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Sophia residents protest dust pollution caused by road construction; govt promises relief

Angry residents block Dennis Street, Sophia to protest dust pollution associated with the rehabilitation of that thoroughfare.

Angry residents block Dennis Street, Sophia to protest dust pollution associated with the rehabilitation of that thoroughfare.

Angered by persistent dust pollution linked to the slow-paced rehabilitation of Dennis Street, Sophia, residents blocked a section of the street with debris until they were assured that the dust would be wet and  road works would be completed very soon.

The Ministry of Public Infrastructure said rehabilitation of Dennis Street would be completed by July 27.

Junior Minister of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson detailed measures in place to bring relief to the affected residents. “The truck is on the ground, the road will start wetting, and this will be done on a 24-hour basis in order for us to bring some sort of immediate relief to you and have the dust under control.”

Additionally, a team from the Ministry immediately soaked the road to alleviate the effects of the dust. The Minister apologised to the residents for the discomfort they are facing. She urged them to continue to be patient as the Ministry works towards bringing complete relief to them.

Ferguson visited the community with a team of engineers, and the residents took the opportunity to inform her of how the incomplete project is affecting their lives.

(Centre) Junior Minister of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson listening to the concerns of Sophia residents

(Centre) Junior Minister of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson listening to the concerns of Sophia residents

The street, according to the residents, poses a threat them in the form of dust pollution. This has prompted the residents to block the street from vehicular traffic.

Ferguson after listening to the residents’ concerns explained that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure has begun work on the road from the Eastern Highway, in an effort to improve infrastructural development in the community.

She explained that it was discovered “that the foundation (of  Dennis Street) has some challenges so the contractor doesn’t want to do the overlay then in the long -run then you’ll hear that the government isn’t doing a good job. Nevertheless, I’m here this morning to meet with you the aggrieved residents to at least come up with immediate relief,” the Minister was quoted as saying by the Government Information Agency (GINA).

Christine Bovell, a resident said, “our problem is the dust. We spoke with Minister (David) Patterson on Sunday. He said that he will send a water truck to wet back the road, the water truck came here Sunday afternoon, they do a kind of a job, we accept that, yesterday we were looking out for them and there was nobody, the dust is here again, the vehicles don’t have no sympathy for us.”

Timothy Marks another resident said, “The only problem I have now is with the dust, it is really affecting us, plenty young ones deh in the hospital from choking from the dust. That is how serious it is here.”

Dennis Street was initially scheduled to be completed in mid-May, following the construction of approximately 300 metres of timber revetment.

  • rs dasai

    Use water from the stand pipes .

  • Col123

    No drainage trench alongside?As kids , we had to place water on the road when dusty …we would cut gutters on the soil to drain the holes on the roadway when it rains. Long live the helpless folks in Guyana … And may God bless them too..