Poor infrastructure affecting Orealla residents

By Andrew Carmichael

Residents fetching their commodities uphill

For several years, residents who live on the higher lands of Orealla have been experiencing difficulty in getting goods transported to their homes and businesses. This is so because of the deplorable state of the road going uphill.
Several tons of commodities are taken uphill on shoulders or in wheelbarrows daily. It is the only way to bring goods into the village.
For some, it may seem like a nightmare, but these residents see it as part of a daily routine— not one that you cherish.
During a recent visit to the community by this publication, resident Glen Devair said that it has been years since they have been appealing for assistance. Even as bad as it is, he explained that during the rains, it gets even worse.
“When the rain falls it gets very slidey. When the boat arrives at night time, it is very difficult for older people to travel and fetch their things. So, we are asking for the road to be built properly so that it will be an all-weather road, making it easier for travellers and for persons to fetch their load going up on the hill”.
The Orealla Village Council in February received $1.5 million from Government in the form of a grant to upgrade the road leading uphill. However, since then, nothing has happened.
The intense workout continues as a result of a lack of infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Toshao of the Orealla Village Council, Carl Peneux, told Guyana Times that as the Council tries to push its eco-tourism drive, a new guest house for the community is one of the priority projects.
However, Devair says the access road linking the upper and lower parts of the village should be priority since most of the villagers live uphill and the port is downhill.
“That money they will use it now to build the Village Guest House which is not needed right now because they are a lot of places where people can stay when they come to the Village. This road should breed be a priority because that is the road we need during the day and the night,” Devair said.
For both those who reside uphill and downhill, it remains extremely difficult for the elderly to the health centre.
Orealla is a major pineapple producing community. The fruits are grown uphill and have to be transported to the stelling, which is downhill, to be shipped out.
“They have to put their pine up on top up and they will have to wheelbarrow it down to the stelling, which is very difficult. They would have to hire persons to take it down and then to offload the pine and put it into the boat. So, it is more expense on the farmer, because one expense is to pick them and then the other one is to transport the pine from the pine fields on the hill where the road is. So, it would have been easier if we had a proper roadway so tractors and trailers could transport farm produce down, rather than pushing it in wheelbarrows to take downhill. It is a risk right now with wheelbarrows being damaged and accidents”.
“Some people up on the hill have big shops and when the boat comes in the night, they have to offload and use the same road. They will have to hire about four or five persons to take it uphill,” Devair added.