GINA, GUYANA, Friday, September, 9 2016
Kwebanna village in Moruca sub-district, Region One is expected to provide an internet hub, and furbish their guesthouse upon receipt of the jubilee grant provided by the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry.
Kwebanna’s Toshao, Paul Pierre told the Government Information Agency (GINA), “We do have the jubilee grant still out. We are hoping that we can extend our village guest house and I was told recently that we can also maybe use some of the money to establish an internet system in the community.”
These two additions will contribute to the development of the village that has seen major infrastructural works carried out. Toshao Pierre pointed to a number of other capital projects that have been completed for 2016.
“For the year so far we have been able to complete three projects which were funded by the government; a wood-working centre, a stelling at the water front and a benab, so I think for the year, we are doing quite well so far. We still have another project or two in the pipeline,” Pierre explained.
Kwebanna had also benefitted from interventions made by the Ministries of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and Public Health in the form of outboard engines and assistance towards expansion of the health centre to better meet the needs of residents.
Pierre further stated, “… as we can see the health centre is also presently under extension and that is a plus for us. We are hoping that the road can be maintained because that is our only link to Moruca other than the river. I want to take this opportunity to thank the minister both ministers of indigenous peoples and health for committing outboard engines which will really help us in transportation for our community.”
Earlier in the year, the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs’ Ministerial Adivisor, Mervyn Williams said that, the indigenous communities are to present specific proposals based on what the village councils and the residents determine to be important to their village economies, and their individual enhancement. These proposals are then approved, and funding eventually disbursed for projects to begin.
“Historically what we had was what was called a presidential grant, which was the arbitrary distribution, allocation of resources to village for the satisfaction of projects that were determined by the Ministry. What we have at this moment is grants to be disbursed to 212 communities and the value of these grants range from $1.2 to $2M per village/ community,” Williams explained.
Communities are also benefiting from training in the areas of management, and transparency and accountability to ensure that their projects are properly managed and executed.
The distribution of jubilee grants as part of activities for the 50th independence anniversary celebrations, replaces the presidential grant for this year.
By the end of 2016, more than 212 indigenous villages are to receive jubilee grants for a variety of projects such as expansion of village farms, aquaculture, cattle and poultry rearing, construction of eco-lodges, guest houses, village offices, shops, markets, land mark benabs, recreational parks, installation of internet service, and purchasing transportation for agricultural and other purposes.