Residents’ dream of having a fire station on the Central Corentyne is closer to becoming a reality after the Central Corentyne Chamber of Commerce (CCCC) undertook to construct a building to house the facility.
The building, located at Rose Hall was recently painted and a driveway would soon be constructed for the fire tender, according to chairman of the CCCC, Bhigroog Poonai.
He told Stabroek News in an interview on Friday that the building would soon be handed over to the Ministry of Home Affairs and would be manned by the Guyana Fire Service.
Volunteers from the chamber, large companies on the Corentyne and residents of communities in the central and lower Corentyne areas would also provide assistance as well as the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils and the Rose Hall Town Council.
The chairman pointed out that the chamber recently met with officials from the Guyana Water Incorporated to explore the possibility of installing fire hydrants at strategic locations along the roadways.
He said the meeting was successful and members of the chamber are also in the process of engaging in discussions with Minister of Housing & Water, Irfaan Ali on the issue.
Poonai told this newspaper that the project was supposed to be completed at the end of March but the date has been pushed back because of financial constraints.
The chamber contributed $2.5M to the project that was realized from the hosting of the annual Berbice Expo at the Albion Community Centre Ground. Financial assistance was also provided by an overseas-based Berbi-cian, Dave Balgobin, in the sum of $1M as well as by the New Jersey Arya Samaj and a few Corentyne businesspersons.
He mentioned that the chamber saw the fire station “as a fitting project to provide the service to the community.”
He pointed out that the two fire stations in Region Six are located in New Amsterdam and at Corriverton and that they take a long time to arrive at fires in the central Corentyne area.
He said too that they are grateful that fire tenders from the sugar estates at Albion and Canje would provide further assistance.
According to him because of the absence of a fire station in the area, lives as well as millions of dollars in properties have been lost.
Meanwhile the chamber has started to make preparations to host this year’s Berbice Expo in July.
Poonai said they would also continue to undertake other projects to benefit the community and said they have already contributed to the rehabilitation of the Felix Austin Police College at Adventure on the Corentyne. The college would be re-commissioned on Friday