Farmers in Parika Backdam have welcomed a new access bridge which allows them to transport their produce to the market and also allows heavy-duty machinery into their farmlands.
The bridge constructed at a cost of $4.5M was undertaken by the Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region Three) Administration. It took just under two weeks to be constructed, cash farmer, Sunil Surujpaul noted. “What I have noticed is that this government has a timely way of responding to peoples’ requests and I am happy about that. Is just about two weeks now this bridge got damaged and watch today we have a brand new bridge. This is very good of the government.”
He added that “with the damaged bridge, we were really scared to move our produce because you never know when it could collapse and millions would have been lost, but now we are comfortable. Also, when we have to prepare the backlands we can take in our hymac [hydraulic excavator] and other equipment with ease. This bridge may look small but it got a great significance.”
At the Parika Backdam area, the Regional Administration has also commissioned a footpath bridge. Constructed at the cost of $2.3M, it is bringing great relief to the area’s elderly, pregnant mothers and school children.
Mother Savitri Persaud said that with the provision of the footpath bridge her children reach to school faster and accessibility to public transportation is now easier for all the residents. Prior to the upgrade, the residents had to walk for 30 mins before getting to the main road. The walk has now been reduced to less than 2 mins.
Dharma Persaud, also known as Granny Ivy, said: “When I have to go for a pension it does be hard, but now I just walk over the trench and into the car which is now far way easier.”\
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure’s Special Project Unit (SPU) has refurbished the severely deteriorated Canal Number Two road.
Rakesh Ramlall, a hire car driver said, “This is really good. We have to be very thankful for what was done. We waited long for this and I am happy that it has finally happened for us. Personally, I would have been glad to see it happen till to the conservancy but I know one-one dutty, a build dam. Thank you, President Granger, for the better road.”
Medex Jaikaran Narine, on his way home, noted: “This is very good on our government’s part. We have been suffering for years with bad roads and no one seems to have cared but here we are now enjoying asphalt road and driving in comfort. I must say thank you and thank you very much for the opportunity to say thank you.”
Mark Itwaru, a resident in the area, said that much relief was brought to the community because of the work is done. He expressed optimism that the government will continue to deliver the promise of a ‘good life’ to all citizens of Guyana.
Another resident, Shameer Kojal, who was heading home at the time from the market said, “Canal No. 2 is a community of about 3,000 persons and farming is the main means of economic upliftment. The resurfaced road will now provide easier transportation for perishable produce and farmers will now enjoy a reduced time span towards getting their produce to the market, hence assuring them a greater shelf life. At least I am a testimony to that because here I am going home earlier when usually I do reach home at nights under the bad condition we were once under.”
Story by Ganesh Mahipaul.