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Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe hands Keith Bernard Johnson his grant at yesterday's function.

Camille McEachnie

The National Commission for Self-Help Limited(NCSHL) gave 55 Tobago families $940,000 in grants to repair their homes at a drive-through grant distribution ceremony held on August 11 in Tobago.

The NCSHL said the funds are allocated from the Minor Repair Reconstruction Grants, Emergency Repair Reconstruction Assistance Grant, and Development Program Grants Programmes.

Member of Parliament for Tobago West and Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe, who spoke at the ceremony, said grant recipients could now access their materials from more hardware stores.

Cudjoe, the NCSHL’s line minister, said she was pleased the Government could provide the funds to the families.

The NCSHL’s chief executive officer Elroy Julien, who brought remarks at the ceremony, said COVID- 19 affected the commission’s operations.

He said, “In some instances, materials could not be transported to Tobago, and this also resulted in some of your purchase orders becoming stale-dated… The commission will continue to bring relief to you and your family.”

Julien said the $940,000 grant brought the total sum given to Tobagonians since August 2018 to approximately $10 million.

He said Tobagonians would get an additional $1.125 million in grants before the end of August.

The CEO also said the Golden Lane Pan Theatre, which received a grant to refurbish the facility, is expected to be completed before the end of August.

He repeated a statement he made two years ago. “Tobago will get a more equitable piece of the Commission’s allocation,” Julien said.

NCSHL’s chairman Anthony Campbell, who also spoke, said the commission is adjusting to COVID- 19 challenges, hence the first-ever drive-through ceremony.

He said the commission would continue addressing national challenges like floods and fires and respond to needs for housing maintenance and community facilities’ improvements.

“Over the period 2018 to 2021, the commission has disbursed over $37 million, comprising development grand minor repair grants…in Trinidad and Tobago,” Campbell said