Jan 23, 2014 News
“Enough is enough!” and “We fed up!” were the utterances of over 50 Plaisance, East Coast Demerara residents who are calling on the Guyana Government to fix the community’s roads.
A protest was held during the morning hours of yesterday, along the deplorable Victoria Road, the main access into the recently developed Plaisance Housing Scheme.
Among those present at the protest and armed with placards were taxi and minibus drivers, Chairman, Secretary, and Councilors of the Community Development Group and a large number of frustrated residents including senior citizens who were especially annoyed at the condition of the road.
“Senior citizens are not agile so as to play hopscotch,” one of the placards read.
One elderly resident told this publication that when it rains, the road becomes impassable and that despite being 74 years old, she has to jump potholes.
“Is either that or you walk in the nasty water. Inside does even be slippery, so you could fall and even break yuh face, and nobody ain’t care,” the female resident lamented.
Meanwhile, according to Rodwell Lewis, Secretary of the Plaisance, Sparendaam, Goedverwagting Development Association, the road has been in a deplorable condition since 2011.
He explained that when the Plaisance Housing Scheme was being developed, the Victoria Road was utilized by contractors operating heavy duty machines.
“Big trucks and so used to pass here everyday, sometimes all day. Is dey damaged the road,” Lewis said.
He added that as a result of residents’ complaints, the Ministry of Housing and Water had promised that when works in the scheme are done, the damaged roads will be repaired.
Lewis told Kaieteur News however, that a few months went by and there were no indication that the roads will be fixed.
Lewis said that he subsequently penned a letter to the subject Ministry, following which he received a response assuring residents that the roads will be repaired to their satisfaction.
The man said that although repairs on the Victoria Road commenced in 2011 under the US $18.7M Community Roads Improvement Project (CRIP), the works were not done to the satisfaction of the residents, since only a portion of the work was completed .
“They didn’t even reach to the Railway Embankment and the deadline for the project was April 2013, so we don’t know what will happen now.”
Lewis said that every now and again, the contractors would ‘crusher run’ the road. However, these are usually inferior and do not last very long.
As such, Lewis said that he is hoping that should the government pay heed to their plight, the work is done in a way that allow the roads to be durable and not deteriorate in a few months time.
Parents are also annoyed at the condition of the community roads, since hundreds of school children utilize them throughout the week.
“Whenever it rains, we small children who can’t jump dem big, big holes coming home everyday with dey shoes wet. This costing we more money, because when their shoes loose up, is we who does got to struggle fuh buy more,” Arianna Williams explained.
Speaking on behalf of taxi drivers and minibus operators was “Short man” who told this newspaper that vehicles are being damaged due to the potholes in the streets.
“This costing we, the poor ones, nuff, nuff money. When we go out there to mek a living, we gah worry about fixing buses and cars. Something needs to be done man, this can’t continue like this,” the man lamented.
Collectively, the residents are determined to continue their protest action until their problems are solved. “We will intensify our protest. We want these roads to be fixed. It is unfair to us. We deserve better,” Rodwell Lewis told Kaieteur News.
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