Berbice Chamber says unrest severely affected access to goods and services


The recent unrest on the West Coast of Berbice, Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), has severely affected the delivery of goods and services to both Region Five and Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).

This is according to Vice President of the Berbice Chamber of Commerce and Development Association (BCCDA) Ryan Alexander, who highlighted that since manufacturing is done on a small scale in the county, much of the products consumed are imported and have to be delivered via the WCB corridor.

“What has transpired over the past days in the West Berbice area has hampered the services and products industry in East Berbice and to some extent West Berbice. These products and services are critical to everyone’s survival,” Alexander said.

However, the New Amsterdam Hospital, according to reports, had run out of oxygen and as a result, patients had to be air-dashed to the city. For this to happen, the airstrip had to be lit up using lights from vehicles.

The company that supplies oxygen to the medical facility related that it was short and could not have processed the orders. Apart from the four public hospitals in the Region, the same company supplies oxygen to private institutions.

The same oxygen is used in the construction industry for welding. “Oxygen is very important for industries purposes in Berbice and also for medical health. So, the message that I want to send is that it might be one of your relatives in the hospital and in need of oxygen and if we are out of oxygen in the hospitals across Berbice… you may not understand that you are affecting your family’s survival,” Alexander explained.

On the other hand, beverage companies ran out of supplies in Region Six.

According to Alexander, the Chamber has nothing against protesting but it should have been peaceful.

The Chamber’s Vice President called on Berbicians to be more responsible, noting that prior to the protest which started hours after the bodies of the two Henry teenagers was discovered at Cotton Tree backdam, residents of Belladrum had taken to the streets blocking sections of the WCB corridor.

He believes that there is need to ensure that goods and services are delivered in a timely manner taking into consideration the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the Chamber expressed condolences to the grieving families.