The Skeldon Sugar Estate has been the main source of income in the Upper Corentyne area but since its closure in 2017, the livelihoods of the sacked workers and their families have fallen apart.
A recent visit to Skeldon proved that families are still trying to make ends meet as they shared their sentiments on the effect the closure has had on them.
A market vendor disclosed that she has not made a profit from her vegetables because people in the area cannot afford to purchase those items.
“All my customers are out of a job, because of the closure of the Skeldon Estate and my products goes to waste”, the vendor explained. She added that the fishermen are keeping the area alive but a lot of people remain unemployed.
A known businessman of the Skeldon area also expressed similar sentiments. “This estate has affected everyone, it is not easy to have employees on your payroll when your profit is so little, it is only me and my wife to run our business”, the businessman stated.
Operating his business at a loss, the businessman told INews that he is considering closing down his business since it is slowly dying in a dying Skeldon area.
A group of pensioners took some time to share their views on this issue and they also related the hardships they face on a daily basis.
“I am a pensioner and this issue not only affecting me but the smallest school child, books are so expensive these days”, one pensioner disclosed. His colleague, who was also discreet in giving name and designations, shared similar views.
“Imagine this present Government has members who grow up in Berbice and they are not doing enough for us, how can they take away we income?” he asked.
Most of the respondents who shared their views on this issue were totally disappointed in the state of the Skeldon/Corriverton area.
Members of the community stated that Corriverton was one of the brightest areas, the markets, roadways and supermarkets used to be filled.
Things have changed since the main source of income has been taken away. The market vendors continue to cry as well as businessmen and young unemployed individuals.
A father of three also explained how he has been hurting since he has been out of employment since the closure of the sugar estate. “I took a work pulling lumber and only $4000 I gaining, this cannot do to feed my children on a weekly basis”, the father explained.
Meanwhile, an elderly citizen explained that this issue should not be of race, but of economics. Taking away the sugar estate from Skeldon has not done any good for anyone in the Skeldon area. “If the estate is closed, a replacement institute should have been in place for all those unemployed and broke workers”, he stated.
Another businessman at the upper-part of Skeldon, asked how things will get better, and how the money will circulate if the main income has been taken away. The money is simply not circulating and business has been on the lower side of things in the area. This estate has left many unemployed, people from the Skeldon area onto Eversham have suffered the consequences of the closure of the sugar estate.
Members of the Skeldon area are calling for a better standard of living, reopening of the sugar estate and for employment to all. Unemployed youngsters have been involved in crime and it is not doing the community any good.