Local islanders benefit from Hubu’s new $9.5M ramp
─ ramp allows for heavy duty trucks and canters to come within proximity of boats to allow for an easier transfer of produce
─ “We are wholesale sellers and our market is not at Parika, but mostly Georgetown and with this stelling ramp here, we now have it cheaper and faster on our part to sell our stocks”- Nadine, a local islander
DPI, Guyana, Friday, October 12, 2018.
As farmers from the riverine communities journey to the various markets on the coast to sell their produce, an in-transit stop is usually made at the Hubu koker, East Bank Essequibo where the produce is transferred from the many boats into trucks and canters.
For decades, the dilapidated state of a makeshift ramp, built by a farmer, made the transfer of goods difficult.
Today, the provision of a bigger and sturdier ramp which was constructed by the Regional Administration, at the cost of approximately $9.5M, makes the journey much easier. The newly constructed ramp is made of strictly Greenheart wood and sits on 65ft wooden piles. The ramp allows for heavy duty trucks and canters to come within proximity of boats to allow for an easier transfer of produce.
Shon Budram, a plantain farmer from Eastern Hogg Island, supplies a tremendous amount of plantains to Georgetown. He said that the new ramp has brought him significant relief in terms of transferring his plantains from the boat to the truck. “Before time we had to walk up the shaky steps and a long distance to the front and it would sometime take us hours to discharge the boat but now the truck comes straight up to the ramp and it is from the boat into the truck. In less than half an hour, boat discharge and truck gone. The new ramp has saved me time and you know time is money and money is time,” said Budram.
Pocho Lall, who brings water coconuts from Fort Island, said “it is so much easier now that I get the chance to sell at more locations than before. At first, because of the amount of time spent here offloading and unloading, I would normally only get to sell at one market and then hurry back to catch the boat, but now I have time to stop at other locations and not be forced to sell out my coconuts cheap.”
Nadine Shirtan, who comes from Lower Bonasika, echoed similar sentiments adding that because of this newly constructed ramp the area has seen a greater flow of traffic both in terms of people and vehicle. She opined that travelling by boat with a heavy load to Parika is far way costlier. Hence, the in-transit point allows for the use of the second mode of transportation which is also less troublesome for farmers since the Parika stelling is often time overcrowded with passengers using the speedboats and big boats.
“We are wholesale sellers and our market is not at Parika, but mostly Georgetown and with this stelling ramp here we now have it cheaper and faster on our part to sell our stocks,” Nadine explained.
Story and Images: Ganesh Mahipaul.