Minister of Amerindian Affairs Pauline Sukhai on Wednesday handed over a 15-seater minibus worth $3 million to Toshao Doreen Jacobis of St Deny’s Mission Tapakuma, Region Two for the transportation of produce from the village to Anna Regina Market and villagers including school children.
The presentation was made at the ministry in Quamina Street in the presence of Permanent Secretary Nigel Dharamlall and Principal Regional Development Officer Anil Roberts.
GINA, in a press release said the vehicle was acquired with the village’s presidential grant from 2009 to 2012 and with a contribution of $300,000 from the village.
According to the release, Sukhai said that since the year started the ministry had spent $17.1 million in grant funding to assist several communities with vehicles among which are Kawatta in the Moruca Sub Region One, Mainstay Region Two and Sand Creek in Region Nine, costing $3.2 million, $5 million and $5.1 million respectively.
Toshao Jacobis said the village had relied on the services of private transportation which often proved difficult for school children because the availability of buses were never certain, she noted that the elders were affected as well because private buses showed a lack of preference for them.
“This morning is the happiest day in my life as a Toshao as I received the key to this brand new minibus that I will be taking home to my villagers.” She said. “…We have never owned a bus.”
She expressed her gratitude to the ministry and former president Bharrat Jagdeo for initiating the presidential grant programme that afforded the village the opportunity to own the vehicle.