Amerindians being asked to do self help work at Santa Rosa
Stabroek News
April 23, 2002

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Dear Editor,

Santa Rosa is not a mining town, only poor people live here who do subsistence farming as a means of livelihood. Our main products are coffee and coconuts but it is not every year that coffee gives good crops. If no one buys copra you can imagine what the farmer and his family are passing through, with the cost of living sky high and no employment.

There are some projects at Santa Rosa, extension of the secondary school, nursery school, dorms, San Jose bridge, and the Kumaka Modern Sports Pavilion, a multi purpose building which is not yet completed. The people have already contributed tons of sand and rocks and broke them up in small bits in the blistering sun without food.

One contractor came here the other day and declared to the people that if they do not get the required amount of sand and stones he will not come back to finish the project. What has happened to the food for the poor project I read so much about, where has it gone. The President knows that the Amerindians are the poorest in Guyana, why should they be hard pressed with self help work. Contractors must have ready cash to pay those whom they employed to work for them, no more wait until next week.

One must think of the workers family and what they eat at the end of the day. For example one small businessman did a lot of work for a contractor who was extending the secondary school but he went away without paying the businessman. On seeing this he went to town to see how he can get his payment. He was sent to Simap, there he was told that they do not know anything about it.

Yours faithfully,

J. B. Jame