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Parika backdam residents given month to decide on road or wharf for market access


Residents at the meeting with the team from the Ministry of Public Works.

Residents have been given one month to settle on one idea to be considered by the government in relation to the construction of either a wharf or a road to serve persons, especially farmers who have to frequently bring their produce out to the mainland. This follows after Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill met with residents on Sunday from Hubu, Bonasika, Saxacalli, Lanaballi and other riverine communities in Hubu Parika Backdam upon their request.

The residents had requested for a bigger wharf, however, they could not collectively settle on one idea to put forward for consideration. As such, they were given one months to work along with the Ministry’s engineer to find something plausible to be considered.

“Before I came here today and see what is taking place, I asked my engineers to give me some advice, my Chief Sea and Defense Engineer came to the location and look and see what is happening, he told me the solution here, if we do what you are asking for is about $600 million to $800 million. The question is if Government is to spend $600 million to $800 million to facilitate farmers, because farmers must be able to get access to market and also, they must get access to supplies, the question is what is the best use of that money, and how does it best meet the developing trends and developing demands of this area.”

Minister Edghill told residents that the price tag of what it would take to do revetment for a road and to build a wharf, and having to clear and remove persons living on the Government reserves would cause many complications.

“The intent is for farmers to be given access and we must also open new lands.”

A statement from the Department of Public Information on behalf of the ministry noted that persons, who frequent the area via boat, do so at great risk, as a three-door koker is located in the very area where they traverse.

"We don't want anybody to lose a life, and we don't want to lose money, we want to be able to do what is beneficial for all the people, so, I am asking you to agree, let us agree for five people to sit with my engineer to go through and we will be able to get a solution." [Extracted and modified from DPI's press release]

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