May 03, 2016 Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs
Georgetown GINA, May 3, 2016
Five hinterland communities in the South Rupununi, Region Nine have received the first tranche of funding for the implementation of Phase II of the Community Development Project (CDP). The beneficiary communities are; Katoonarib, Shiriri, Awariwaunau, Achiwib and Sand Creek.
The money was recently handed over to the respective village leaders, by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Representative, Khadijah Musa. She was at the time in the region to participate in a ceremony for the South Central Peoples Development Association (SCPDA), of Shulinab which received the UN Equator Prize.
The CDP is one of the many initiatives that Government, along with its partners will be implementing over the next three years to ensure that Amerindian communities are economically independent. Katoonarib will be constructing a village shop, while the other four communities will be undertaking cattle rearing.
Advisor on Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Mervyn Williams told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that the villagers are optimistic about their projects. “…the process is ongoing, and I remember seeing the excitement on the faces of the village leaders and listening to their comments. They were very positive that this is going somewhere and that the efforts that they have made and the expectations of the villagers are being met… there is a level of comfort associated with that,” Williams explained.
Williams noted that the Ministry and the UNDP have been very detailed in their scoping exercise, which involved the engagement with residents of the communities to finalise their projects, the assessment of the management and implementation arrangements, and to examine the business and economic feasibility.
“They have satisfied themselves that based on the proposals received and interaction with the residents, that sustainability appears to be less an issue than before. The UNDP is lending tremendous support in terms of capacity building, and the Ministry will continue to monitor and work with the National Toshaos Council, as well as individual villages,” Williams explained.
Training is also ongoing in the areas of record keeping, transparency and accountability and the villages will be given a nine-month implementation deadline, following which an assessment will be done, and the second tranche disbursed.
This CDP project, which falls under the ambit of the Amerindian Development Fund, will provide funding of up to $5M for the implementation of sustainable projects in 160 communities in the hinterland.
To date, in Phase l of the project, 26 villages received disbursements to implement their respective CDPs.
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