Enterprise stresses drainage, police outpost, roads, phones

By Samantha Alleyne
Stabroek News
May 21, 2001

High on the list of things needed in the Enterprise/Non Pariel communities are drainage, electricity, telephones, proper roads and a police outpost.

The residents listed these as priorities when they met the Committee on Depressed Communities yesterday at the Enterprise Primary School.

They also voiced anguish at the recent murders of Bemchand Barran, 41 and his 10-year-old son Mervyn and 26-year-old Dhanpaul Jagdeo who lived at Enterprise and Non Pariel respectively. The three were gunned down earlier this month.

The residents said that they are still afraid to visit the backdam, where they do fishing to assist in sustaining they families, following the murders.

The father-in-law of Jagdeo told of how his four-month-old grandson is now fatherless and his 19-year-old daughter is a widow. He questioned how long the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defence Force will patrol the areas and what will happen when they left.

The man mentioned that they have a community policing group but it is not as effective as it should be and appealed for the government to throw its full weight behind the group. He said while the law enforcement officers are doing their work there are some problems with them. He said that one resident was threatened and chased out of the backdam recently when he visited it to get some vegetables. It was at this point the residents took the time to plug the importance of a police outpost.

The meeting got underway just after 2 pm with a small number of residents, mostly men and this was largely due to the fact that it was raining heavily. However, as time passed the gathering swelled to some seventy persons and they left satisfied knowing that their concerns were heard and recorded.

Co-Chairman of the committee, Philomena Sahoye-Shury before the commencement of the meeting urged the residents to be orderly in making their presentation and this was the case most of the time expect for a few hiccups.

The residents said that they needed a new road in the Enterprise Squatting area and all the roads in the area have to be rehabilitated. They also called for roads to be built in Non Pariel. An all-weather road is also needed in the area and some 515 houses in east and west Non Pariel require electricity.

Residents also called for a nursery school to be built in Non Pariel since children are forced to walk some two miles back and forth to the Enterprise Nursery School. Calls were also made for the Enterprise Primary School to be expanded into a community high school or for a secondary school to be built in the area.

Like the Buxton/Friendship villagers, the residents are calling for the rehabilitation of the Bladen Hall Secondary School. "The school is an eyesore," one resident commented. When it rains the headmaster is forced to dismiss school because of the leaking roof, the resident said. The school has no windows and most of the time the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) is forced to fix defects.

The residents of the two areas also need a post office, health centre, streetlights and rehabilitation of the community centre.

And most importantly they want the local authority to be restructured. The present one covers the Buxton/Friendship area and the Enterprise residents want it divided in two so each area would have its own office. The residents say they find it life threatening to visit other areas to transact business following the unrest on the East Coast. They said that an office is needed to pay their rates and taxes so that the money could be used to develop their communities.

The residents also need recreational facilities for the youths, a home for the old, rehabilitation centres for those persons hooked on drugs, a piece of land to build a christian church, and land titles for those persons in Block 12 Non Pariel. They also want evening classes such as those run by the Adult Education Association (AEA) to be held in the area.

Another important issue is an office where the old can collect their pensions.

One resident asked the committee if they had a time frame within which they would report to the residents as they are accustomed to persons listening and that was usually the end of the issue. He was reminded that after each session the committee will make a list of the priorities in each area and then submit it to the government.

The other members of the committee are: Co-Chairman Phillip Alsopp, James Mc Allister, Harry Narine Nawbatt, Bert Carter, Faizal Jafferally, Clyde Roopchand, T.A Earle, Odinga Lumumba, Urmia Johnson and Mohamed Ally.

The committee visited Buxton on Saturday. It was set up as a result of the dialogue between President Bharrat Jagdeo and PNC REFORM Leader Desmond Hoyte.