[www.inewsguyana.com] – The government of Canada has donated a staggering total of CA$ 188,000 to aid in the roll out of two projects that will enhance the economic and social stability of the region.
In a statement to the media, the local High Commission noted that Canada is providing over CA$188,000 through two projects to increase the resilience of the Wowetta Village in North Rupununi and the Moco Moco Village in Central Rupununi against floods and drought.
“During times of flooding or drought, food security is a primary concern for the villages of Wowetta and Moco Moco. The food staple in both villages is farine, the by-product of cassava, which is in short supply during periods of flooding or drought. This carries a heavy human toll, with men, women and sometimes even children having to leave the villages to find employment outside of their communities, resulting in fragmented families and children out of school,” the statement read.
According to the High Commission, the Wowetta project will assist the Wowetta Village Council (WVC) and the Wowetta Women’s Group (WWG) in establishing and maintaining a modern cassava processing and farine storage facility.
“By the end of the project, Wowetta will have a rotating stockpile of 10,000 pounds of farine. This stockpile will sustain the village when floods or droughts destroy the cassava crop. Since the farine production will exceed the needs of the community, the farine production will also generate revenue for the WWG who will be able to sell excess farine to neighbouring communities,” the statement noted.
Further it was related that an advisor from CUSO International will assist in the development of a business and operational plan as well as provide training to 49 women from the WWG in business management and recordkeeping, food manufacturing best practices, administrative and financial management reporting systems and stock control planning.
The statement pointed out that High Commissioner Dr. Nicole Giles visited the Wowetta Village on March 27, 2015 to officially hand over the project agreement to the WWG. Giles lauded the initiative for simultaneously promoting sustainable economic growth, disaster risk preparedness and the empowerment of women.
A similar project in Moco Moco is being implemented by the Kanuku Mountains Community Representative Group (KMCRG). The project will make farine available to the community of Moco Moco throughout the year, regardless of climatic events, by processing and storing at least 20,000 pounds of farine for use during and after natural disasters.
“Farine in excess of the emergency needs of the Moco Moco community will be sold at a concessionary price to neighbouring communities affected by disaster. The project will also promote the expansion of cassava cultivation by the indigenous households of Moco Moco village into 56-hectares of elevated savannah land. As a result, Moco Moco’s six neighbouring indigenous communities will be able to readily purchase raw cassava. The Moco Moco factory will also benefit from support from Conservation International,” the High Commission reported.