Rockstone Women’s Group receives cold storage facilities through Ministry’s FCPF-REDD+ project

The Rockstone Women’s Group on Thursday January 30, 2020 formally received a donation of one (1) 14.7 c.f. solar-powered freezer and one (1) 8.1 c.f. solar-powered refrigerator valued at GYD $2, 121,416 million to support their daily activities. This includes the community’s school feeding programme and fishing sector. It will also empower and boost the capacity of the women’s group to spearhead alternative sources for sustainable livelihood thereby, helping to reduce dependency on logging and forest-related activities for their economic sustenance.

The donation was facilitated through the gender integration component of the Ministry of Natural Resources’ Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) REDD+ project in keeping with the REDD+ readiness agenda.

The items were presented by Minister of Natural Resources Hon. Raphael Trotman. In giving remarks, he noted that while the donation may seem small to some as only two items, it is a transformational project that will have a significant impact in sustaining livelihood and by providing opportunities for the community’s women, farmers and fishermen.

He applauded the partnership between the women, village council and the FCPF to spearhead the initiative. In this regard, he encouraged the women to make good use of the items provided towards the development of the community.

The women are now able to offer cold storage services at a fee to the village’s fishermen who previously did not have capacity to store their daily catch. They are further involved in making and selling ice, icicles and cold fruits juices in the community. Additionally, the women are using the cold storage facilities to keep meats, vegetables and fruits that are used daily to prepare hot and healthy meals for children of the primary and nursery schools.

The Rockstone Women’s Group stands as one of the many partners that the FCPF-REDD+ project has been engaged with to ensure REDD+ readiness among indigenous and forest-dependent communities. The partnership seeks to build REDD+ knowledge and readiness capacity particularly among women and youth.