More relief packages needed in Region One- Regional Chairman

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As Region One (Barima-Waini) continues to be hard hit from a high rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases and lockdown measures are in force, residents and regional authorities opine that more relief packages and provisions should be directed there immediately.

The Region’s Chairman, Brentnol Ashley, told this newscast that while residents throughout Region One (Barima-Waini) are trying their best to adhere to the COVID-19 measures in place, the threat is larger in that Region, and although the lockdown of Moruca has been implemented for the greater good, more needs to be done for the people since they are suffering economic hardships.

“What we do find is that we don’t have relief given to the people in the Region as expected. I know that there was some amount of relief given in Moruca…Moruca is still on a lockdown which will finish on August 3rd. A lockdown which is an economic burden to residents because they are unable to go get a job, provide for their families, the cargo boats are not getting to work…it is troubling.”

He explained that to date, there have been 96 confirmed COVID-19 cases within his Region. Eleven persons were from Mabaruma while 85 were recorded in Moruca. This figure includes recoveries and deaths but he noted that residents are highly concerned about the limited support to their livelihoods.

“Residents would have raised these concerns, while we know that the lockdown is an effort to flatten the curve, I still think that Government should have put better systems when it comes to relief programmes whether is food hampers, vouchers or whatever it is.”

Ashley further stated that although there is some provision in the form of vouchers being distributed to those in need, this method has its flaws, since not everyone who truly needs them would benefit from them.

“I know that they have been compiling lists about who should benefit from the vouchers and such but I am of the view that there are some instances that those vouchers aren’t being done in a manner to reflect those who are really in need of them…perhaps because of who are some of the persons that were put in charge of compiling the lists of those who should be under consideration (to get vouchers).”

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