Barama says goodbye to St Monica with gifts

Barama Company Limited yesterday made a parting donation of a computer to the school children of St Monica/Kariwab and also handed over a $5.5M building after pulling out of its operations earlier this year when villagers of Akawini, upset by a logging deal, commenced a campaign against the company.

Barama withdrew its operations earlier in the year after a logging deal with a smaller logging company went sour and the people of Akawini in the north west voiced their displeasure with the conditions under which they worked.

On a visit to the riverain communities yesterday Stakeholder Liaison Officer of Barama, Mitzy Campbell represented the company and handed over the keys to the large building which used to house Barama workers from the community. The upstairs of the building is fairly large and has 16 rooms.

This visit and the donations stem from commitments that Barama had made to the people of the area, in spite of being forced out of the community by the people of Akawini.

The residents of the community said that they were happy with Barama and never had a problem with the company and are upset that persons from Akawini spoke and put the villagers of St Monica in jeopardy. Some 18 persons from the community were employed with Barama, and most of these are still employed with the company but in other locations, like in the Cuyuni and at Buck Hall.

The Captain of the village of St Monica Raymond Miguel said that the building may be put to use as a tourist resort since it is feasible for that. He said that the newly built roads that have linked nearby communities are suitable for bird watching activities.

Miguel thanked Barama for the building and acknowledged that many of the villagers were able to benefit from the stint they had with the company. The village was even able to purchase a boat and engine with the money that they had earned from the deal with Barama.

The visiting party also made a donation of a complete computer system to the Ulele Primary School in St Monica and is also to make a similar donation to a school in Akawini.

Campbell encouraged the pupils and the teachers of the school to make full use of the computer as a means of bringing themselves in line with the advances in technology. About 1,100 people live in the community of St Monica/Kariwab.

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