Tuseneng successfully hosts first major event- 5th North Pakaraima Expo.
Vice President and Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Sydney Allicock says economic sustainability of indigenous villages and communities remain Governments top priority as the 5th North Pakaraima Expo opened on Monday in Tuseneng Village, Region 8.
The Minister noted that for success to be achieved there must be partnership and the government is capable, ready and willing to partner so that this can be achieved.
Once such initiative to be executed by the Ministry which will ensure villages and communities are managed sustainably is a Village Improvement Plan (V.I.P) where the Ministry will assist in the development of a ten year plan for sustainability.
“To proper serve these communities we must have a plan we call it the Village Improvement Plan which means that you must know your resource human and other natural resources…so the VIP will allow us to take management control of our destiny and you see we have to be in partnership with this movement, we cannot do it alone but we are prepared to meet you halfway to work in collaboration with you to achieve those needs”.
The Minister also brought into focus an initiative which will empower the indigenous peoples noting that “we have already started to have institutions within the various regions take for example Regions 1,7,8 and 9 that needs services, that needs easier access to better education, better health, better opportunities for markets, agriculture linkages… and better roads so that when the roads becomes a reality where you can travel without hindrance you must have products readily available for shipment we must be able to use the road and not the road using us”.
In terms of improving the communication network, there is currently significant progress being made in the hinterland since several villages are already fitted with the necessary equipment where they can access the internet and Minister Allicock said this is a vital tool for information sharing.
Minister within the Ministry Valerie-Garrido-Lowe who also attended the opening said she is extremely proud of the strides villages in the North Pakaraima are making as she placed emphasis on the thriving Sun Dried Tomato Project in Paramakatoi which already has products on the shelves of supermarkets in Georgetown.
Another project soon to be realized is a Lapidary Project in Monkey Mountain which will soon begin producing jewelry and ornaments from semi-precious stones to supply the local and international markets.
Minister Garrido-Lowe said youth will receive the necessary training so that the project can be a success while also stressing on the importance of working together for the benefit for all.
“We have plans for you and together we have a long way to go, a beautiful path is in front of us and I can only see each and every one of you living a good life in the near future, so let’s work together, let’s talk, let’s discuss and let’s build together”.
Toshao of Tuseneng Village Philip Geronimo acknowledged that history continues to be made for his people since this is the first time that a sitting head of state has visited the village in His Excellency David Granger making his inaugural visit and address to hundreds who turned out for the activity.
Toshao Geronimo said “we feel privileged to have you here in our humble village of Tuseneng. This is the first time that we are hosting such a big event”.
The Toshao also took the opportunity to request of the government key infrastructure stating that “may we in the near future with the help from the government have better facilities like potable water which is badly needed in the community especially during occasions such as this and improved roads which is really critical for the development of our community”.
The expo attracted hundreds from Kanapang, Penak, Itabac, Kurukubaru, Kato, Paramakatoi, Monkey Mountain and Chuing Mouth who traversed through valleys and over mountains for the two-day event.
The North Pakaraima is regarded as the most prestigious region along Guyana’s Northwestern Border and the magnificent Kaieteur Falls can also be found in that Region.