I live on the east bank of the Berbice River in the farming village, Macaw. This village, located 15 miles from the town of New Amsterdam is sparsely populated. We live without the benefit of potable water and electricity. Our existence is through farming and our main mode of transportation is the motorbike. Because of our location, we freely traverse from Kortberaad to Mara with our bikes sometimes without helmets. Most farmers along this route park their bikes on the road shoulders for ready use as all residents are considered related despite their race.
This part of our livelihood of recent has come under serious attack by certain patrolling police ranks. They come and remove our bikes and take them to the Sisters police station. To get back his bike a farmer has to pay them $10,000 or as much as $25,000. One does not even receive a receipt so that he can prove this transaction. Fines for riding without a helmet range the same and often include the police collecting our produce, or money for phone cards.
Most theft is done by persons outside of our community. We are accustomed to lending our bikes to each other. A farmer who borrowed a bike would replace the gas used before returning the bike to where he got it from. When the police take our motorbikes the gas and the parts are missing.
Please, Editor, I would be grateful if the nation can read about our plight.
(Name and address supplied)