More than 1,600 fisherfolk in Berbice to receive cash grant

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More 1,600 fisherfolk in Region Six (East Berbice – Corentyne) are set to benefit from the $150,000 fisherfolk cash grant.

Hundreds of fisherfolk turned up at the Port Mourant Centre Ground and the Skeldon Community Centre ground on Friday to receive their cash grants following an end to the verification process recently.

Addressing the fisherfolk, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo said that persons who have been verified will receive their cheques on Friday and that persons whose names have not been placed on the list will be checked and verified on the same day.

“The majority here today will get their check because we verified them … if some of you don’t have [identification] ID you will go through a verification process; once that’s done you are going to get the cheque, we will do that over the next 2-3 days,” Jagdeo said.

A total of 1,681 fisherfolk, 711 from the lower Corentyne area and 970 from the upper Corentyne area are set to receive the grant.

Kevin Hercules, a fisher for over six years hailing from Sheet Anchor Village received the $150,000 cash grant when Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo visited Berbice on Friday.

Hercules said the money will help with home expenses since he has two children and is the sole breadwinner of the home.

Kevin Hercules

Rakesh Manohar, a fisherman of four years, said he will use the $150,000 cash grant to help offset medical expenses.

Manohar developed a medical condition affecting his throat just four days ago and so he said that “the money come just in time”.

Rakesh Manohar

Meanwhile, Leon Moore, a fisherman for over 15 years said he is thankful to the government for the “much needed” assistance.

Leon Moore

Gangadai Kumar Crawford, who has been in the fishing industry for over 15 years with her husband, said the money she received will be used to help her expand the size of her boat so that her family can increase their income.

Gangadai Kumar Crawford

“Everybody who can be verified will get the grant, we used two things: we used the voters list and the identification card. The majority of people will get the grants, some people don’t have ID, we have the cheques but you will have to be verified here…” the Vice President said.

Jagdeo said that previously when cash grants were handed out, there were a few who tried to rip off the system and that the government ultimately “got the bad name”. However, this time around they are trying to avoid that as much as they can.

He noted that the government is providing monetary assistance through the grant as a means of “addressing the cost of living.”

Just over two months ago the government announced that fisherfolk will receive a $150,000 cash grant. A verification process was done over a period of two months where the names of fishermen and women were registered to receive.

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