…says community “hopeless”
Fifteen months after the shutdown of the Wales Sugar Estate, not only are the former estate workers of the community faced with the economic burden of reduced finances and scarce employment but the market vendors in the area are also suffering.
The vendors collectively stressed their continued challenges into the second year of the West Bank Demerara (WBD) estate being shuttered.
Inews sought to pay a visit to the area where the once famous ‘Friday Market’ is held; just before 13:00h, sellers were packing up their stocks for the day. This was unlike before December 2016, when the market went later than 17:00h.
This online publication spoke with several vendors who all blamed the hardship that they are currently facing on the closure of the Wales Estate.
What was clear was most of them were taking home the day’s produce, in hope that somehow, they would get another opportunity to at the very least, make a profit in order to provide for themselves and their families.
One female seller, who is also a farmer at Sisters Village, linked the social issue to the closure of the estate, noting that many young people are “liming on the road” because they “have nothing to do.”
She also highlighted that when Wales was operating, as private cane farmers, many young people could have sought them for employment, especially in the out of crop season.
The entity’s closure was seen as a cost-saving measure due to billions of dollars that were allocated to the declining sugar industry, especially to Wales. This estate along with the Enmore, Rosehall and Skeldon estates were all put up for sale by The National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) .
In March 2018, NICIL put thousands of acres of land from Wales, as well as machinery from various estates, on the market.