Life in Yakusari Village
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Seema Iana picking bora on her farm
Seema Iana picking bora on her farm

VERONICA Purai is a mother of five and she holds a daytime job, thrice-weekly, where she would do domestic chores and peel green mangoes to make achar among other general duties at a residence.

She is a resident of Yakusari village and resides in the last street in the community. Purai, like many women in the community, is always doing something to assist in earning for the home, since they have more than one child.

Seema Iana

The 37-year-old told the Pepperpot Magazine that she has a very simple way of life and in order for them to have enough to eat, collectively she and her husband, who is a labourer, have to work. Purai explained that there are no real jobs in the village except farming and most men in the community do their part to earn.

Her eldest of five children is eight years old and she had the youngest with her that day at work, where she was seated at the bottom house of the place she works with a salt bag of green mangoes which she was peeling. She added that the peeled mangoes will be prepared to make achar and it would be sold at the market, along with greens the family she works for have on their farm.

“I don’t get any water from the pipes in my house and yet my supply was disconnected and I’m forced to find $50,000 to re-connect my potable water supply and I think that is really unfair,” she said. Purai added that life is hard in Yakusari village but she can’t give up, since she has children depending on her to provide for them and would work with people when they harvest crops.

The village elder
The Pepperpot Magazine also met an elder in the village, Bhagwan Purai, 69, who is a farmer and would tend to crops alongside his sons. The pensioner disclosed that he plants ochroes, boulangers, squash, sweet peppers, hot peppers, and bora, and he has two and a half acres of farmland within the village.

Veronica Purai peeling green mangoes to make achar (Carl Croker photos)

Purai is originally from Bloomfield, also on the Corentyne, but he relocated to Yakusari in 1963 when he was allocated a plot of land in the village. His house is the first in the village for several miles and he is advocating for a reduced rate of potable water and electricity for pensioners like himself.

He does all the cultivation while his wife sells the produce at Corriverton Market; and she has been a greens vendor for the past 40 years. Purai is a humble, simple man, who is accustomed to working as a farmer and is no stranger to aches and pains.

He is however, looking forward to celebrating his 70th birth anniversary. The elder has three children and 16 grandchildren and in his more youthful days, he worked with the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority for 11 years.

Apart from tending to the farm, he also rears sheep.

The bora and pepper farmer
Seema Iana is a farmer and is planting her crops of bora and peppers along a dam in front of her house, where there is an irrigation canal that runs through the village. The single parent of five told the Pepperpot Magazine that farming is the main source of income for her and when it rains heavily, her crops are damaged and she would incur a loss.

Iana would pick the bora and peppers to sell to a wholesale buyer, who would visit the village and she was about to pick the ripened bora when the team met her. “I took on the role of both parents in the home when I lost my husband to a road accident in 2008 and it’s been difficult to bring up the children alone,” she said.

The 40-year-old added that she would like to have better streets in the village and a reliable supply of potable water. She was decked out in her long boots to access her farm and reported that she is trying to cope with getting around, since the village is deemed a ‘dry weather’ place, but experiences a lot of rain.

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