Amerindians did receive government help To the Editor
Guyana Chronicle
November 3, 2001

In response to Ms Sheila Holder’s letter “Ministers have been notified of food shortages”, it is terribly disappointing to see the negative approach taken by Ms Holder, a Member of Parliament. A person in such a position should have been aware of the contributions by the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs to Region Eight.

The Minister of Amerindian Affairs visited the Paramakatoi area on September 7, 2001 and after enquiring, the captain told her that a few families were having food problems but others were assisting them. The Regional Chairman, who was also present at the said time, submitted a report to the Minister, which reflected the issue at hand.

The Minister then asked for suggestions towards solving this issue and the residents responded with a request of G$1 million to assist in purchasing farine. Immediately this money was make available by the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs and handed over to the Regional Administration. Since then, there were no further reports.

Ms Holder has simply politicised the matter, wanting to keep the subject alive. During the campaign season GAP promised the people food, why not help them now?

The Government has certainly done its part and it is continuing to do so.

Amerindians were never known to be dependent. They have been practising sustainable agriculture for a long time. Perhaps what they need to do is plant more to sustain themselves even through difficult times. If GAP/WPA claim to be representing Amerindians, why can’t GAP/WPA do its part? Make positive contributions to the Amerindians and stop trying to make them look like a dependent set of beggars.

Further, the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs has an ongoing project trying to control the Acoushi ants in Regions 1,7,8 and 9.

Last Monday, the technical team from the Ministry of Fisheries, Crops and Livestock commenced work in the Kamwatta community in the Moruca Sub District. So the Ministry has not only planned, but also, it has taken action to assist the people who are affected by the Acoushi Ants.