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By Svetlana Marshall
Just 11 years ago, Section D Non Pareil – a village on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) – was an area largely covered by vegetation, though earmarked for housing development. Based on research done, its development dates back to 2010, when the Ministry of Housing allocated house lots in the area to complement the other sections of Non Pareil – a sugar plantation which was transformed into a village.
Today, its population is rapidly expanding, attracting persons from all parts of Guyana as far as Linden in Region 10, Bartica in Region Seven, and Mahaicony in Region Five, and even from its neighbouring village – Enterprise in Region Four.
Veer Mangra, proprietor of Veer’s Barber Shop, is among the first set of residents to have occupied Section D Non Pareil, which is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north. Mangra, 35, had moved to the village approximately nine years ago.
“When we came here, it had just a few houses, and the road was in bad shape, some sections just had tracks, but now we are experiencing rapid development,” Mangra told Village Voice Newspaper, as he took a short break from work.
He explained that over the past nine (9) years, he has witnessed firsthand the transformation of the village into a budding scheme with houses of all sizes, shapes and colours – with modern architectural designs.
The community, Mangra said, has attracted a number of businesses and professionals offering their services. “We have mechanics, welders, dentists, doctors, barbers, supermarkets, hardware stores, and a water treatment facility,” he detailed. In his case, he has been a barber for more than 20 years, and has been providing his service to the people of the village, since moving there.
Turning his attention to infrastructure development in the village, the barber, said while there is access to water and electricity, there is no landline services in the area. Further, he said only some roads are paved, while others leave much to be desired. However, Mangra, is optimistic that with time, things will get better.
Further. Mangra, who is also a Rural Constable, told Village Voice that there have been a few cases of petty crimes such as theft occurring in the village but the Community Policing Group for which he is apart, would often conduct patrols in the evening.
“All in all I like it here. It is a mixed community with people from everywhere, and we live peaceful here. We have that love,” he said.
Another resident, Weerapen Ritney told Village Voice News that when his family migrated to Section D Non Pareil seven (7) years ago, there were approximately 25 houses erected in the area.
“There was no proper road. The people use to cross over the trench on a pipe to get access to the main road,” he recalled.
“The area develop now, far more,” he added but said there is need for road improvement.
Ritney, who operates a grocery shop, said security remains a serious concern. “The crime rate, it is very high. There is thieving every day, day time and night time to. Just three days ago they robbed a guy about 9’o clock a night,” Ritney explained.
He said while the Sparendaam Police Station is located several villages away, there is need for constant patrols to be done in the area.
Samuel (only name), a pensioner in the village, also expressed concern about the petty crimes in the community. He said that aside, Non Pareil is a peaceful village with all of the primary amenities, and business and services that are easily accessible.
Garvin Deolall, a welder by profession, has been living in Section D Non Pareil for the past six (6) years. “When I came here it was just me alone de living here in this back street,” he said. He said with time, the area became populated. Like Ritney, Deolall made a case for road improvement in the area. “Some roads good, some roads bad, but the back road bad, it get a lot of potholes and so I would glad if they fix the back road because a lot of people does use it,” he told this newspaper.
Deolall was working at Best Buy – a hardware store in the area – however, when the pandemic hit Guyana in March 2020 he found himself out of a job. “I use to work at Best Buy Hardware, I use to do welding work for them but when the COVID come on. He closed up for two weeks, and I just improve on myself. I put up a signboard on the gate, and since then I getting work, grill work after grill work,” he told Village Voice News.
He said many persons in the village utilizes his welding services. “I doing good work,” he said. On any day, carpenters and masons would be seen constructing houses in the village, as it attracts more people.