Residents from the Vive la Force, West Bank Dem-erara community are crying out about the decline in business since the closure of the Wales Sugar Estate and the state of the roads in the community.
Vive la Force, a community where a number of former sugar workers from the Wales Estate reside was just a few years ago busy according to residents. The residents of the area stated that as a result of the closure of the estate at the end of 2016, the community has become quiet. Persons who own small shops in the area are struggling to keep their businesses afloat. Residents in the community also raised their concerns about the deplorable state of the roads in the community.
One woman who asked not to be named stated that since the closure of the estate, her business has declined significantly. “Since Wales close down, it hard out here, cause people aint buying anything, they just trying to get a lil hustle to take care of their family.” Her shop is located just at the entrance to the Vive-la-Force community.
Residents stated that they enter and exit the community by foot or using bicycles. One woman, Carol (only name given) stated. “I have my car, but I had to go back to using my bicycle, the road is horrible and it’s causing damage to my vehicle so I don’t want to drive.”
According to the residents, numerous complaints were made to the Neighbourhood Demo-cratic Council (NDC) and they were told, the NDC doesn’t have the funds to do works on the road and that the excavator is not working.
Carol further stated that the last word that residents in the area got from the NDC is that they would start works on the road as soon as the rainy season passes. The woman stated that a few of the sugar workers that live in the area have resorted to planting their own crops to sell, but they are having difficulties transporting the crops out of the community due to the state of the road.
“This road deh like this for a long time, but they only used to come and grade the road. Before the estate close down they used to grade it but now it just go from bad to worse. When we complain to the regional chairman he tell we that them aint got no money to do the road”, said one man who asked not to be named. The man further stated that it is a struggle to travel in and out of the community.
The residents were happy to voice their concerns in hopes that something would be done to make the roads in the community better.