The only Indigenous community located in the Mahaicony River, Region Five, Moraikobai, is currently embarking on a number of initiatives to enhance its economic development.
Moraikobai Village, Region Five
Its Toshao, Colin Andrews said the community recently benefitted from a $2M Jubilee grant through the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, and the money is being used for three projects; the completion of the lower flat of the multi-purpose building, the repair of the village’s boat and to procure equipment to engage in value-added products.
“…Initially, we were looking to install internet access within the community, but we had some issue with regards to that, so we were forced to divert so we decided to divert to these projects,” Toshao Andrews told the Government Information Agency (GINA).
The Toshao explained that the village council has recruited a resource person from within the community, to repair the village’s boat. He said Moraikobai will soon be starting works on the lower flat of the multi-purpose facility, and a sanitary block. The Ministry has also procured tools for the centre.
The St. Francis Primary School in Moraikobai
The youths are also benefitting from training under the Hinterland Employment and Youth Service (HEYS) programme. They are specialising in areas such as agriculture, tourism and catering.
The community, which has a population of over 500 people, sits on an abundance of natural resources. In the past, Moraikobai was known for its mass agricultural activities, but those gradually dwindled when it became difficult to maintain crops, the Toshao stated.
“Agriculture is an area that we have not been focusing on for the past few years, but is something that we want to get into because our forest is being deforested and we are taking it one step at a time. We are having discussion presently; we have two farmers’ group who are ready to establish themselves.
A church in Moraikobai, Region Five
We see it as a way forward and so the council is working with the people,” Andrews said. He added that the council is working with the residents in this area, because the community has great tourism potential.
Toshao Andrews however, noted that one of the many challenges facing the council to execute its mandate is transportation. The cost to hire a boat is $80,000 per round trip. He said that once the projects are completed, it is anticipated that revenues will be garnered and invested into other areas.
The community still needs to be more cohesive in tackling issues, and is also urging the regional administration to work with them as they endeavour to enhance their livelihood, Andrews noted.
The Moraikobai Community ground
In December, the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) and tour operators visited Moraikobai and sought to explore the tourism offerings of the area. It was discovered that the community has managed to maintain its rich Arawak culture. There is also potential for caiman spotting, and exploring other wildlife.