A 38-year-old landmark in the community of Charity, Essequibo Coast is rapidly sinking into the Pomeroon River causing great concern for the residents and the Neighborhood Democratic Council (NDC) of the community.
An urgent appeal was made yesterday by the Charity/Urasara NDC to the Regional Administration for keen attention to be paid to the Marketing Centre that is sinking on the northern and southern sides.
The Marketing Centre houses several stalls including a general store and there is fear that the structure will soon collapse into the Pomeroon River over which it is situated. The sinking is as a result of rotten wooden piles that support the concrete structure.
The centre also has an adjoining wharf where boats heading to Moruca and other parts of the Pomeroon River are usually moored and loaded. Trucks taking produce such as plantain and bananas and even wood are also usually loaded there.
Speaking with this newspaper, Samuel Sooklall, Overseer of the Charity/ Urasara NDC said that a report was written and sent to the office of the Regional Executive Officer requesting urgent repair and rehabilitation works to be conducted.
“The Marketing Centre is sinking because of the rotten piles that support the building. It is over 38 years old and at present, if urgent works are not conducted, catastrophe will take place. If these works are done, the structure will be saved from collapsing into the Pomeroon River and lives will be saved.”
Deputy Regional Executive Officer of Region Two Roopkumar Persaud in an invited comment said that he and a team comprising of Engineer Latchman Singh visited the area on Wednesday last and made inspections.
“The Market Clerk of the Charity/Urasara NDC was asked to prepare a report and have it sent to the Chairperson of the NDC who will then forward it to Regional Administration. After the inspection, a report was submitted to the Regional Executive Officer who will now make further reports to the higher authority.”
When asked his thoughts about the state of the structure, Persaud said that he was in no position to give any comments about the structure but that the necessary reports were given to those in authority.
Meanwhile, persons who traverse the Charity Marketing Centre each day are pleading for action to be taken.
One labourer who opted not to be named said that his work has now become more tedious since the structure started sinking.
“We will be happy if they can fix this thing and do it very fast. We as labourers use to pull our trolleys with people goods straight out on the wharf now we can’t do that because of the sinking which makes the place uneven.
As you can see it’s over a foot drop and vehicles can’t go there now. Is almost only a few good post holding this whole building because all the rest rotten and any day now this whole place can go down in the river.”
Because of the sinking the wooden planks of the wharf are left out of place and loose and in some places, planks are missing.
A father who was standing at a corner of the wharf voiced his concerns about the state the wharf is in.
“This thing needs to be fixed because my lil boy nearly fall through dah hole there just now. This place ain’t safe for people. Elderly people does gotta use this place too and it hard for them.”
The Charity/Urasara NDC made a decision to prohibit trucks from going to their usual places to load until repairs are done.
When Stabroek News made inspections, nearly all of the wooden piles that were to be supporting the concrete structure are so badly rotted thus causing the piles to sink and therefore, the structure is practically standing on its own.
One boat driver remarked that “a disaster is bound to happen if they don’t fix this thing. It ain’t really get no post supporting this big, big building. I want to know who is the contractor and engineer that gon put a big concrete building like this on wood piles.
Is water the post them deh in so of course the wood gon rotten.”
Efforts made to contact Regional Executive Officer Rupert Hopkinson via telephone proved futile since his cellular number kept going to voicemail.