Residents of Enterprise/Non Pariel propose development projects

by Mark Ramotar
Guyana Chronicle
May 21, 2001

NUMEROUS proposals for various developmental projects within the community of Enterprise/Non Pariel, East Coast Demerara were made yesterday by residents to the special committee.

Yesterday afternoon it was the turn of residents of Enterprise/Non Pariel to voice their concerns and make submissions to the special committee mandated to address their needs.

The 11-member group which is ordered to look into the needs of depressed communities around the country met for almost two hours with residents at the Enterprise Primary School.

The villagers voiced their grievances in an orderly but very frank manner, and also made a number of proposals for various developmental projects in the community.

The residents outlined to the committee the needs of the various sub-sections of Enterprise/Non Pariel. Concerns were raised by persons of Block 12 also known as the `Knock-About-Scheme'; Block 11, the Enterprise Squatting area; Section `B' Non Pariel and the community in general.

The villagers suggested that one of the main roads should be built into an all-weather road while other streets should be rehabilitated. They spoke of the need for electricity, a health centre, a Post Office, Police Out-post, Nursery school and an office for the payment of taxes.

They also suggested an amendment to the boundaries of the Foulis/Buxton Neighbourhood Democratic Council so that the people of Enterprise, Non Pariel and Strathspey could have their own Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC).

They called for the re-excavation of the drainage system and a site for garbage disposal. They said that they also needed recreational facilities and a telephone service for Non Pariel.

Proposals were made for land titles to be issued to residents of Non Pariel Housing Scheme and for the establishment of a technical and vocational centre for the unemployed in the community.

One resident made a plea for the committee to help in closing down the `bottom-house rum shops' in `Block X'. The speaker said that these establishments were

contributing to violence and broken homes.

Another villager dealt with the subject of the Bladen Hall Multilateral School, which was going through a difficult period. The school was said to be in total disrepair with a leaking roof and missing windows. It was described as an eye-sore.

Proposals were also made for the establishment of a community library and for converting the Enterprise Primary School into a primary and secondary school or constructing a new secondary school.

There were some proposals from residents who made representations for specific areas.

For Enterprise (south of the GUYSUCO scheme), one resident proposed that five streets needed to be built, three streets should be repaired and the main road in the village resurfaced.

According to the resident, the community needs one main access road from the East Coast public road since the present road in Bachelor's Adventure is in a deplorable condition. The situation is compounded by the fact that many of the Enterprise residents are being beaten and robbed when they are found using that road.

There is also a need for streetlights. The community centre was said to be in need of urgent repairs.

The committee comprises Ms Philomena Sahoye-Shury (Co-Chairman), Mr. Odinga Lumumba, Mr. James McAllister, Mr. Harry Narine Nawbatt, Mr. Bert Carter, Mr. Faizal Jaffarally, Mr. Clyde Roopchand, Mr. Phillip Alsopp (Co-Chairman), Mr. Theo Earle, Ms Urmia Johnson and Mr. Mohamed Ally.

The committee is one of six agreed on by President Bharrat Jagdeo and PNC Reform leader Mr. Desmond Hoyte for specific assignments in individual areas. The tasks include implementing provisions of Local Government reform; examining options for the resuscitation of the bauxite industry; urgently examining and reporting on a national policy for the distribution of land and house lots; examining the needs of depressed communities across Guyana and submitting a report in six months, along with identifying areas where work will begin as a priority; examine the issue of Government monopoly on radio and non-partisan Board of Directors for the state-owned media and the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU).

The committee on depressed communities identified Enterprise/Non Pariel and Buxton/Friendship on the East Coast and De Kinderen and Met-en-Meerzorg on the West Coast Demerara for its initial attention.

The members met with residents of Buxton/Friendship on Saturday.

Ms Sahoye-Shury said the committee will analyse and prioritise the proposals made. Residents of Buxton/Friendship and Enterprise/Non Pariel were all urged to cooperate with the members of the committee during the exercises.

The committee is expected to continue visits, community outreach meetings and consultations with community leaders, Neighbourhood Democratic Councils, Regional Democratic Councils, community organisations and residents.

Mrs. Sahoye-Shury told the Chronicle that the two communities of Buxton/Friendship and Enterprise/Non Pariel have related nearly the same issues.

"...the need for roads, water, lights, schools, day-care centres and a place for senior citizens and young people among other things," she said.

Giving her assessment of the committee's two meetings so far, Sahoye-Shury said that people in various communities are "crying out for help".

According to her, "There are many things to be done in the various communities because I think Guyana has been developing at a very fast rate and the Government was unable to give all these amenities needed. But in due time, the communities will get these amenities."

She also noted that the persons attending both meetings were very orderly and very constructive in their presentations.