Yupukari Toshao lauds govt support for hinterland development 

DPI, Guyana, Monday, January 28, 2019

The APNU+AFC Government’s support for the development of the hinterland over the past three years has been commended by Toshao of Yupukari, Central Rupununi, Upper Tukutu-Upper Essequibo, Region Nine, Russian Dorrick.

Dorrick, who also serves as the Secretary of the National Toshaos Council (NTC), said the government’s measures to support the vision of the Indigenous Peoples of Guyana is noteworthy and must be commended.

Toshao of Yupukari, Russian Dorrick.

He highlighted the impact of the Hinterland Employment and Youth Service (HEYS) programme among others. More than $2Billion has been invested over the past three years in the HEYS project. This initiative has significantly impacted the lives of Indigenous youths resulting in the creation of thousands of young entrepreneurs. It is also evident, especially throughout the Rupununi Region where young men and women now own grocery shops, canteens, poultry and bee rearing businesses, to name s few.

A further $176.1M was allocated for monitoring and mentoring, along with additional monetary support in 2019, to ensure that these businesses grew in strength and flourished.

Speaking during a recent consultation on the proposed road to link the North to Central Rupununi to Lethem, Dorrick said “the 70-mile-long road is our vision. It is not going to happen tomorrow… but today, we see the reality, and I want to thank the ministry for pushing for it. The communities are tourism-driven. So, the road will be a big plus.”

Dorrick urged the Central Rupununi village leaders to prepare for the eventualities of such a massive development. The road, once completed, will complement the paving of the Linden to Lethem road which is soon to come on stream.

“The government is talking about paving the road from Linden to Lethem because they are trying to bridge the gap between the hinterland and coastland. If we have this road link, we can get into industries and sell products that will attract those persons who are passing through,” Dorrick said.

This year, the government has allocated $235M in presidential Grants for the hinterland. According to Dorrick, “these grants have supported community development as we have seen major progress within communities.”  every year.”

He also noted the government’s efforts to revise the Amerindian Act of 2006, which is crucial if hinterland development is to move forward, especially as it pertains to Indigenous rights and land.

In the area of Tourism, Dorrick said that his community of Yupukari is anticipating the completion of the tourism policy that will help to guide the village’s tourism project.

Dorrick reminded that development is a process and encouraged village leaders and residents to remain steadfast in executing their duties in developing sustainable communities and enhancing the lives of the Indigenous Peoples of Guyana.

Among other projects in the pipeline for Region Nine are the construction of the Agriculture Research Station at Pirara and the Green Enterprise centre at Bina Hill, the upgrade of the Lethem Aerodrome into a regional airport and the four-lane road project at Lethem.

Synieka Thorne.

Image: Anil Seelall.

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