Residents of Peter’s Hall and Providence, East Bank Demerara (EBD), who lost millions of dollars
after a koker located between the communities collapsed and flooded their homes in October, staged a protest outside Office of the President yesterday.
Bearing placards, some of the affected persons stood on Shiv Chanderpaul Drive to register their frustration and disapproval over the $11M offer made by the government.
The residents were accompanied by Social and Political Activist, Mark Benschop.
Some of the placards read, “Children sleeping on the floor, all because of negligence”, “We are still hurting to know you have everything and we have nothing”, “Mr. President, wake up. $11M can’t work, we suffered a lot”, “Stop wasting money on the dead man, Rodney, spend money on the living,” “We want back the things we lost.”
The residents said that when they calculated the money the government is offering to the 400 villagers, each household will only receive $27,000, a sum less than what they paid to clean their yards.
During their peaceful protest, the demonstrators were informed by a senior officer, that they needed to wear an armband indicating that their protest action was peaceful and since they were not wearing such a band, they would be asked to move from that location. The residents complied.
“It is time they treat us with some respect. The President should put himself in our position. We worked years to buy those things. I bought a fridge from Courts and it took me four years to pay for it,” a resident, Thomas (only name given) told this newspaper.
He lamented that it was painful for him to look at how the water destroyed his appliances and other items within seconds.
“I am still hurt. Imagine, I only finish paying for my fridge three months before the flooding…The Government eye pass we. We vote and put them there and they gon give we $27,000 when I paid $240,000 alone for my fridge.”
The residents claimed that the flooding has caused a major setback for the Christmas holidays.
“We like to dress up Christmastime, but now we gotta think about replacing what we lost in the flood.”
Benschop said, “The people here are flood victims and they need to be compensated properly because $11M for so many people is not sufficient. It is an insult because it amounts to $27,000 per person.”
The protest will continue today.
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