Pakera/Heaven residents accuse Govt of neglect

first_imgResidents of Matthews Ridge, Region One (Barima-Waini), have accused the coalition Government of neglect, noting that prior to the elections, it made countless promises to them in return for their votes but four years after, they are yet to see any of those promises fulfilled.The community of Matthews Ridge, Region One (Barima-Waini)Following the Local Government Elections (LGE), a representative from the Pakera/Heaven Hill Constituency in Matthews Ridge is yet to be sworn in on the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC).The representative, Wayne Williams, was expected to be sworn in since December 12 last but this was not done.Guyana Times understands that Williams did not show up at the swearing-in ceremony and has never shown interest. As a result, residents have inquired the reason for not replacing Williams but they have not received a response.“They aren’t responding to our concerns. We asking all the time because the residents are suffering. No one remembers Matthews Ridge. It appears that we don’t even exist. When we see Ministers and so visiting Region One, it’s always Mabaruma, Moruca or Port Kaituma and those places but never here. This is unacceptable. The residents are very dissatisfied because we give them a fair chance. We know what we have to do in the upcoming elections,” a resident told Guyana Times.Residents of Matthews Ridge outlined a number of issues that continue to affect them on a daily basis. The high unemployment rate, land titling issues, lack of access to potable water for some residents, lack of proper electricity and discrimination by APNU officials if complaints are levied against them are among the issues the residents complained of.Some of the residents who reached out to <<>> during the weekend said that community meetings are rarely held in Matthews Ridge and there is no other means to voice their concerns.They admitted that the Government holds meetings in the community but only for their supporters.Marcia De Freitas, a resident, related that there are no employment opportunities in the community and as such, youths are forced to go into the mining areas to seek work.She added that after the Manganese Company was reestablished, residents were happy as they felt that they would have benefited in some way, however, this was not the case.“Only a selected few can get jobs at Manganese Company and that is only the family and friends of the people that work in the office there. A random person can’t apply for a job there and get through. People there are handpicked,” she said.Further, De Freitas alleged that in the case where an opportunity may arise for employment, it is almost impossible to be successful since the persons in charge have multiple portfolios and manage multiple positions.She alleged that the Head Teacher of the Matthews Ridge Nursery School, Shondell St Just, is also the Head of the Power and Light Company at Matthews Ridge as well as the Chairman of the school feeding programme.“This is so unfair. If one person has 4 positions in this small place, where there is no opportunity to gain employment, then how anyone else can have a chance? A free for all kind of setting going on up here. And St Just is the big boss up here. She and one of her associates alone running the power company. And sometimes for months they not reading meter or anything…residents have to be running all over trying to locate her to pay their bill because they do not operate out of an office; we have to find her at her home or school or wherever she is in the village to pay our bill. When residents are having issues with electricity supply, St Just can never be located easily,” a frustrated De Freitas related.Another resident, who spoke anonymously fearing victimisation, said that residents of Pakera receive no water while residents of Heaven Hill and Hell Hill get drinking water at least three times a week.She added that the community recently received a visit from officials of the Guyana Water Inc, which committed to drilling a well for the community, however, no work has yet commenced.“APNU/AFC need to think about our people. They only thinking about themselves and doing everything to hold on to power and they are doing a poor job. It’s gonna turn back on them though. We have already decided exactly what we will do and we are anxiously awaiting the upcoming elections,” the resident said.last_img

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