Meadow Bank fisherfolk welcome President Ali’s security, other interventions

Stakeholders at the Meadow Bank Wharf, East Bank Demerara, and the Georgetown Fishermen Co-op Society, on Wednesday, shared their views on the improvements made at the facility following a visit by President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali in July.

Fisherman, Ramlall Narine, told DPI that he has been in the fishing business for 35 years. He said catch has been fluctuating between a ‘good day and a not-so-good day.’

Ramlall Narine, fisherman, Meadow Bank Fisherman’s Wharf

“[The catch] fluctuates. Some boats bring plenty and some boats bring ‘lil bit’ [and] it improving right now… the grant has helped me out a lot because it makes me able to buy more [for my fish] business…. I say thanks for the grant and I am looking forward to more [interventions].”

Kunti Bisnauth, one of the vendors at the facility, spoke about her experience since security measures were implemented.

Kunti Bisnauth, vendor, Meadow Bank Fisherman’s Wharf

“Crime has eased down, so it helps you [and] I feel more comfortable, and a lil bit safer.”

Meanwhile, fisherman, Troy Lewis had this to say when DPI caught up with him about the interventions at the wharf.

“We got two of the interventions, one of it is we get the light, which is very good because we need that and also, we are thankful for the security that he [President Ali] had put here at the outpost… so there is a great lot of improvement, but the main thing is that the wharf needs taking care of…. We also need better leadership and management within the co-op society to make sure things are better,” Lewis said.

Troy Lewis, fisherman, Meadow Bank Fisherman’s Wharf

President Ali made an impromptu visit to the location to experience first-hand the challenges faced by the stakeholders at the wharf.

Fishermen, vendors, and other stakeholders had voiced concerns about the conditions under which they ply their trade.

The president immediately instructed that a task force be established to advance a long-term master plan to ensure a conducive working environment for the hundreds of fisherfolk who utilise the wharf.

Further, Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha during another visit, responded to the issues raised and indicated that efforts would be made to restore the facility.

The minister said at that time, that some funds would be made available to carry out some repairs, and hopefully, next year provisions could be made through the budgeting process, “to do massive work and to rehabilitate this area”.