Cocopa Company Deserted

first_imgThe Cocopa Company, located between Ganta and Saclepea in Nimba County, is now deserted with grass growing wild in the concession area.All offices including the general warehouses and other departments that contained some of the company’s important records have been reportedly vandalized by some unknown persons.Our reporter, who toured the facilities last Tuesday, reported that the main camp, which hosts the central offices, is as quiet as a ghost town.Managerial activities within the plantation have come to a standstill, something some of the aggrieved workers attributed to government’s neglect of the plantation and wishing to see the workers perish. Cocopa Workers Union President Sakpah Mahn said government has failed to shoulder its responsibility to pay the workers off.On April 1, the aggrieved workers blocked the main highway linking Ganta to other parts of the country demanding their salary arrears and severance pay from the management.In the aftermath of the protest, management settled salary arrears for over 400 workers, leaving the plantation with about 679 employees.But again, the management could not pay the 679 employees thereby prompting another round of protests in September that again blocked the highway.Meanwhile, the Nimba County authority appealed to the workers to remain calm until the budget is passed. But the passage of the budget about a month ago is yet to relieve the workers from the hardships they have endured over the years.“We are not happy with the delay of your salary, but we want you to remain calm while we negotiate with management for the money,” Nimba Superintendent Fong Zuagele told the dejected employees. To that Sakpah Mahn replied: “We will accept the appeal, but wonder how long the workers will wait for the government intervention to settle their arrears with the company.“Our children are not in school, no clinic or school is functioning on this plantation anymore. The offices are looted and we have no supplies. We are dying slowly.” Meanwhile, the few numbers of employees and their dependents who continue to wait for ‘better days’ are now reportedly surviving on bush yams.Cocopa’s interim management team (the Nimba Rubber Incorporated) has complained that it could not meet up with the workers’ demands due to the drop in rubber prices on the world market.“Due to the situation, we are unable to pay the workers from our meager intake the plantation produces, because some of the rubber trees have become old,” the plantation manager once told this newspaper.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Pensioner robbed after withdrawing money from city bank

first_imgminutes after making a withdrawal from a Robb Street, Georgetown bank, a Charlestown pensioner was pounced upon by a lone gunman on Wednesday and relieved of the bag containing the money and other personal items.According to information received, Ron Ramkarran, 75, withdrew $200,000 from the bank and while he was walking along Regent Street, the lone gunman attacked him.The pensioner put up a fight, but the gunman gun-butted the elderly man to his head resulting in him receiving injuries.Upon seeing this, a businessman who was in the vicinity discharged four rounds from his licensed firearm into the air to ward off the bandit, but instead the gunman pulled away the bag and escaped in a motor car.From all indications, the gunman might have trailed Ramkarran from the bank to Regent Street where he carried out the attack.Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum confirmed the robbery occurred, and noted that the Police are in possession of the registration number of the getaway car and are continuing their investigations.Two Mondays ago, a businessman and his wife withdrew $2.9 million from the same bank and were robbed at La Penitence after being tailed by two gunmen in a white Toyota Corona motor car.It was reported that on the day in question, the man and his wife had stopped to make a purchase at a grocery store near Ruimveldt Police Station when the robbery was executed.One of the gunmen reportedly held the businessman at gunpoint and relieved him of the bag containing the money.The three men were nabbed last Saturday after they were found tailing another businessman from a city bank. Reports are that the businessman observed that a vehicle was travelling behind him for a prolonged period and phoned the Police, who dispatched a patrol immediately. As the Police were about to intercept the vehicle, the occupants attempted to exit and join a minibus, but were captured.last_img read more

