Residents of Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara (WBD), have expressed frustration over the lack of attention being given to the housing scheme by the relevant authorities.
The residents revealed they have made several calls to the Ministry of Communities as well as the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) of Malgre-Tout, WBD, for the removal of overgrown vegetation from unoccupied house lots and for the provision of streetlights.
La Parfaite Harmonie is one of the largest housing schemes established by the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) within the recent decade, comprising several plantations, namely Schoonord, Westminster, Onderneeming, Recth-Door-Zee and Lust-En-Rust.
The residents are complaining that there are no lights on long stretches of roads. This, they say, has been aiding robbers who pounce on unsuspecting victims at night.
“We don’t have any street lights. Persons coming home late in the night have to be extremely careful because these lil’ thieves does deh in all ah them dark corners waiting fuh ketch who them could ketch. Yet, yuh see them ain’t doing nothing fuh help ease the problem like give one or two streetlights,” Simone Marks a resident related.
She explained that the overgrown vegetation and trees that have taken over unoccupied lots are aiding the criminals as they often run through the bushes after committing their crimes. She further pointed out that the community does not have regular Police patrols or even a Police Outpost.
Sherry Singh, a homeowner also voiced dissatisfaction over the lack of street lights and the poor maintenance of the unoccupied house lots: “We are plagued by mosquitoes and insects because of the overgrown vegetation on these house lots.” She explained that many lots that were distributed are yet to be unoccupied, and the owners are not tending to their land, meaning it is overgrown with trees and shrubs.
Residents are pleading with the authorities to install street lights in the housing scheme to prevent an escalation of crime. “Yuh know how much time we went to different people and newspapers asking them to highlight this problem? They highlight it yes, but still them people from the Ministry or Regional Office nah come and see fuh help the situation,” one resident complained.
Additionally, they are calling on owners of house lots not yet occupied to clear the lots of overgrown vegetation. The residents related that they are pleased with the decision by the CH&PA to confiscate unoccupied lots from the owners, as they say these errant land owners are adding to the problems of the communities.
Government has budgeted $5.279 billion to be spent on the housing sector this year. Most of this sum is slated to go towards community infrastructure works such as installation of electricity, streetlights, pure water supply and distribution network, and construction of roads, drains and drainage structures in eight regions.