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The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development will be providing 100 life vests for the approximately 30 raft captains who operate on the Great River in Lethe, Hanover.

Portfolio Minister, Desmond McKenzie, gave the commitment on Wednesday (January 19), after meeting with the raft captains to discuss their needs.

The life vests will provide protection for the rafters and those who they transport on their vessels.

The Minister informed that the protective gear will be made available through the Social Development Commission (SDC), which has been tasked with devising a rural development strategy for Lethe.

“What we are seeing is a group of young entrepreneurs who fit the profile for SDC support, and they have said clearly that one of the things that they need to enhance what they are doing is the life vests,” Minister McKenzie said.

“I believe that when you find young people who are willing to go out and work to earn an honest living, you must at all costs support their efforts,” he added.

Minister McKenzie said that rural development is vital to the nation’s economic and social progress, noting that the rural development agenda of the Government does not only centre on enhancing the physical infrastructure of communities but also helping to develop the skills of individuals.

Raft captain Paul Barrett expressed gratitude to the Minister for responding to the needs of the rafters.

“We would love to get the life vests… because life vests are expensive, and we would want everybody to get a life vest on the rafts, so that we know the guests are safe. We are happy that someone sees that something needs to be done and has come to help us,” he said.

 

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