By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Water Vendors, who were last week forcefully removed from the roadside by officials of the Ministry of Public Works are back on the streets.
Three women were seen selling at the corners of Vlissengen/Irving-Lahama intersection this morning (Tuesday, October 14) and when approached by iNews for an interview, they questioned what alternatives they have since jobs are hard to find.
“I know they [employers] don’t have work for people because you does be looking for work and can’t get jobs…maybe they [employers] got jobs and they does push me around and say they don’t have jobs and stuff like that but I know and why I saying I am not thieving and I had to tell one of them the other day I am not gonna go on the streets, they want we fare and do bad things? Because what I am seeing here is just like they want bare badness in Guyana, is like they want you thief and when you do that they kill you,” one of the vendors, Patricia Richardson, a mother of six children said.
“We are single parents, we got children in the nursery school and primary school and we does come out to hustle to get these children meals and books, since last week we water seized and we get it back, we talk to the Minister [Robeson Benn] and he give back but he said he don’t wanna see us out here back.”
They woman said they pleaded with Minister Benn for leniency since this is their means of providing for their helpless children, however, the Minister reportedly told them, “that’s not my business.”
“He [Benn] said we could go elsewhere and sell but when you go elsewhere they running you because we was in town the other day and they run from town, the water that we get back that is what we are trying to hustle out and get off the road.”
Some of them plan on abandoning the business; however, the future is now unclear for them and their children.
“The vendors, who had occupied this major traffic light junction had moved rapidly from water selling to adding sweet drinks and snack selling at this critical area creating significant and growing congestion, safety risks and litter. Not only had the number of sellers increased but also the variety of trade they plied at the intersection,” the press release noted.
“The Ministry of Public Works has previously denied occupation of this intersection by fruit vendors, fish sellers and vagrants. The vagrants used the area for open cooking, resting, panhandling and bathing.”
The Ministry has reiterated “that it will not condone congestion and distractions on the roadways and intersections particularly with respect to Declared Public Roads and traffic light intersections – such activity is illegal.”