Vendors at Vreed-en-Hoop West Coast Demerara (WCD) market will be relocated from their current location to two other areas at Vreed-en-Hoop from Monday. This will be to facilitate the WCD Road Improvement Project.
According to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, the vendors agreed to being relocated during a meeting with Junior Minister of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson on Thursday.
65 vendors who is in the direct path of the proposed road will be temporarily located.
The Minister said the project was one which would ultimately benefit the entire community, particularly its economic wellbeing through the provision of farm-to-market accesses.
During the meeting at the Vreed-en-Hoop Primary School, the officials proposed more than one site, however the vendors expressed the view that one of the proposed sites is untenable. This site is located in an area known as Felix Park in Pouderoyen, West Bank Demerara, and, according to the vendors, it is a “dead zone”.
“No customer is going to want to go there; it is not a catchment area,” one vendor said. Another added, “People would prefer to take the speed boat to Georgetown than to travel to that location.”
Minister Ferguson was accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, the Ministry of Finance, and the Region 3 Democratic Council.
The Vreed-en-Hoop stelling was the most preferred relocation site, however it was explained that the stelling is earmarked for development into a waterfront facility, through funding by the United Kingdom Government and would therefore be unavailable.
Finance Secretary, Dr. Hector Butts, explained that it is pertinent that the vendors be relocated, noting that the loan comes with interest that “grows, whether construction goes on or not.”
The West Coast Demerara Road Improvement Project covers approximately 30.7 kilometres of road and is primarily financed by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) at a cost of US$44M. Works will include pavement rehabilitation; installation of traffic signs and road markings; provision of additional streetlights; construction of concrete drains; and the relocation of utilities.