What the people of Port Kaituma say about life there
Last month Stabroek News visited the Port Kaituma area which is commonly referred to as the gateway to the North West District. We asked residents how they found life there and its challenges.
Photos and interviews by Zoisa Fraser and Alva Solomon
Marie Daniels, domestic worker– ‘I have been living in Kaituma central for ten years now. The problem here is the road to walk to work and come back home. The road damage. There is a lot of slush and vehicle can’t pass. There is nothing good here because we ain’t seeing no progress onto now. Government needs to pay more attention to Port Kaituma. They should pay more attention to the roads because the children have to go to school. The people with the truck can come together and cooperate and build back the roads. When rain falls the whole place floods’.
Fenton Higgins, businessman - `I have been based here since 1978. I have encountered a lot of problems here since then. The community is very unbecoming. Meetings are held but promises are made to have things fixed but nothing has been done for quite some time. The roads are very unbecoming. Children can drown in these holes. This community generates so much money. Where is it going? The hospital needs a lot of upgrading. You cannot have a hospital in that condition. I want to see a lot of development in Port Kaituma central because this is our front, everything comes here before it goes into the interior. Even the road that people have to use to collect money is in a dirty condition. There are lots of good things in Port Kaituma. This community has a lot of potential but without roads there is no development’.
Brian Riddle, businessman - ‘I have been living here in Port Kaituma central for 19 years. We have road problems, garbage problems, water problems sometime. Life here is much better. It got better over the years. We have seen some good things over the years like an improvement in the infrastructure here, people are building but we still need more improvement especially to the roads and better water facilities’.
Samantha Poon, vendor– ‘I have been living here for about five years. Life here has been difficult. The road, the hospital, the school, selling is some of the problems. Sometimes when the road is bad we can’t get sales. Two days ago I went to the backdam and the road was very bad. A cruiser almost turned over in front of us. Sometimes business is good. If the cruiser doesn’t go the backdam men can’t come out to buy nothing from us. I would be glad if the road could be fixed at least so we could find life easier’.
Viola Adams, market vendor - `Life is hard. I born and grow in Kaituma central. I have been living here over 40 years. The road here always bad. We really need a good road and all we hear is promises to have it fixed. We need something for the schoolchildren like a transportation system to get them to school. At present one bus is in Kaituma and when it fills up, the children have to walk to school. Some of them end up reaching to school late. If you don’t have $1000 to take your child to school in taxi that child will always late. The bus can only hold some. Most of the children that board the bus are the big ones. They don’t want to take the small children who would have to pay far less. I have experienced nothing good in Port Kaituma’.
Pearley Welcome, market vendor - ‘Life in Port Kaituma rough. In terms of the road and education. We get neglected in this region. Here had a lot of good too because it is here where all the gold and the money does get ship out from. They have abandoned us for the longest while. I born and grow here’.
Beryl George, hospital worker - ‘I have been living in Oronoque, Port Kaituma for eleven years. There is nothing good there. There are no facilities for the youths. About 350 residents living there. We need all the infrastructure there, water, road and lights. We don’t have those things. All we have is mud and slush in Oronoque. I don’t know why we are being neglected but I want to see more done’.
Rosel Mendonza, housewife - `I have been living here in Oronoque for ten years now. I have a lot of difficulties here. We have problems with water. Sometimes we have to fetch water from far especially when rain isn’t falling. We have no schools. Children got to walk all the way to Port Kaituma central to get to school. If you have to go hospital you have to go there too. I want a nursery school in here and that help along with a health centre because look how far we have to walk to go and see a doctor’.
Leroy Lowe, security guard - ‘I have been living in One Mile, Port Kaituma since 1991. Life there so far is good. We don’t have light and water. Whenever they feel to give us water, we get water. There is a private school in the area that opened about three months ago from nursery to primary. If parents don’t have money to send there they have to travel all the way to Port Kaituma central to go to school. I want the road to be fixed. The road is very rough. Transportation is second’.
Marilyn Jacobs, self employed - `The only problem really is the roads in Fitzburg, Port Kaituma. It has been like this for several years and it is at its worst stage now. When Barama company was here they did some work. That was since 1997. The region ends at Mabaruma. Nothing is being done here. I have been living in Fitzburg since 1979 and we have never had nothing like this. Businesswise, life here is good. I want better roads and jobs for the young people when they leave school. Everybody can’t be pork knocker’.