Amerindians to get Low Carbon-generated cash in July
Village grants to Amerindian communities from Norway’s payment to Guyana for forest carbon services will be handed out to Amerindian chiefs in July, according to President Bharrat Jagdeo.
The money will be used to fund projects crafted and approved by Amerindians for their communities.
During a visit to Lethem, the Rupununi township near the border with Brazil, Jagdeo told Toshaos at the St. Ignatius Secondary School that the grants will cover 2010 and 2011.
Most communities in the Rupununi, he said, would receive about GUY$2 million and smaller ones would get about GUY$1 million.
Ahead of his next engagement with the Toshaos, President Jagdeo urged that they reach a general consensus on their priority projects in time for receipt of the funds. "I want you all to go back to your communities and have a discussion about which project you want to fund,” the President was quoted as saying by the state-run Government Information Agency (GINA).
The GUY$1.6 billion would be coming from cash that Guyana has earned from the Guyana Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD +) mechanism which Guyana established through partnership with the Norwegian Government.
Guyana managed to acquire US$70M through the REDD mechanism, US$8M of which will be dedicated to the community development projects for the Amerindians.
The President also restated that government has set year-end as the deadline when all Amerindian communities will receive solar panels to generate electricity. Each village will also receive a bank of 20 computers centrally located to afford villagers access to the Internet.
"We can't give every home a computer but you will have one big facility with about 20 computers in each village with internet connection so that every person, not only children, can learn the computer," said Jagdeo.
He also assured that the Learning Channel, formerly the Educational Television Broadcasting Service (ETBS), will soon be available in their communities.
Back in December, Jagdeo was unabashed about the likelihood of the Norwegian funds being used to whip up political support in Amerindian communities.
“If governments are in office and if by doing things for all their people- Amerindians or people who live on the coast enhances their chances of winning elections—isn’t that what supposed to be…The idea is service but service, hopefully, will bring support,” he said.
Government has been looking to shore up itself in Amerindian communities to compensate for voter apathy and migration by persons in its traditional East Indian support base on the coastland.