Keemo Paul aids Saxacalli in COVID-19 fight

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West Indies cricketer Keemo Paul recently returned to his birthplace in Saxacalli on a mission to assist residents who are enduring some challenging times as a result of the coronavirus.

Residents of the community, which is located on the left bank of the Essequibo River, some 25 miles from Parika, have taken it upon themselves to reduce travel to a minimum in an effort to safeguard themselves from the pandemic.

With boat service operation and fishing a key part of their livelihood, both of which are now significantly reduced, residents accessing basic amenities has started to become difficult.

On Wednesday, the 22-year-old Paul supplied the community with face masks, sanitising products and food supplies. It is understood the village has just over 60 residents currently, many of whom are elderly persons.

Allan Wilson, one of the residents who collected a care hamper, stated he was overjoyed for such since it will help him and his family tremendously.

“I don’t work the boat as much as before so this will help us a lot. Most of our food comes from the land where we plant but these supplies are stuff we would have to travel to Parika to get and not going there will keep me safer,” Wilson stated.

Keemo Paul and his father David (left) loading supplies at Hubu Backdam for transport to Saxacalli 

According to Paul, “Saxacalli is my home. I am not here currently, but I know that being in lockdown will be hard even for communities like these that live off the land. From time to time we would have to travel to do business for other food supplies and I felt if I can give persons those needs, they will stay home more.”

The all-rounder, who would have been in India playing the Indian Premier League had it not been for the pandemic, added: “Prevention is better is than cure and I just want to see my family and close friends remain safe.”

David Paul, Keemo’s father, explained only recently there was a slight drought, and drinking water was running low on the island, as rain was the main source. That situation forced himself and others to head into business districts to purchase drinking water.

Keemo further called on persons to act smart, follow the guidelines of the health authorities, and only leave their homes if it is absolutely necessary to do so.

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