Some 600 farmers in Region Ten, who were affected by the unprecedented flooding, on Saturday benefitted from the Government’s flood relief grant.
Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, MP, led the exercise at the Kwakwani Recreational Centre and Hururu Primary School.
Farmers came out in their numbers and received the cash under the agriculture support programme, for them to restart production.
Speaking with DPI, the recipients said though the money does not compensate them for all the losses suffered, it will go a far way in helping them to restart production.
Avril Walker said, “I just want to say thanks to the Government for the cash grant the first $25,000, all the hamper that we are still receiving and I just want to say thanks so much for this money so that I could start back my lil farming, because I lost a lot and this mean a lot to me and I just glad to say to the Government and the cabinet members, all the staff working and doing ground work, I just want to say thanks and congratulations for that.”
Allison Vanlewin of Hururu, who collected $50,000 said the money will assist her to restart her business.
“It brought a little bit of happiness because my kitchen garden that I had di flood out and I decided to move because the flood it actually come till at the bottom of the house and everything just went away and I decide to just go away…Thank you very much for looking out for us and I hope you continue to do the same and God will continue to bless you richly,” she said.
Meanwhile, Tricia Stephens, who is also a cash crop farmer said, she will use the money to buy fertilisers and seeds and return to farming the land.
“This grant mean a lot for me because it will help me build back my farm, my father’s farm. So, I very grateful and thankful for the grant that I collected today.”
Another beneficiary, Joy Federicks said, “I’m so grateful for this grant because all the hard work that I have done and I’ve put in to my small kitchen garden, it have been washed away from the flood. So, thank you for this. Hope it will help me to develop a better one.”
Minister Edghill said the money being disbursed is meant to be invested to restart production.
“We want you to get back to work. We want you to keep the wheels of production turning. It’s our way of saying to you, we know you’ve been knocked down but knock down is not knock out. Knock down means you had a temporary misfortune. But we want you to get up back, bounce back, get out there to your farms your gardens, get your chickens going again. Keep the wheels of production going because as a government.”
Minister Edghill said this is the fulfillment of yet another promise of the PPP/C Government to provide further support to flood affected persons.
He said the Government will continue to fulfil promises made, as it values integrity.
“Don’t take it for granted. We could have said we don’t have money. We could have said the budget can’t accommodate it because those are excuses, you’re accustomed hearing over the last five years. The big word that they used to use; we don’t have fiscal space whenever they don’t want to do something.
“We are a people centered; people oriented. You know what that means, we look after the people. In our National Budget, just over 30 per cent of all of the allocations in our budget goes towards social services to ensure people, vulnerable groups the elderly, the disabled, women, single parents, pure water supply, ensuring adequate supply for health and education. All of that is to ensure that Guyana’s number one resource, not the oil offshore in our EEZ, or the forest that you reap or the gold that you mine, our number one resource, the people.”
He said the money must be properly invested to restart agricultural production in the Region at the level it was, prior to the flooding.
At the end of this two-day exercise, some $75 million will be distributed under the agriculture grant in Region Ten.
The Government has set aside over $7 billion to support farmers who suffered losses from the recent flooding. (Department of Public Information)