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…from drugs shortage to lack of transparency and accountability
…new village council vows to address issues head-on
By Svetlana Marshall
Apollas Isaacs, the newly elected Toshao of the Village of Karaudarnau in South Rupununi, Region Nine, said during his term in office he intends to foster a spirit of unity even as he works with the Village Council to address the plethora of issues facing residents.
“My vision is to develop this community and unite the villagers together, have a leader-villager friendly environment. I am Toshao for my people and not affiliated with any political party. My aim is to promote unity and development to make a change in this village,” Toshao Isaacs told Village Voice News.
Isaacs was elected to sit at the helm of the Karaudarnau Village Council when elections were held earlier this month. He said upon taking office, the Village Council was confronted with a range of issues including a shortage of drugs and medical supplies at the health center, teenage pregnancy, and limited internet access, lack of transparency and accountability, and poor management of the village’s resources.
“There are no stationery, cleaning agents, sanitizer or current records or storage of these at the village office. The village office does not have a computer or a system to type or which can be used for data entry. There is a printer but no laptop or desktop to print from,” Toshao Isaacs told this newspaper.
He said the villagers have not been exposed to training, and it’s his intention to reverse this trend with major focus on women and youth. Isaacs said too that agriculture development as well as infrastructure development in the village suffered a significant blow under the previous administration of the Village Council.
Isaacs and his Council are also committing to address the educational and communication needs of the village.
“There is need to upgrade the Internet. The heavy duty battery that powers the WIFI is not taking charge and need replacement. This is important to us since the mobile signal is very poor in our village. And the internet is our only means of communicating immediately to the nearest hospital in the event of an emergency or the Police Station,” the Toshao said.
Those issues aside, the Village Council, with the help of villagers, has been offering support to nine (9) households currently under quarantine due to positive cases of COVID-19 but have been experiencing a shortage of foods.
As a first time Toshao, Isaacs said he will be leading on the elders within the village for guidance and advice.
“Since this is a new position and role for me I would also like to be guided and at least have some guidelines/training on leadership capacity building and the necessary skills so I can better manage my community,” he said.
Isaacs said too that he will be pushing to have equal opportunity as every other village in the Deep South Rupununi for better education, training, community development and access to technology.
“For too long we have been isolated not only because of our location but because of the previous leaders and being bias or either not working hard enough. Together with my Councillors we would like to have a working plan that will be feasible and be relatable for our villagers and village as it is. Once the Handing over process is complete we will develop roll out our workplan and start consultations and discussions with villagers. We have a lot of work to do and to streamline what is already in existence, I intend to work on all the objectives and goals set out in my campaign manifesto, he said.