Residents of several communities within the Mabaruma District, Region One will benefit from about $8M worth in capital equipment. The equipment was handed over by Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Valerie Garrido -Lowe and Permanent Secretary to the Ministry, Alfred King during a recent visit to the Region.
The communities that received equipment included Barima/Blackwater, Kariabo/ Arukamai, Three Brothers, Blackwater/Savannah, Hotoquai, Hobodeia, Barima-Koriabo, St. Anslym, and Unity Square. The North West Secondary school also received equipment. Some of the equipment the residents received included boat engines, a chain saw, brush-cutters, sewing machines and cabinets, sports gear and fogging machines.
Minister Garrido-Lowe reminded the residents that the equipment given to them was not done out of favour, but because they needed them. The Minister explained, “What governments do, is try to ensure that everybody benefits according to priority especially if they are a good government, not who is their friend and so on, but who really needs it will get it when they need it.”
The Minister pointed out that the government has over the years spent millions of dollars in equipment in indigenous communities, and urged them to take good care of them. The Minister said that the equipment is there to serve the community and the proper care of them should be everyone’s business.
“Every dollar counts in business, and you have to start running your projects as businesses. This is yours, it is an investment, it’s your capital and you have to make sure that it works for you over the years,” Minister Garrido-Lowe urged.
Permanent Secretary King said that he was happy to be able to deliver on requests made by the various communities. King noted that all capital projects for 2017 have already been sent to the National Tender Board. He added that very soon the Ministry will be returning to hand over the 2017 capital equipment to the residents of the communities.
However, King underscored that the equipment which the communities receive is for the benefit of all. “We want to ensure that the village first of all knows that the assets belong to the village, and not an individual, and know that the equipment should be used to enhance the lives of all those who live in the village, not some.”