T&HD boat schedules for Wakenaam are causing great inconvenience and difficulty

Dear Editor,

We the residents, vehicle owners and businessmen of Wakenaam wish to draw the public’s attention to a problem with the Transport & Harbours Department (T&HD) which is now becoming intolerable.

The T&HD has rendered us dependent on guesswork  for making travel arrangements with our vehicles, as well as passengers travelling from Wakenaam to Parika and vice versa.

Although we have voiced our opinion and made representations on numerous occasions our voices have fallen on deaf ears. We are now seeking urgent redress from this intolerable situation.
Our major concerns are:

a.  When the MV Malali leaves Wakenaam on the midnight schedule, on most occasions it goes to Leguan and waits until 6:30 hours. Why do the vehicles and passengers have to go to Leguan and wait until 6: 30 hours, when we boarded the vessel at midnight? This we consider intolerable.

b.  The MV Malali also does this on the 5:00 hours and 6:00 hours departure from Wakenaam. When we arrive at Parika at around 9:00 or 10:00 hours, how is it possible to drive to Georgetown and return after conducting our business, which is hardly ever completed, and return in time for a 16:00 hours return ferry. It is really not possible.

c.  There is no fixed schedule now.
NB: Last year we had a month to month printed schedule. On many occasions vehicles do not return in this time so the vehicles have to make a booking for the next day’s steamer to Wakenaam. This is costly as many owners of vehicles have no relatives close by where they can stay for the night.

d.  The majority of persons who would like to use the MV Malali’s service are forced to use the speedboat service which is five times as costly and which many can ill afford.

e.  It now happens that we have to await the arrival of the MV Malali at Wakenaam to find out from the captain as to when the boat will depart on the next run to Parika. The clerk-in-charge is unable to do this although it is his portfolio.

f.  Businesses and services that have been seriously affected are: GTT services to Wakenaam from E/bo; police services from Anna Regina to Wakenaam; Guyana Water Inc services; Banks DIH services; DSL services; MK Baksh (wholesaler and retailer to Wakenaam); Hanoman Bajnauth (fish vendor to Wakenaam); Nato (wholesaler and retailer to Wakenaam); Guyoil services; other individuals who would like to come from E/bo Coast to do business on the island and vice versa. In addition, there is the difficulty of accessing the medical facility at Suddie.

This inability to cross from one side to the other occurs from Monday to Friday of each week.  We the businessmen and other commuters using the MV Malali would very much like to see the situation return to normal where the ferry used to leave Parika thence to Wakenaam thence to Supenaam and return via the said route to Parika.

Could the relevant authorities please take note and kindly assist us to return to normalcy.

We do agree that the size of our travelling public is not comparable with that of the Essequibo Coast, but we do need the services and facilities that we used to enjoy before.

Yours faithfully,
H Sewram
Jaidat Persaud
Mahadeo Singh
Beni Persaud
and 26 others

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