First Published: 10th of April, 2021.Last updated: April 10, 2021 at 11:45 am
A prominent Guyanese citizen who partially resides along the East Bank of Demerara in Region 4 of Guyana, South America was yesterday greeted with a traumatic discovery as she was returning home from Georgetown. She discovered that two bridges across trenches to her home were completely uprooted and removed, and the access road to her home was badly damaged.
Mrs Melanie Mcturk, a tourism professional, indigenous rights advocate, and charity worker, made the following Facebook post yesterday at around 4 pm.
Help! This is the site where the bridge leading to my house in Land of Canaan stood this morning. It is the only access to my property. During the course of the day, persons unknown to myself and family came and removed this bridge. Now my 12 year old daughter and housekeeper are stranded on an inaccessible island. This road and bridge have been in use for over 20 years. There is no other access to the property.
As Mrs. McTurk frantically wrestled to devise a means to cross the trenches to her home where her young daughter and housekeeper were stranded, she updated her friends with the following Facebook post:
The outside bridge has also been destroyed and the road deliberately dug up. This is what lies between me and a young child this evening. Whoever has done this is a person devoid of conscience, empathy, or integrity!!
In drenching rain, the woman took out her phone and shot a video to explain her situation to her friends on Facebook.
At around 6 PM yesterday, Melanie was able to create a makeshift bridge and cross the trench to reunite with her anxious child.
Mrs. McTurk explained to this publication that the access road to her home traverses another person’s property, but it is the only access road to her home, and that she has undisputed access rights under law to use the said roadway and bridges. Further, no one had communicated to her an intention to remove the bridges at any point in time leading up to yesterday’s disturbing development.
Update from Mrs. Melanie McTurk on the Morning of April 10th, 2021:
It’s morning, and I am still in shock from the events of the evening before. In the light the damage is even more starkly visible. The gate that once kept the donkeys out is barely hanging on. The substructure of what was once our access road is visible among the debris.
I still cannot imagine the mind that would conceive such actions. Trying to figure out who or what could be responsible for such devastation. And by what turn of events a person becomes so devoid of moral compass and humanity as to do such a thing. Practical concerns mount: what happens when the cooking gas finishes…how long will it be before we can get our vehicle out, what impact will this have on my son’s exams …and then the mind shuts down unwilling to process any more.
When I moved here over 12 years ago, people asked, “aren’t you afraid to live in such an isolated place?” And I always would say NO, I love being among the trees and birds, to hear howler monkeys in the morning and even the annoying bark of the toucans at night and I have good neighbors, few as they may be. This place allowed us to live the life we preferred away from the crowds while we still needed to be close enough to the city to function.
We did not mind the burden shared with our neighbors to maintain the bridges and roadway, though it has costed us millions to do so over the years. It was worth it for our mini paradise, for those times that we could not be at Karanambu (and yet not so far away in spirit). …. our freedom and security taken from us in a blink.