Systems failures at Triumph

Dear Editor,

Residents of Triumph Front Lands (north of the Public Road), suffered from the worst of systems’ failures last weekend (July 14-16), caused by the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) and the Police Force.

Located immediately behind the Region 4 administration building, the usual flooding once again inundated the area for the umpteenth time. However this weekend was special; we had the added sweetener of the NDIA Triumph drainage pump deciding not to perform its duties (never mind this area is regarded as the main basin on the East Coast), thereby allowing the water to stay on the land to further irrigate the soil. Not to be outdone, residents again had the opportunity to use their long boots to wade through the waste (not garbage) infested water, have their cars parked on higher land for a change, and breathe some rare putrid air, among a number of other benefits. Never mind the Region 4 housing compound is found within this little community, and the Region 4 Chairperson, the Regional Engineer and other regional officials reside there. But we remain a small and insignificant group of villagers who will continue to find very creative ways of protesting. Did someone suggest a town is in the making here? We will be waiting for you!

Not to be outdone, the Guyana Police Force was the next top performer, although we are acutely aware of the prison crisis response on the East Coast. A ‘wedding house’ in the neighbouring village, colloquially called Django Town (Mon Repos North), began playing extremely loud music from Saturday evening. This contiguous village is located east of Triumph front lands, and with the easterly winds, we are at the mercy of this excessively loud music. Sunday, the music sprung up earlier, at about 2pm. It was so loud it rattled windows, set off car alarms, and blew our eardrums (while we were suffering the usual flooding). Old folks were in discomfort, babies cried, and adults could not rest, read a book, let alone watch television. But it did not end there.

Calls beginning at 3.30pm were made to the BV Police Station to report this noise nuisance, literally a stone’s throw away from Triumph North, and also in the direct pathway of the music. Naturally the police promptly replied, “You know we have this situation at Lusignan prison”. I accepted this, but indicated since the police were traversing from BV to Lusignan and would pass Django Town on the way, it could not be that hard to drop in for 5 minutes to give a first warning. Nothing happened of course since loud music is something the police have always been complicit about, especially with the residents of Django Town. And this is despite the fact that only two weeks ago the Minister of Public Security was on TV agreeing with senior police on the programme that noise nuisance will see more punitive action.

Not to be outdone, neighbours called me to complain, who had also called the police. An hour later I called Cove and John Police Station, C Division, which would have issued the music licence, to complain. The constable reflexively said, “If they have a permit they got until mid-night.” So I asked if they have a right to play at any decibel level, but she would not respond. However, she promptly said I should complain to the Station Sergeant at BV. Without much hope, I called back BV station, but the Sergeant was surprisingly out. Another constable who answered this time relayed the same explanation about the music permit. I told her I had asked a friend of mine in the neighbouring village to ask the wedding house to tone down the music, but that did not help. She suggested I go talk to them again, as I apparently had suddenly become a law enforcement officer! I was saddened by the continuous dereliction of duty and abject failure of the police stationed at BV, and the poor music licensing system at Cove and John. What more can be said about loud music in Guyana, that has not been reported in the past?

It is now 8.30pm, and the music is at full throttle, with DJ Bravo’s “Champion” song filling the air. As we prepare for further blasts on Monday evening (Khangan night) and Tuesday evening (advanced second Sunday), residents of Triumph North, the regionally housed staff of Region 4, and the BV police will be enduring further abuse from this music, all the while walking around muddy and contaminated yards. What a travesty! Thank God for the sun’s evaporation and lack of rainfall over the weekend.

And I did not even mention the state of the road. What can be done?

Yours faithfully,

(Name and address provided)

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