Vendors request dialogue with Minister following demolition of stalls

– notices were issued since November 2022, final notice issued on Thursday – MoPW

The demolition exercise on Friday

Several vendors who ply their trade along Red Road at Providence on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) are calling on Public Works Minister Juan Edghill to engage them on the next step forward following the demolition of their stalls on Friday afternoon.
Several stalls were removed from the area. In the past, those stalls had hindered the flow of traffic, and more so, the Government’s efforts to beautify the environment.
Following the dismantling of the stalls, one vendor, Akeem (only name given), who has been vending in the area for almost nine years, shared that though he understands the need for development in the country, he is imploring Minister Edghill to meet with them to discuss their relocation, so they can continue to make a livelihood.
“If he could meet up with the vendors, and if we could get somewhere to relocate, because this is our daily living. And right now, nobody did not tell us where we will go, and we don’t know where our next bread will come from. So, we’re pleading with the minister or the President [to] meet with us and decide where they could relocate us,” Akeem said.
He stated that when he first started to vend in the area, it was quite underdeveloped and businesses were now being erected. According to him, he sought permission from the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), and that was granted by the then Chairman, who informed him that vending in the area must be done in an orderly manner.
“When we first came out here, a lot of places were under construction, and as the place start to develop, they bring notice. The Chairman of the NDC told us that if we build a caravan…we could operate in an orderly fashion and ensure that we get bins…and then now, about two weeks ago, the same chairman came here and said that he never made such proposals to us,” Akeem explained.
“We cannot stop development… all we want is a place to ply our trade,” he reiterated.
Further, he stated that he is the main breadwinner of his family, and he uses his earnings to support his four children and wife. He added that he has invested a lot into his business, and had received great support from the community.
“I invest a lot because I had a clothing boutique and I have a grocery section, dry food section and thing. The community at large supports us, because we are here early and late, and a lot of people from the community depend on us,” Akeem explained.
Meanwhile, the Public Works Ministry wishes to thank the vendors who willingly complied and adhered to notices to vacate illegal structures along Providence Access Road (Red Road/Massy Road) and the East Bank Public Road at Providence.
“The Ministry wishes to make clear that meetings were held with those vendors, and notices were issued prior to the final notice being issued on Thursday.”
The Ministry, in a release, stated that notices were issued to all vendors at that location in November 2022, with a six-week grace period to vacate.
“Final Notices were also served to vendors on the Road Reserve at Mocha Access Road, Herstelling/Farm Housing Scheme Access Road, Diamond Public Road, Sheriff Street, Mandela Avenue and Grove through to Timehri along the East Bank Demerara Public Road.”
Further, the Ministry wishes to commend those right-thinking vendors for their positive response, and advise all vendors and persons with other encumbrances along sections of the country’s public roads to remove those as well.
In addition, hire car operators were also urged to operate in a responsible manner.