagamootoo
- At the 2nd Regional Toshaos’ Conference
DPI, Guyana, Thursday, June 28, 2018
The transformation of Lethem into a township, the Lethem airport conversion into a regional hub, the state of the art abattoir and agriculture research facility, the industrial estate and the radio stations are just a few examples of the groundwork being laid for the take-off of Region Nine into one of the most dynamic regions in Guyana.
This was the view shared by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo during his address today, at the second annual Regional Toshaos’ Conference held at the Indigenous Conference Hall, Lethem.
“Rupunini is rising again. Part of that is what is happening here today, we are for the first time live to all the people of Guyana of an event that is taking place right here in Lethem,” the Prime Minister said as Radio Lethem transmitted the opening ceremony through the Voice of Guyana (VOG).
Prime Minister Nagamootoo, who is acting in the capacity of President, spoke of the efforts by the government to bridge the gap between the hinterland and the coastland, through communication.
“…the voices, the talent, the initiative of our indigenous peoples should be known to the world and the world should share also with our indigenous peoples…You need to have communication to broadcast what you are doing.” “Not only do we have Radio Lethem, but Radio Aishalton, Mabaruma, Mahdia and Orealla and for the first time in the history of Guyana our indigenous people have a voice,” he added.
While the Rupununi region is leading the way in development, Prime Minister Nagamootoo said much more can be achieved, since the region has very fertile land and the capacity to feed the nation. It is against this background that the government has allocated funds valuing some US$4Million for the construction of a modern agriculture research station and an abattoir at the Pirara area, Nappi.
The government has also wrapped up consultations with Brazil for the first phase of the Linden to Lethem road, and the Brazilian Army will soon be honouring its obligations to assist Guyana in establishing some eight water wells in the Region, the Prime Minister said.
He also addressed the misinformation being peddled regarding the process of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) with regard to the conceptualising of the water catchment reservoir in Nappi, and the decision to transform the Aranaputa community into an NDC. He said the consultations for these key initiatives have ongoing and “cannot be used as an excuse to knock down the developmental process that will affect the lives of the people of the Rupununi.”
The Prime Minister emphasised that there is no neglect of the indigenous people, and this is evident in the allocations of resources over the past three years for projects including internet hubs, the Five Bs programme and laptop for teachers, among others.
Additionally, this year, the government allocated some $782Million to embark on capital works in the region. $25oMillion of the total amount was allocated for green sustainable projects under the presidential grants. A $130Million Green Enterprise Centre will also be constructed at Bina Hill.
Echoing similar sentiments was Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock who urged the newly elected village leaders to be mindful of those who seek to stymie their development. “We must guard against such exercise of personal ambitions, which seek only t0 promote an individual while destroying the destiny of so many. We must guard against those who inspire us to walk away from our accountability obligation,” He cautioned.
This event, which brought together village leaders representing 57 villages in the Rupununi, is being held in anticipation of the upcoming National Toshaos Conference in Georgetown under the theme “Good Governance: A bright future for Guyana’s First Peoples.”
By: Synieka Thorne.
Images: Keno George.