GUY-12: Some Crabwood Creek residents feel river may take over entire village
Shabna Ulla Stabroek News mayo 2007
Residents living near the seaside at Grant 1780 Crabwood Creek (CWC), Berbice are threatened by erosion that has already destroyed parts of the shore and caused flooding during the high tide.
They said over one mile of the shore is "washing away" and they are fearful that if something is not done soon the entire village may be taken over by the Corentyne River.
Rooplall Harrilall who lives with his mother and sister said when the tide is high his yard is covered with water more than one foot high.
He said this causes a lot of discomfort to his family, especially since their bathroom and pit latrine are located in the yard. "We can't do better; we have to move around in the water and even if we wear long boots we would still get scratching (itching)," he said.
Harrilall also told this newspaper that he is unable to keep a flower and kitchen garden.
"Every time ah plant something the salt water would come and destroy the plants," he said.
Another resident said the water would sometimes remain in his yard from the afternoon and recede the following morning when the tide goes out.
Residents said they have tried to drain the water in the façade canal just to get some ease but sometimes even the canal cannot take off the amount of water.
An elderly resident, MA Baksh recalled that the problem with the erosion started about 14 years ago and so far over 200 ft of land has been washed away. He said a long time ago his relatives had owned a sawmill which was built in line with the shore.
The sawmill, now owned by another person, is still at the same spot but during a visit on Saturday morning residents showed this newspaper that another section of the shore had been eroded and is now quite a distance from the sawmill.
Baksh also said his brother had built a house at the seaside a few years ago but was forced to have it removed because of the threat from the water.
He is urging the authorities to visit the area and "do something urgently since it is only a matter of time before the sea washes into the village." He feels "the worst is yet to come during the October spring tide."
According to a resident, Rampersaud Ouditnarine, the problem with the erosion is compounded by residents building boats close to the river and pushing the boats carelessly into the water.
"While we don't have a problem with them building the boats there we think they need a better system, like using 'a roller' to put the boats down in the water," he pointed out. "They also have to help to maintain the spot."
He is also concerned that residents are dumping garbage indiscriminately on the shore instead of helping to take care of it.
Ouditnarine who recently moved to the area, said since he observed the problem he made a report to the chairman of the Crabwood Creek Interim Management Committee, Teerbhawandat Arjune.
Speaking to Stabroek News, Arjune admitted that the man and other residents had highlighted the problem to him. He said he sent a letter to regional chairman, Zulfikar Mustapha about one month ago and is awaiting a response.
Efforts were made to contact Mustapha on the matter but he is said to be out of the country. This newspaper contacted two other regional officials who said they were both unaware of the problem but promised to investigate.