A developing community in Linden
This week the Pepperpot Magazine visited Speightland, McKenzie, Linden Region 10
(Upper Demerara-Upper Berbice) where the locals took time out to chat despite the rainy conditions that day.
SPEIGHTLAND is a peaceful place, a community that has grown over the years and it has all-weather roads which have deteriorated over time, electricity, potable water, landline phones, cellphone services and internet services.
It has about 140 houses and more than 500 residents, people of mixed race who are descendants of the first settlers who moved there during the booming bauxite days when the plant was in operation. At the head of the village, there is the abandoned and ageing bauxite plant.
Speightland Village (Carl Croker photos)
Back in the bauxite plant operation days, workers used to reside in the community, but when the operations folded the company relocated its employees to Rainbow City, also in McKenzie; they were allocated house lots and constructed houses and settled there.
Speightland Village is a quaint place that is somewhat sleepy, yet alive, and it is indeed a nice place to settle with a family.
The people are skilled carpenters, masons, electricians, loggers, miners, construction workers, builders, mechanics, nurses, landscapers, teachers, cash crops and poultry farmers and small-business owners, who have shops and other businesses in the community.
The villagers lead a simple way of life, earning and co-existing peacefully and since most of them are related, they live in harmony and are aiming to become self-sufficient.
At the head of this village, there is a primary and a nursery school, a health centre, a play park and other facilities needed to maintain a healthy and long life.
The most distressing thing about the village is the flooding and the bad roads, but apart from those issues, it is the ideal place to raise a family.
It is within walking distance to the main road, but a taxi ride is $500 from the village to the McKenzie Market or its environs.
Living in this village is costly because of the rising food prices and the cost of other things that are necessary for life, and the residents complained of hardship since they have many children.
The people reported that jobs are not easy to get, so they are trying their hands with small shops, buying and selling greens and ground provisions and farming.
The people do what they have to earn honestly and from the look of things, they are trying their best despite the many challenges the pandemic has brought.
This community has a lot of children and they have been at home for more than a year and are eager to return to the classroom and school.
Although online classes are held, many children cannot access the internet to benefit from virtual teaching; as such, some would utilise the worksheets at hand because they do not have the gadgets to access the internet or the funds to buy data on cellphones.
Despite these challenges, parents are working with their children to ensure that they complete the worksheets.
A section of this village is under floodwaters and last Saturday Minister Juan Edghill and his team visited and distributed hampers of food items and cleaning supplies to 60 affected households.
A discussion was held between the Minister and residents following an assessment of the flood situation.
Villagers stated that they would experience flooding at least once a year when the tide is high and when there is heavy rainfall; and that was the situation when this team visited.
The Kara Kara Creek has overtopped and the water has inundated the road and a section of the village, higher than usual and it is unprecedented.