1,305 fisherfolk from the Bagostown - Farm, GFL, Gopie, Grove, Herstelling, MeadowBank, New Hope, Noble House Peter’s Hall Koker, Private, Trawler, PSI, Riverview, Stabroek and Timehri Landings on Saturday walked off with a $150,000 cheque from the Government.
This was a commitment made by President Irfaan Ali in May as the fishing industry was experiencing challenges.
Approximately $195M was paid out to fisherfolk.
MTV News Update spoke to some fisherfolk on and off camera on how these monies will assist them.
71-year-old Neil Evans, a father of 13 children said, “I feel much better, working so long, minding my children them, I glad to know that we get the cash grant.”
“I wanna say many thanks for what they (Government) have done for me, it’s a great initiative by President,” he added.
Naresh Peters, another fisherman and a father of three told MTV that he is grateful for the fisherfolk grant. He said being in the fishing industry is really difficult so these monies would be useful to him and his family.
“I feeling alright and I happy about it. It will come in good use,” Peters stated.
“This will help me out with the children them, because I does have to go sea sometime and I have to leave them,” said Collin Edmund a single father of three.
Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo who spearheaded the distribution exercise in Region Four told the fishing community that the industry will always have Government’s support.
He reminded of the effects climate change has on the fishing industry, which is not limited to Guyana alone.
In this regard, the Vice President urged the fishermen and women to make sacrifices and think outside of the box so that they can be less dependent on the fishing industry.
“If you rely on fishing and it’s fluctuating like this, you’ll never be able to get wealthy, you’ll be left behind. Fishermen now gotta think seriously about making some sacrifices too and finding another skill, something that you can fall back on, or start a small business.”
“Now, if you want to get that skill, the Government will support you fully along the whole way through the scholarships.”
Fisherfolk who were unable to register for the cash grant were required to jot down their names and were assured that they will be given their grants at a later date.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha reiterated that the PPP/C take their promises and commitments seriously and the distribution of the one-off cash grant is a testimony to that.