Better Hope/LBI residents decry conditions

Deplorable access roads

….NDC Chairman says resources limited, promises action

Residents of Better Hope, La Bonne Intention (LBI) and Success along the East Coast of Demerara on Monday called on the local Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) and the relevant regional as well as Central Government bodies to take swift action to effect urgent repairs and upgrades to key access roads in their communities which are now in a deplorable state.
The residents claimed the roads have being neglected for years and little or no work is being done to improve the conditions of the roads.
“I am living here for about three years now and these roads have always been in this poor and deplorable condition. The NDC does try but they could do much better… It is a sickening situation because when it rains, the roads are impassable,” a resident from Montrose related to Guyana Times when this newspaper inspected the roads in the community.
Another resident alleged that “you could swim in some of these potholes” explaining that it is a shame that the roads have been allowed to deteriorate to such a poor state.
“The school children and taxi drivers in particular are the most affected. They have to traverse the roads through the slush and mud. They suffer the most because of the bad state of affairs,” a housewife related.
A senior citizen from Better Hope told this newspaper that she has pleaded with the local NDC to repair the road infrastructure in the Better Hope North area.
“…I am just fed up. I feel neglected. If the NDC and RDC [Regional Democratic Council] cannot help me then I expect the Government to look into my plight,” she remarked.
When contacted, Chairman of the Better Hope/Success/LBI NDC, Zaman Shaw sympathised with the residents.
He admitted that the roads in those communities were in dire need of repair but distanced his NDC from being solely responsible for their maintenance and upkeep.
Shaw said his NDC has been doing its part and has been lobbying the RDC and Central Government to make more resources available to make the necessary interventions.
“We are not responsible for making major changes or upgrades to the road infrastructure. We are responsible for patching the roads and we have done our best with the limited resources that we acquire from time to time,” he explained.
Shaw said he has personally written the Chairman of the RDC explaining the gravity of the situation in a bid to get more assistance. He clarified that the region and Central Government has been cooperative in some respects.
The NDC Chairman disclosed that while his NDC received no subvention from Government in 2016, it still did its best to patch some roads. He related that $2 million worth of road upgrade material was released at the beginning of the year and was immediately used to fix some community roads.
The roads which received attention were in the communities of Pigeon Island, LBI and Success.
A second batch of materials worth another $2 million was also received recently and will be deployed to fix deplorable access roads in a few communities. Shaw said his NDC remains committed to improving the lives of its residents and the state of the roads. He called on residents to demonstrate patience as it works to address their concerns while advising that they all need to work together to effect change.
“The second set of areas to benefit from maintenance works are Happy Acres, Better Hope North and Montrose,” he advised.
He denied that the NDC was deliberately neglecting its responsibility but advised that the inclement weather resulted in some of the work being stalled.
When Guyana Times visited the communities, the roads were almost impassible with some sporting huge potholes and cracks which pose a serious threat to pedestrians and vehicle owners. While some in areas such as Vryheid Lust, Better Hope South and parts of Success were in a good condition, the others were deplorable.