The Government has assured residents of Chenapou Village that it will address the illegal mining activities in the Kaieteur National Park Protected Area (KNPPA) and the complete removal and relocation of miners from the Protected Area to village lands.
Only recently, a ministerial team led by Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat and Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai visited the village and engaged the residents on the issue.
This meeting was a follow-up to a previous engagement between a delegation from the village with Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo.
During the meeting, a commitment was made by both the Government and the villagers to curb illegal mining activities in the Kaieteur National Park Protected Area and to effect the complete removal and relocation of miners from the Protected Area to village lands.
The Ministers underscored that it was illegal for any mining activities to be carried out in the protected area, and it was agreed to collaboratively work to identify productive areas for mining activities within the village lands and during the transition phase the relocation of all mining operations should be completed by year end.
“The Government recognises the economic situation of the villagers and hence the partnership for a long-term solution to mining in the KNPPA. As such, the Minister of Natural Resources has tasked the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission’s Geo Services Department to return to the village within two weeks to conduct prospecting activities to locate productive areas on village lands,” the Government stated in a release to the press.
The Minister also committed to identify five mining blocks outside of the village lands for allocation to the Chenapou miners, and if necessary, support for development of access to the identified mining blocks.
The meeting also provided a platform for the Ministers to address all concerns raised by the residents including continued support for development projects.
Additionally, through both ministries, the Government will continue to work with Chenapou Village on developing additional livelihood opportunities with a focus on forestry, tourism and agriculture and the upgrade of infrastructure which would complement the investment in these new sectors.