Local islanders benefit from Hubu’s new $9.5M ramp

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As farmers from the riverine communities journey to the various
markets on the coast to sell their produce, an in-transit stop is
usually made at the Hubu koker, East Bank Essequibo where the produce
is transferred from the many boats into trucks and canters.

For decades, the dilapidated state of a makeshift ramp, built by a
farmer, made the transfer of goods difficult.

Today, the provision of a bigger and sturdier ramp which was
constructed by the Regional Administration, at the cost of
approximately $9.5M, makes the journey much easier. The newly
constructed ramp is made of strictly Greenheart wood and sits on 65ft
wooden piles. The ramp allows for heavy duty trucks and canters to
come within proximity of boats to allow for an easier transfer of
produce.

Shon Budram, a plantain farmer from Eastern Hogg Island, supplies a
tremendous amount of plantains to Georgetown. He said that the new
ramp has brought him significant relief in terms of transferring his
plantains from the boat to the truck. “Before time we had to walk up
the shaky steps and a long distance to the front and it would sometime
take us hours to discharge the boat but now the truck comes straight
up to the ramp and it is from the boat into the truck. In less than
half an hour, boat discharge and truck gone. The new ramp has saved me
time and you know time is money and money is time,” said Budram.

Pocho Lall, who brings water coconuts from Fort Island, said “it is so
much easier now that I get the chance to sell at more locations than
before. At first, because of the amount of time spent here offloading
and unloading, I would normally only get to sell at one market and
then hurry back to catch the boat, but now I have time to stop at
other locations and not be forced to sell out my coconuts cheap.”

Nadine Shirtan, who comes from Lower Bonasika, echoed similar
sentiments adding that because of this newly constructed ramp the area
has seen a greater flow of traffic both in terms of people and
vehicle. She opined that travelling by boat with a heavy load to
Parika is far way costlier. Hence, the in-transit point allows for the
use of the second mode of transportation which is also less
troublesome for farmers since the Parika stelling is often time
overcrowded with passengers using the speedboats and big boats.

“We are wholesale sellers and our market is not at Parika, but mostly
Georgetown and with this stelling ramp here we now have it cheaper and
faster on our part to sell our stocks,” Nadine explained.

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