The Residents of Chenapou, Karisparu, and Paramakatoi, Region Eight are asking for a much closer collaboration with the Kaieteur National Park, to assist with the development of their villages.
Toshao of Chenapou, Edward McGarrel
The Kaieteur National Park is home to the famous Kaieteur Falls, the highest sheer drop and one of the most powerful waterfalls in the World. The Park is the most visited attraction in Guyana, with approximately 6000 visitors annually.
Chenapou is the closest community to the park. Edward McGarrel, Toshao of Chenapou, said that the residents of the community are concerned that they are not getting the full benefits from the park, which has been seeing an influx of tourists over the past years.
McGarrel raised this issue during a recent ministerial outreach in Kato. Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan and of Social Cohesion Dr. George Norton and Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valarie Garrido Lowe were part of the outreach.
The Toshao said that that residents want to establish a benab in the park to sell their craft and other produce. “…not just Chenapou, it will be open to the entire region because Kaieteur is not just about Chenapou, it’s about the Patamona nation of the region so with us building this benab we will make contact with all other communities so that they can bring in their crafts and so that everybody can at least get something,” McGarrel explained.
Minister Garrido-Lowe told the residents to send their proposal to the Ministry and they (the ministers) will make representation on their behalf.
The Kaieteur National Park is a protected area managed under the Protected Areas Commission. The Amerindian Act of 2006 allows the Indigenous peoples within the area to have rights over lands in and around the Park.
Additionally, the Kaieteur National Park Amendment Act of 2000 allows the Indigenous people to enjoy the right to fish, hunt and promote sustainable forest and wild life management.