Moraikobai: A small, idyllic riverine village seeking to heal its rifts

A view of the Village’s Primary School


AFTER an interesting speedboat drive down the placid, accommodating Mahaicony River, one encounters an alluring expanse of white sand; an abundance of trees both offering shade and fruit; and friendly, smiling villagers who are ready to welcome all and sundry to their quiet, idyllic village.

The place is called Moraikobai, and it is situated some 96 miles away from the confluence of the Mahaicony river, where the Police Station overlooks the Stelling from which the speedboats ply their trade, and the Mahaicony River Access Bridge is one of three major features of the coastal infrastructure of Region Five (Mahaica/Berbice); the other two being the Mahaica Bridge that spans a river with the same name, and the Berbice River Bridge that connects Region Five with Region Six.

The drive takes approximately two hours, during which one is transported away from the sounds and sights of the proverbial concrete jungle to a place where villagers enjoy peace and serenity, and all the basic necessities that contribute to a very good life. Besides, there is a hospital, shops, schools, and much more at Moraikobai.

Importantly, at Moraikobai, one does not have to worry about the sometimes alarming and annoying sounds of road vehicles roaring past under management of their raging drivers. Populated by just over 500 villagers, calm and serenity prevails here. Persons are relaxed, and always seem to have bright and welcoming smiles on their faces.
Children run around unhindered, or splash happily at the creek, as adults go about their day-to-day chores and attend to other activities in a spirit of respectful indulgence of each other.

The abundance of natural resources which surround Moraikobai affords most villagers gainful employment and ample income through logging; and villagers explained that the vast land, mostly unoccupied, is perfect for agricultural enterprises such as farming, because of its great fertility.
In the past, Moraikobai was known for its mass agricultural activities, but those gradually subsided as time went by and things became tough in that villagers found it difficult to maintain their crops, hence they moved away from agriculture.

Some villagers told the Guyana Chronicle that a lot has changed, not only in terms of their employment, but also with their culture. As compared to the past, the youths in the village have these days turned to using drugs, which leads to increasing criminal activities.
And although there are two churches in the village which provide counselling to the youths, there is need for establishment of a police outpost in the village, as this would be a beneficial boost to the level of security in the village.

Following the Christian faith, villagers in the past usually lived a simple life, and were never burdened by crime, because they used to live in unity and prosperity. Of recent, however, the village has become divided.

Nevertheless, in an effort to mend this rift, the newly-elected toshao said he would concentrate all his efforts on bringing the village back to its former glory, so that persons can again live together as one, and the culture which once prevailed could be restored


By Navendra Seoraj