By: Jemima Holmes
Sitting at the mouth of the Essequibo River is one of the largest islands in the group of 375 and while life on an island is expected to be dandy, this is not the case in Wakenaam.
Over the years, there have been a long list of issues plaguing the island, where basic necessities for the native’s livelihood are compromised in various ways.
Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) Chairman Sheikh Ahmad explained to INews that proper roadways, affordable cell service, and clean water could be considered luxuries on the island, since these necessities continue to escape their grasp.
Ahmad explained that the current road network in numerous parts of the island is a major concern.
He went on to share that while there may be a few instances of clear cell service, the prices are often alarming. He also expressed concern about the landline service that was provided by the Guyana Telephone Telegraph company (GTT).
“There was a landline service by GTT but that has suddenly failed for the last three years. Very few are working, out of about 80 we might have about 3 to 4 still working,” he revealed.
Another issue, which Ahmad described to be the most disconcerting of the set, is the island’s inability to receive clear and clean water.
The island’s water connection is said to come straight from a well to tap, as such containing dirt and rust. This, he noted, has been troubling residents for the past 10 years.
“The quality of water, it is so bad what we’ve been getting. We’re getting water yes, but it is the quality. We need an improved quality of water, we need a water treatment plant, at least two on the island,” Ahmad pleaded.
Ahmad further revealed that while electricity on the island is acceptable, the costs are still too high. [Photos by Abel Harris]