(de Ware Tijd) SOUTHDRAIN – The Canawaima ferry service at Southdrain, has served its purpose in the past 15 years.
A little over 4,000 Surinamese are ferried over every month, while an equal number of Guyanese travel in opposite direction. Terminal Manager Cynthia Enser-Stakel praised the ferry service in commemoration of its 15th birthday.
‘It took pain and efforts to keep the service going. We even had problems with the ferry boat and had to take it out of service a few times, but eventually we managed.’ The ferry service aims at improving the flow of goods and people between the two countries.
In the past 15 years the flow of people across the river has increased, but not that of goods. Enser-Stakel has noticed the regular transport of goods in both directions by a handful of entrepreneurs. In order to accommodate the public the Canawaima service has developed further, by making the terminal much more attractive.
Now that the road to Southdrain has been asphalted more people opt to make use of the ferry services. Currently the ferry crosses the river twice a day, but in peak periods there are three departures. Enser-Stakel hopes to get more passengers, allowing her to expand the services. She considers the illegal back track as a big and dangerous competitor. She therefore calls on the public to choose for safer transport across the river. The current relations between the two countries are good and in case of the problems, there is always room for talking. Since 1998 the Canawaima has been the sole ferry boat connecting Southdrain in Suriname to Moleson Creek in Guyana. Enser wants a second boat, but the operations have not yielded enough finances to do the purchase.