Residents of Naamless and St. Lawrence on the East Bank of Essequibo have expressed disgust at the deplorable state of the access road within the stretch of the two villages, where vehicles being stuck are now a common sight.
The residents complained that they have been neglected by elected officials at both the regional and national level. They claimed that works to make the road fit for use are only done during the dry season, whilst explaining that the West Demerara/Essequibo Islands Regional Democratic Council (RDC) would only grade the road and nothing is being done to the foundation.
However, residents pointed out that not only residents of Naamless and St. Lawrence are affected, but persons who reside beyond these villages. Residents went on to say that sawmills operating in the area and using the road, have contributed to its deterioration by having heavy-duty trucks filled with lumber traverse it.
A resident Robin (only name given) explained his plight. He said, “with this road I have to leave my car in the yard because every time you bring out the car, some part getting damage and you have a set of mud in your yard.”
The man who is a vendor at the Stabroek Market pointed out that the road has deteriorated over time, due to the constant grading by the regional authority.
Robin explained that some of the holes on the road have evolved from small potholes into craters. “These holes are about four feet deep. Sometimes trucks and car get stick up. We have to be pulling them out,” he stated, explaining that it is now routine for vehicles to be stuck in the holes.
He added that in some corners of the road, the trenches are higher than the road and water would constantly pool in the area.
The frustrated resident said that their village does not fall under a Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), and while there are rangers and an overseer in the community it is unclear if any report of the deterioration of the road has been made to the regional authorities.
“I don’t see anybody coming into this community, they don’t come and talk to us and see what is happening here with this road… they have graded it so far that there is no foundation left,” Robin stressed.
Another resident who asked not to be named, said that the road is littered with more than fifty potholes between the two villages. He said that farmers are finding it difficult to transport their produce out of the villages.
He added that they had to create safe pathways on the corner of the parapets for the children to walk to school. He said that as a result of the major potholes and the vehicles driving in and out of the craters, the children’s clothing would sometimes get soiled.
“This road is really bad and nothing is being done. We did all we can, but now we need help to repair back this road. It is not a long stretch just like two miles, which needs to be fixed…” he shared.
Meanwhile, efforts made to contact the Regional Chairman Julius Faber proved futile, as telephone calls went unanswered.