Yakarinta gets $8.2M tractor/trailer

From Stabroek News 10 February, 2010

The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs recently handed over a tractor/trailer valued $8.2 million to Yakarinta, Region Nine to help boost agricultural production.

According to the Government Information Agency (GINA) the machines were handed over to Toshao Matthew Alexander at a brief ceremony which was also attended by Village Councillor Callistos Buckley.


Village Profile

Community profile






Males and Females




Wapishana, Makushi, and Mixed



(Christian )Anglican, and Christian Brethren



Masonry, carpentry, brick makers, crafters, chain-saw operators, Teachers, CHW, vaqueros, local doctors, seamstress, weaving

Economic activities

Fishing, hunting, farming, making bricks, trapping birds, crafts (basketry)



Teachers, CHW,



Out-board engine and aluminum boat, chain-saw, brush-cutter (not working), 2 HF radio, Batteries, solar panels, water-pump and tanks,

Building (asset)

Primary and nursery school, health post, church, women’s sewing centre, village office, teachers quarter, Guest house and market (not finished), community centre

Local organization


Church, PTFA, sport and wildlife clubs, youth initiative, Women’s sewing group, Mothers union





This information was gathered from two sets of key elders, a group of men and a group of women.


The women said there were two stories of how Yakarinta got its name (different to that recorded in the Makushipe Komanto Iseru book). In the first story, a pregnant woman was passing through the place and started to get her labour pains. These went on for several days and the Makushi word for this 'Akîrinsa' became Yakarinta. In the other version, the place is named after some black fruits which are plentiful in the area and in Makushi called 'Konowai ye'.


Caribs lived in the Yakarinta area before the Makushi but were driven out as a result of the Makushi - Carib wars. The first people from the current community settled about 60 years ago and originally lived on a hill south of the current village centre. Then some missionaries came to the area and built a church near the Rupununi River and eventually all the people moved closer to the current centre, mainly so that their children could attend the church school. Previously, children had attended school in Massara.


Yakarinta is away from the old cattle trail and separated from it by the Rupununi. Consequently it was not much involved in the cattle transporting and trading to Lethem and Georgetown. Some individuals did keep and sell cattle to Lethem, but not in large numbers, and there are actually more cattle in the village now than then. Balata bleeding was very important in Yakarinta with many men getting employment and supporting their families through this work. Many people had guns and with their money could buy food stuffs and other goods from the store at Apoteri. When the balata bleeding stopped, everything stopped and there was no more work for young people. That was when people started to move across to Brazil for work. About 7 people regularly planted peanuts as a cash crop in the 1980s but this ended about 5 years ago due to changes in the market.


In about 1958-9, the missionaries built an airstrip and this was used mainly for health, church and Government visitors to come in. This was a great improvement as before it was hard to get sick people to assistance and took a long time. However, the last flight was in about 1960 and communications were difficult again until the radio came in 1998. The building of the good laterite road did not affect the community much as it is so difficult to reach from Yakarinta. People felt this meant the community had been left out and did not receive many visits from development organisations.





  • The Villagers

  • Titled Village under the Amerindian Act

  • Ex-Toshao representative at the Regional level

  • Have trained teachers

  • Tractor and harrow



  • Lack of good leadership skills

  • Not enough job opportunities being created locally

  • Lack of Enforcement on rules and regulations

  • Lack of trained technician or qualified drivers

  • Lack of proper access road

  • Illegal selling of Alcoholic

  • Lack of respect for the elders from the young people

  • Killing of animals that are scatters throughout the savannah

  • No funds for demarcation – government has not said yet when this is going to happen

  • Lack of systematic and good planning for the future

  • Lack of knowledge and skills for the development pathways

  • Lack of jobs for youth and adults


  • Lack of available drugs

  • Lack of Transportation for transport patience

  • Lack of proper communication

  • Lack of Medex, and dentist



  • Strengthening ties with NRDDB

  • Drivers for tractor

  • Tractor for Transporting locally produce-farine, cassareep, tapioca, ground provision etc.,

  • Young people will be employed at farm



  • Climate change

  • Far away from markets for products produced locally

  • Trapping of birds which is done by villagers

  • Burning of savannah

  • Poisoning of ponds

  • Domestic animals are a threat to farmers crops in the village

  • Loss of language

  • Traditional practices and pride in culture

  • Loss of self-control over the community development process


Development Plans


Problem identification


Cannot be solved

Can be solved

Can be solved with the outside help

Flooding, climate change

Domestic animals which are destroying the farms, domestic problems, loosing of traditional practices, lack for proper communication as the villager, enforcement of rules and regulation

Solar powered/energy, water-pump and pipes, trained mechanics and technicians, dental personnel, recreational facilities, market for local produce, scholarship, lack of drugs, equipment and tools to do large scales farming, rehabilitation of government building, more sewing machine and materials, extension of sewing centre, school furniture, Panton, need for certify cooks, poor management of project, access road into the village, demarcation of land


Problems that are still inadequately addressed:


  • Out migration of youth

  • Unemployment for adult and youth

  • High marketing costs and consequently reduced competitiveness

  • Low levels of income

  • No access to market investment opportunities

  • High costs of imported goods

  • Loss of language

  • Traditional practices and pride in culture

  • Loss of self-control over the community development process


Village priority plans/projects


AGRICULTURE: income generating Activities


  • Locate an area for community ranch, cattle, poultry, sheep, and swine

  • Train members of the community in treating and identifying plants and animals diseases

  • Need tractor, trailer, harrow, and plover

  • Market for locally produced product

  • Village farm (large scale)

  • Proper access road to farm lands (farming grounds)

  • Build mini-bridges

  • Food security

  • Trained technician based upon the capacities of village projects

  • Need equipment and tools

  • Fish pond (aqua culture)

  • More visits from agricultural extension officer (give advice and technical assistant?)

