Problems at Bartica range from poor infrastructure and unprofessional police ranks to increasing pregnancies among school-age girls, according to the Alliance For Change (AFC) which recently visited the community as part of its campaign outreach activities.
Residents met with AFC Hinterland Coordinator Martin Cheong and Campaign Coordinator Salim Nausrudeen during a visit on June 28, a press statement from the party said yesterday.
The purpose of the visit was to engage residents to “fact find” and to see what role the AFC can play in assisting to alleviate the difficulties of the community, the statement said.
Based on the complaints, the party observed that many of the problems faced by the residents of Bartica mirror the challenges experienced by the country at large. “These speak to the need for local government reform, proper city and town management as well as strategic social services planning,” the party said, adding that an AFC government definitely will work to ensure that these countrywide challenges are addressed.
Residents spoke of the RDC’s complacent attitude in dealing with the problems of Bartica and the surrounding areas, including the inability of the RDC to adequately dispose of garbage. According to the party, AFC representatives toured areas where garbage is piled up and are clogging main drains.
The community’s infrastructure, especially roads, is in a terrible state, the AFC said, and it observed that the Potaro road, six miles from Bartica is so bad that commuting is very difficult. The party continued saying that persons have to travel from there to Bartica on a daily basis.
Concerns were raised about the many school girls who are getting pregnant, the AFC said, and it called on the Ministry of Human Services to target single-parent homes and schools and offer counseling and advice to minimize teenage pregnancies and other related delinquencies.
According to the party, residents mentioned that police ranks are not carrying out their work professionally. “They seem to be very friendly with the “big boys” of the community and thus condone their wrong-doing while advantage is taken on the ordinary citizens,” the statement said.
A few business persons at Bartica also complained about unfair competition, saying that while they pay rent, taxes and salaries to carry on their businesses, vendors are allowed to sell similar items in front of their stores.
Further, the mini bus association complained that the RDC unilaterally made a decision to move them from their First Avenue location to an area which is inconvenient to the commuters. According to the party, the RDC should have met with them so that both parties could resolve the matter together.