Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
Allow me a space in your daily to ask Vice President Jagdeo and the PPP how it is that after its first term of twenty-three years (1992- 2015), and three years since their re-election in 2020, they only now see it fit to unveil a plan for the development of New Amsterdam.
After examining their ‘plan’, two questions came to mind. Firstly, from whence this love affair between the PPP and the people in New Amsterdam? This sudden U-turn, from being considered and treated as the most despised town and people, comes as a surprise to me. Editor, the town of New Amsterdam has grown used to the wrath of the PPP, and still manages to stand strong and resilient. Under Bharrat Jagdeo’s presidency, he was instrumental in attempting to economically crush the town and people of New Amsterdam.
The closure of the bauxite operations at Everton caused severe hardship to businesses and those who were employed in the industry. The workers, family and town were hard hit. We rose above those hard days and continue to be proud of who we are – New Amsterdamers.
Jagdeo’s second attempt to ensure the non-existence of New Amsterdam was the construction of the Berbice River Bridge at its current location, in an effort to lynch the town. This against recommendations by experts to construct the bridge at Rotterdam, which is a shorter distance between East and West Berbice and would have brought benefits to citizens of Ithaca and New Amsterdam, two communities of predominantly Afro-Guyanese.
He singlehandedly rejected the experts’ recommendations, which were based on the cost of the project (lower) and the longevity of the bridge (greater). From whence Jagdeo’s great love and affection for the people of New Amsterdam? Why punish us for decades, and now come bearing gifts in the form of ‘a plan for prosperity’, but only if the PPP wins at Local Govern-ment Election 2023? As the ruling party, it is their responsibility to ensure development for all communities, regardless of political affiliation.
It is therefore a fair assessment to say that this ‘plan’ does not even smell genuine, given the track record of the PPP regarding the people of New Amsterdam. Our town had made significant progress under the David Granger-led administration. From being the darkest town to the brightest town. Over 1,200 street lights were installed in the residential areas, this included the main roads, namely, Republic Road, Strand, and Main Road New Amsterdam. Angoy’s Avenue, which was the worst affected area, and often referred to as a depressed community, for the first time received the basic commodity of potable water in their homes.
For decades, residents were relegated to lining up at a hole in the ground to fill water daily. School children were made to suffer because of their parents’ political preference. Residents walked ankle deep in mud to get to school and work, because not a single street was paved. Thanks to the David Granger- led administration, the residents of Angoy’s Avenue are now able to walk and drive on paved streets, just like their fellow Guyanese in Canefield Canje or Hampshire Corentyne.
From 2020 to present, two streets were paved in Angoy’s Avenue, Timmer’s Roundabout and Brown Street. Let me also remind Vice President Jagdeo that the main access roads are his responsibilities, many of which are being neglected (Republic Road from Winkle going north, Water Side from Philadelphia street to Tacama turn). Under the APNU+AFC stewardship, ownership of property became a reality in Angoy’s Avenue. Those who, for whatever reason, were unable to secure their land titles, are now saddled with uncertainty.
Mr. Jagdeo, I know you are clueless about New Amsterdam as a community beyond campaign rhetoric, and as a means of scoring cheap political points. Let me inform you Sir, the basketball court is fully lit, community grounds were all upgraded under the APNU+AFC.
Let me call them out – Bermine Ground was completely rehabilitated with washrooms, flood lights around the entire ground, bleacher, stage and concrete fence all around the ground. Esplanade Park was outfitted with a new children’s play area, benabs, benches and lights. Burnham Park, which is a major project to develop the latent abilities of our track and field athletes continue to be a non-priority for the PPP. President Ali promised the audience at the Emancipation celebration, in New Amsterdam on August 1st 2022, to complete the project before Emancipation Celebrations 2023. Not surprisingly, and in keeping with the PPP’s attitude towards the people of New Amsterdam, they were once again conned during their own celebration. How and why must we trust Jagdeo and Ali?
Included in the ‘plan’ is the intention to improve the drainage system of New Amsterdam, and reduce flooding in flood prone areas such as Vryman’s Erven. Please be reminded that Rose Hall and Corriverton have drainage pumps for years, while New Amsterdam had none, until recently, when the Government was called out on it. One is now being installed, albeit temporarily, as an election gimmick.
Jagdeo and Ali, I challenge you to release the Flood Assessment Report for 2020 to the Guyanese people that was conducted by the United Nations Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CEDEMA). Let the nation know what was recommended, and state the extent to which any of it has been implemented to date, to ensure that many areas will never be flooded again. I implore members of the political opposition to demand that the assessment be read in the National Assembly.
Messrs. Ali and Jagdeo are engaged in con game called One Guyana. The residents of New Amsterdam know better and that their professions of being committed to unity is hollow. Finally, since this new ‘plan’ is being unveiled, I will ask the question, where the money is coming from, since I did not hear of this expenditure being part of the 2023 budgetary allocations. Is Mr. Jagdeo prepared to break the law to execute the ‘plan’? When the PPP loses its brazen attempt, will the ‘plan’ still be available for the benefit of the citizens of New Amsterdam?
Kirk K. Fraser