A young man fills a wheelbarrow: His family is raising the yard to prevent flooding

Belle West Housing Scheme sits in the heart of Canal Number Two, bordered by the village of Clay Brick (west), sugarcane fields (east and south) and the main canal to the north. The scheme, which is divided into two phases, provides a haven for almost 5,000 people who call it home.

As the name suggests, Belle West is considered the beauty of West Demerara and was once known as Plantation Belle, decades ago when it belonged to the then-thriving Wales Sugar Estate. The community is multiethnic with people from various parts of Guyana having settled in it over the years, since the opening of the village in 2001.

Minibuses serve the community from the Belle West bus park in Georgetown at a cost of $200 per trip, usually up until around 8 pm. After that time, residents and visitors would have to get a bus running the Wales route and get off at the Stanleytown/Canal Number Two junction where they would find cars available to take them into Belle West. The fare from the junction to Phase One of Belle West usually costs of $100, but the minute the clock strikes seven at night, the fare automatically doubles. Persons living in Phase Two lucky to have a driver willing enough to take them pay $200 or $300 after 7 pm. The trip from the junction into Belle West lasts five minutes…..