Many Venezuelan migrant families have begun squatting along East Bank Demerara (EBD).
The migrant community stretches from behind Times Square, Grove, all the way to Little Diamond.
Some persons estimate the distance to be approximately one mile along the riverbank, decorated with many tiny shacks made of scraps of wood, pieces of plastic and old zinc sheets.
Kaieteur News visited the migrant community yesterday and it was learnt that one of these shacks houses more than 12 persons.
The condition in which these migrants live is described as inhumane and below the normal standards of living.
There were no toilet facilities visible, no proper security measures to protect these refugee families from thieves and severe weather conditions.
The environment in which they live is “smelly” and often laden with garbage that gets washed up by the incoming waves.
There is also no availability of clean water for household purposes. The absence of electricity transforms the community into a dark haven for mosquitoes at nights.
One woman who hails from the State of Monagas said that she came four months back with her husband and children to seek a better life. She claimed that they came with a three-month permit granted to them by the Guyana government, which is currently expired.
She said that she made no effort to renew the permit because of fear that they may be sent back to Venezuela.
Even though life is hard, she said, it is way better than the one she had in Venezuela.
She told reporters that her husband leaves early every morning to find whatever job he can do in order to provide for the family.
Another man who came from San Felix, Bolivar State, Venezuela, said that his wife and children, including himself, came without any documentation. The man said that he accepts that it is against the law to enter a country without permission. But he could not allow his family to endure the crisis in Venezuela any longer.
He said that even though his current living condition is poor “it is better than nothing”. The man said he is willing to do whatever it takes to upgrade his current lifestyle but without a form of identification, he cannot do better.
The man claimed that it has been three months since he arrived in Guyana by boat and was contracted as a labourer. He was offered a piece of land at the cost of $100,000 but he had no form of identification to make the purchase.
“Everything requires an Identification Card,” he stressed.
Other migrant members of the refugee community said that they are quite grateful for the way their Guyanese neighbours have treated them. They said that on numerous occasions they were assisted by the residents of the nearby village
In 2013, the oil rich neighbouring country was plunged into a major economic crisis, caused by misuse of oil revenues and sanctions impounded by the United States of America (USA).
This caused food shortages, protests and hyperinflation which automatically transformed the country into a living nightmare.
As a result, thousands of Venezuelans crossed their borders into neighbouring countries seeking refuge.
Many have opened their doors including Guyana.
Not so long ago, Venezuelan refugees had to be assisted after hundreds entered Region One North West District (NWD).
Also 25 more had to be relocated back in February after they were found squatting on the Non Pareil Seawall.
Once again new migrants are squatting, but this time they have extended to the EBD, a densely populated area in Guyana.
In the past, the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) along with other government organisations had provided assistance to refugees. But as is evident, their numbers will continue to grow.
Yesterday, publisher of Kaieteur News, Glenn Lall, said that he recognises the importance of rendering assistance to these migrants who are deeply in need.
The publisher said if the Government does not have sufficient funds to assist the Venezuelan migrants, then he recommends that private individuals donate to a fund in order to care for these refugees.
He even said that he is willing to volunteer to spearhead the initiative.
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