  • Need proper storage facilities

  • Improve farming methods.





  • A village bus -Will need qualified drivers

  • Out board engines and boats – trained boat captain

  • Motor cycles – for emergency purposes

  • Tractor –for agriculture purpose

  • Pontoon-for crossing the transportation

  • Aero-plane [for emergency]

  • Airstrip- [for emergency]

  • Horse carts /horse and donkey-carts



  • Assistant to the health worker – This is for whenever the health-worker has to go to attend meetings or has to go on leave.

  • Dentist -because of the difficulties the village face with regards to transportation they thinks that having their own train dentist would solve this problem.-

  • Airstrip- for emergency

  • Radio set /cell phone –this equipment will be useful in times of emergency

  • Trained Medex

  • Expend the present clinic

  • Midwife-to assists with pregnant women

  • Freezer to store medicine

  • Boat and engine for health service

  • Adequate water for clinic

  • Malaria personnel

  • HIV/AIDS testing centre

  • Training mothers in food nutrition

  • Proper water system install

  • CHW trained as a microscopist

  • Upgrading knowledge of CHW

  • Proper installation of toilets

  • Adult training and educate all house hold

  • Availability of drugs

  • Installation of two water-pumps at western side







  • Rehabilitation of government building

  • Reconstruction of pavilion

  • Fencing of government building

  • Seeking funds from RDC to finish the unfinished project

  • Proper access road into the village

  • Need pontoon for crossing

  • Hot meals

  • Extension of sewing centre

  • Renovation of Church

  • Farm roads and mini-bridges




  • Better designed and will equipped school (Lab and IT)

  • Access to higher institution Secondary, UG, GTI and etc;

  • Skills training e.g. leadership skills (Training community leaders)

  • Managerial and communication skills

  • Traditional and Business skills and IT

  • More trained teachers

  • Adult education programme (distant)

  • Access to Library text

  • Community policing Group

  • Train / educate mothers to prepare nutritious meals (balance diet) also educate parents/youth in social issues.

  • Promote the important of education within the village

  • Bilingual and cross-cultural context reflected in curriculum

  • Train and educate about modern technology



  • High HF radio

  • Computer literate personnel

  • GT&T and Digicel Company to access

  • News paper available

  • Clarity in local radio (paiwokma)

  • NCN and other stations availability




  • Well designed football, volley, and cricket-ground/sports equipment

  • Well trained coaches and referee for different sports disciplines

  • Encourage youth to participate in competition and in recreational activities

  • Have a gem school

  • Have A village or public Park

  • Have a village fund day in every holiday-beach day-sports fishing-boat racing

  • A family day –where all families come together to have fund –yearly

  • Have a village zoo/ have a local band in community culture group.




  • Create activities for tourists

  • Train tour guide and rangers

  • Promote eco-tourism within the village and the world at large

  • Provide the tourist with good hospitality and accommodation

  • Strengthen, support, seek funding from agencies and integrate ongoing and future development projects and programs for visitors.



Annual Development Plan for 2010







Improving agricultural production in the village

For the security of food, and bringing generating income for the village.

  1. Need to train two or three tractor drivers.

  2. Build three mini-bridges to do co-operative farming

  3. Increase the sizes of farms but avoiding the wastage of lands

  4. Make a systematic plan for bringing income

  5. Ask and seek agriculturalist for guidance in doing large scale farming at the selected site

  6. Need Trained agriculturalist or send two youth at BHI for agriculture and natural resource management education


All year

The village will signal in writing the regional administration that it has been successful with their project. It will also be reported by the Toshao to NRDDB

Infrastructure of road, government building, finishing of unfinished project

To have better accommodation for school children and to promote education


  1. Write and seek region to assist to have proper access road

  2. Rehabilitation of building which are deterioration

  3. Write and seek region for fuel to saw board to finish the building

  4. Need electronic devices to promote infrastructure

As soon we get the funding or assist from agencies

The village leader will report this to NRDDB and the Region for successful project

Livestock farming (sheep, poultry, cattle)

To provide local meat for the village and others.

This is the area that the village is looking forward to do because of high market price for exported meat.

It will also provide job for young people in the village


  1. Writing a proposal for support funding

  2. Build the housing for the animals

  3. Ask and seek for the young one from the providing agencies

  4. Visit the farms to view the farming system whether in brazil or Georgetown

  5. Ask for technical assistance from government personnel



Will communicate regularly

Potable water-system

To have potable drinking water system in the community

  1. Reconstruct over head-tank must be constructed properly

  2. Run the pipe to the houses

  3. Set up the management for water system

  4. Request two water pump for western side, and renovate wells

  5. Need technician and well trained person in the village to guide the water system

All year

The village will write/inform the Region for pumps been functioning for period of time.




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