6/23/2006

Guyana News: Several land issues in Rupununi resolved...

GUYANA - A number of land issues including approval of titles and extensions for some communities in Region Nine (Upper Takutu/Upper Essequibo) have been resolved following a visit by Minister of Amerindian Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues last week.

She told residents of FairView, a village in the vicinity of the Iwokrama rainforest that Cabinet had approved the titling of their community, an area of 85 square miles.

It was announced at a meeting with the Annai Village Council that Cabinet had approved an extension of 61 square miles for the community, bringing it to 249 square miles, a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release said.

Annai comprises five areas: Central Annai, Surama, Wowetta, Kwatamang, and Rupertee.

It was decided following a meeting between Rodrigues and the Aranaputa community that the area would be a leasehold one. The area has been the subject of dispute with claims that it should not be exclusively under the control of Amerindians and leases were put on hold by government in 2004.

However, Rodrigues told residents that they would be given priority when the granting of leases resumes. In response to enquiries, Rodrigues said because Amerindians have traditional rights they can still farm on state lands even if they posses leases, the release said.

Meanwhile, at Yakarinta residents asked for help with their water supply system and for persons affected in recent flooding there. Residents at Massara noted too that about 52 households had been affected by flooding.

Rodrigues handed over items to some of the women's groups in the villages and a wheelchair to a Yakarinta resident. She told residents of Massara that a boat and engine would be delivered to them soon. She also updated them on government's school feeding programme and the malaria control programme which would soon target their area.

Source: © Stabroek News

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