Fisherfolk in Region Six on Friday began receiving the government’s $150,000 one- off grant.
The exercise was led by Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo at the Port Mourant Community Centre Ground and the Skeldon Community Centre Ground respectively.
The distribution of the grant is the fulfilment of a commitment made by President, Dr Mohamed Ifraan Ali to fisherfolk back in May.
While fisherfolk were expecting to receive the grant sooner, Vice President Jagdeo explained that the government had to take every measure to verify the list of persons who registered for the grant.
This he said is based on past experience with persons being dishonest with the distribution of the flood relief grant. The actions of those persons, he said, reflected the government in a negative way.
“One thing we don’t want to do is to not help people who actually are fishermen. That is why we took some time on putting up the names, asking the same people from the community… So we say don’t blame us if you don’t come and object now. Don’t come and blame the PPP saying this man did not catch any fish,” the Vice President told the gathering.
He said the government has decided that the process cannot be delayed any longer because many of the persons on the list are in need of the assistance now.
However, he noted that while most people will be receiving their grants today, some will have to wait for further verification due to several issues. This includes some persons who do not have any form of identification.
“We look at the voters list and we look at the ID. So a lot of the people who are on both and that is majority of the people will get their grant today.
“Some people don’t have ID cards. We have the cheque but we are not going to give you. We are going to meet with you and you are going to verify who you said you are. And then there is another set who don’t have ID cards and are not on the voters list so we don’t know if they exist or if it’s the right person, ” the VP explained.
Those fisherfolk without identification were assured by the Vice President that they will not be excluded, but stressed that there is need for verification.