Problems in St Cuthbert’s Mission

Interviews by Erica Williams with photos by Arian Browne

This week we visited St Cuthbert’s Mission, an Amerindian village on the Mahaica River in Region Four. We asked residents there about some of the problems they face. Their comments follow:

20130930prudencePrudence Clenkian, craftswoman – ‘If we could get better road, it would be more easy access to get into the community. That’s the hard part; it’s the sore point of the community. Especially when it rains, it becomes more difficult. Otherwise the schools are in a good condition.’

 

 

 

 

 

20130930edrisEdris De Freitas, seamstress – ‘The road needs looking after and we need better transportation for people. If we don’t have good road, we can’t get transportation to travel in and out of the village. More so if we get bad road, how we are going to travel?’

 

 

 

 

20130930anitaAnita Daniels, craftswoman – ‘We don’t get regular electricity. We are supposed to get electricity every night for four hours from 6 pm to 10 pm, but sometimes you get electricity, then two nights after you don’t get.’

 

 

 

 

 

20130930clenkianLeyland Clenkian, retired teacher now VSO – ‘We would like the road to be properly addressed. Without a shadow of a lie, when they first initiated it, they just spread a little bit of red dirt at certain points and as such, it fell short of expectations. We are glad for the help but what was promised was not delivered. What do we call a weatherproof road?’

 

 

 

 

20130930andrewsPierre Andrews, self-employed – ‘The access road is bad but other than that we have other issues ‒ security and statutory issues. We would like the women’s rights group to intervene in the underage sexual activities and marriages. Women here need to be educated about their rights. The rights of a woman and child need to be instilled. There is a lot of domestic violence and there is also a shortage of teachers in the education system.’

 

 

 

20130930imeldaImelda Williams, nurse and counsellor – ‘I can see the government is trying. We have a generator that supplies light to the village and we also have a bobcat that the government gave us to fix the road, however the road is bad but it’s not much of a problem. Unless the people want the government to tar the road, we would need to do something to give back to the government. The problem here is that the people here don’t farm and now we depend on the shops in Georgetown to feed us and I believe we are going wrong there. Most of the men are doing mining so they can afford that but if the mining industry should collapse then we will be forced back to farming. We need to help ourselves.’

 

 

 

 

20130930rupertRupert Bernard, interior worker – ‘Well we paying we light bill but some people ain’t paying theirs so we ain’t getting current every night. No light, all like last night, no light! The whole mission!’

 

 

 

 

20130930margaretMargaret Hussain, business owner – ‘I don’t think electricity is a problem, we make it a problem. We can have electricity for 4 hours every night but if the customers are not paying their bill, then we can’t have electricity.’

 

 

 

20130930noreenNoreen Simon, housewife – ‘There is too much alcohol and marijuana smoking going on. And there should be a huge centre here to teach the young generation. They come by me to practise cultural dances, and when they are finished, I try to talk to them about topics such as, sex, drugs, etc. They need that kind of support here.’

20130930bernardMark Bernard, self-employed – ‘The youths and drugs is a problem. Although it’s not too rampant, it can spread. There is also a shortage of medical supplies at the medical centre. Jobs are also scarce in here but, however, most people are self-employed. Crime is not too heavy but there should be a heavier penalty on the perpetrators; they just let them go a few hours after. The government spent money on the road a few years ago but it’s incomplete and it’s not officially handed over to the village council.’

 

 

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