Poverty higher among Indigenous population – UNICEF

first_img…most children depend on warm meals served at schoolBy Lakhram BhagiratThe recent study on Indigenous Women and Children in 12 communities in Guyana, found that the Indigenous population is seriously disadvantaged economically, hence accounting for their high poverty rate when compared to the rest of Guyana. Additionally, it found that most primary aged students, in the 12 communities, depend on the school feeding programme for one proper meal per day.The executive summary on the study on Indigenous Women and ChildrenGuyana has the largest number of Indigenous peoples in a single country in the entire Caribbean and according to the last census, they account for 10.3 per cent of the population. The Indigenous population is settled mainly in Regions One (Barima-Waini), Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), which serves as the home to approximately 80 per cent of the population.The study was conducted by UNICEF in Region One, Region Seven, Region Eight, Region Nine and Indigenous communities in coastal communities in Region Two – Akawini (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Region Three – Santa Mission (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), Region Four – St Cuthbert Mission/Pakuri (Demerara-Mahaica), Region Five – Moraikobai (Mahaica-Berbice), Region Six – Orealla and Siparuta (East Berbice-Corentyne) and Region 10 – River View (Upper Demerara-Berbice).It also found that although the Indigenous population is culturally rich, they are among the most materially poor and socially excluded people. They experience poverty at twice and sometimes even five times more than non-Indigenous populations, the study found.The report stated that Guyana does not have a recent measure of monetary poverty identifying that the most recent was from 2015 with data from 2006 but it identified that the Indigenous population continued to exhibit the highest level of poverty in Guyana.The qualitative assessment showed that lack of money is not the only contributing factor to the level of poverty experienced by Indigenous communities; rather it is coupled with access to land, culture, medicine, food, education and safety. It was also discovered that most of the villagers depend on the help of their neighbours and religious organisations for assistance to deal with their situation.“It was reported that some would use traditional medicines not because it was part of their culture, but because the drug was not available in the health facility, and they did not have money to buy in the local shops. Many adolescents would say that they knew other people their age that would come to school without having eaten, and/or without money to buy something at the canteen. For some teachers, and a considerable group of students, the warm meal served in some of the primary schools would constitute the main meal for the day,” part of the report read.In the 12 communities assessed, it was found that Indigenous women and children are seriously disadvantaged with it comes to accessing good quality education, health and social services due to the lack of access to infrastructural and modern life facilities. That was coupled with the lack of employment opportunities resulting in male migration, which quite often ends up with the male counterpart leaving their families to fend for themselves.The Indigenous People’s Affairs Ministry in collaboration with UNICEF conducted the study. The aim of the study was to contribute to a greater understanding of Indigenous women and children regarding cultural/traditional practices as it relates to medicines; sexual and reproductive health issues; build or strengthen the resilience of children, families, communities and systems to natural disasters, conflicts chronic systemic crises and social conflicts.Additionally, it sought to examine decision-making processes on health and protection issues; strengthen the provision of equitable prevention and response to different forms of child violence, including gender-based violence; inform the development of a robust, sustained, early childhood development and equitable and inclusive education programmes for Amerindian children.It also sought to explore women’s leadership skills and their capacity building needs at the community level; explore livelihood and, empowerment opportunities; provide evidence for national and sub-national planning and developmental processes to contribute to an enabling environment, for Indigenous women and children, and determine the knowledge, perceptions and roles that were played by Indigenous peoples in the preservation of the environment and climate change and what are their current roles.last_img read more

Carbon Tax Protest Grows

first_imgThe provincial Liberals now infamous carbon tax has two more municipaal critics and, they are in the lower mainland heart of the province.Delta and Maple Ridge have formally registered their opposition to certain aspects of the tax plan, which Premier Campbell has stated will not be subject to any adjustments.Look for the plan to be a key subject of debate later this month at the annual meeting of the Union of BC Municipalities, where a total of twelve tax resolutions will reportedly be on the agenda.With local politicians gearing up for fall civic elections, the four day Penticton meeting, starting on the 22nd, could be the stage of a major political collision with the Liberal government.Communities from Fort St. John to Williams Lake have strongly endorsed a series of resolutions opposing the tax.They have unsuccssfully sought to have the grits defer it, eliminate it for northern jurdisdictions, or at very least organize northern exemptions.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Women’s Basketball Returns From Italy

first_imgDES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University women’s basketball team returned home to Des Moines Wednesday evening from its 10-day Italy trip.  Print Friendly Version The day wrapped with a final dinner at a local restaurant that every member of the travel party was able to attend. The dinner offered a final opportunity for Drake head coach Jennie Baranczyk and all 12 student-athletes to reflect on the trip and thank the many fans, families and donors who made the trip so memorable and for all they do to make Drake women’s basketball so special. #DogCiao After winning their final game of the trip Monday night over the Italian Select Team, the Bulldogs and their travel party had a free day on Tuesday, their final full day in Italy. Some of the group took advantage of the free time to stay in Como and shop, sightsee and eat while the rest took advantage of the close proximity to Switzerland for a bus ride over the border to spend a few hours in Lagano, Switzerland. The beautiful lakeside town was full of great restaurants and shops and offered amazing views of the Swiss Alps. Be sure to read up on the trip via Instagram and Twitter, @DrakeWBB along with trip central page at www.GoDrakeBulldogs.com and the student-athletes’ Tmblr blog. Each student-athlete will have a final blog post by Friday. It was a long day of travel for the Bulldogs who started the day in Como, bused to and flew out of Milan, landed at JFK Airport in New York City followed by a flight to Minneapolis and finally bused home from the Twin Cities.last_img read more