Fifty -six-year-old Aubrey Campbell, a father of 14, who hails from Sebai Village was among hundreds of farmers in the Matarkai Sub-district, who benefitted from the government’s flood-relief cash grant on Wednesday. Campbell, who is involved in subsistence farming of cash crops, said he suffered great loss during the heavy rainfall back in June this year.
He is thankful for the government’s assistance and plans to get back into his farm and venture into cattle rearing. “Thanks to the government for what they have been doing and giving the people a boost,” he told the Department of Public Information (DPI).
Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal who led the distribution exercise, along with Chairman of the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), Orlando Thorne, and a team of officers from the Ministry of Agriculture, distributed a total of $17.3 million to 173 farmers in Canal Bank and Sebai.
In his charge to the residents, Minister Croal said the initiative is part of the PPP/C Government’s support package for farmers and households that were severely affected by the floods. The minister explained that the grant is not a compensation, but rather a support to help persons get back to some degree of normalcy. He, therefore, urged them to utilise the funds for the purpose intended.
“Please ensure that you get the necessary guidance from theagriculture team. This assistance that is being given to you today is geared towards helping you to return to the farmland…invest it back wisely because the returns you will get from your investment will go a long way,’ Minister Croal said.
The initiative is one of many measures implemented by the government to bring relief to citizens who have been affected by the floods and COVID-19 pandemic. Among those initiatives are; $25,000 COVID-19 cash grant per household; the COVID-19 village relief grant for hinterland communities, and the one-off cash grant for pensioners.
Minister Croal said all initiatives form part of the government’s mandate to secure the livelihood of its people regardless of their location or background. “It doesn’t matter where you reside, you must benefit from the same services as the people in Georgetown…We have to bridge that gap and create a level playing field.”
Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, and Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall also led distribution exercises in Matthews Ridge and Port Kaituma, respectively.
Meanwhile, Minister Croal handed over sports gear to the Sebai Village Council on behalf of the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development. The items will be used to foster sports development among the youths in the village.
Additionally, Canal Bank and satellite communities including Surprise Hill, Anabise, and Ireanna received farming tools, chain saws, brush cutters, boats and engines, and water tanks for community development projects.