Newly-elected Toshao of Karasabai, Mr. Marlon Edwards says the village will be engaged in sustainable ventures with the $15 million grant it received though the Government’s one-off COVID-19 relief investment fund for Amerindian villages.
The $1.73 billion COVID-19 relief fund grant is yet another initiative created by the Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali-led Government to buttress Amerindian communities from the effects of Covid.
“I must say I am very happy and must commend the Government for doing such an initiative. Our people will benefit greatly from that. We are currently in possession of the cheque, the $15 million cheque,” Mr. Edwards said.
He said the village council decided that the money should not be invested into a single venture, but has come up with several that would benefit the people over the long-term.
Toshao Edwards said all of the projects the village would be undertaking are sustainable, in keeping with the Government’s goal.
“We have sheep rearing as one of our plans. We have cattle rearing, a bus service, grocery shops but this is being done by groups, different groups, different projects,” he explained.
The Toshao noted that the project plans are currently being prepared and will be submitted to the Government for approval. He also noted that the grant is timely, and would benefit the entire community.
“It will create employment; the small businesses will create employment for the people. It will generate revenue for the people and it will boost the village economy.”
Mr. Edwards praised the Government for recognising the numerous challenges facing Amerindian villages, which has multiplied due to the pandemic. He said the money will help to transform the residents’ lives.
“I must say thank you to the Government and as the new Toshao of Karasabai, I am committed to working with the Government. I am ready to collaborate and to advocate strongly for the development of Karasabai and its people.”
The distribution of the investment fund started in January 2021. At that time, Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Hon. Pauline Sukhai said the initiative would complement her Ministry’s Presidential Grant Fund, which focuses on advancing the economic and social development of Amerindians.
The following regional allocations were made from the investment fund: Region One ($542 million), Region Two ($105 million), Region Three ($23 million), Region Four ($47 million), Region Five ($15 million) Region Six ($30 million), Region Seven ($216 million), Region Eight ($208 million), Region Nine ($454 million) and Region Ten ($92 million).