The parents of children attending Samatta Point Nursery School, East Bank Demerara could now breathe a sigh of relief since the construction of a footpath bridge which now provides safe access to the school. It has replaced an old derelict unsafe makeshift bridge, which was previously used.
Construction of the timber structure linking the communities of Kaneville and Samatta Point was made possible via the Ministry of Housing and Water under the Community Infrastructure Improvement Project (CIIP), which is geared towards assisting Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) and targeted Municipalities to improve access and beautify communities.
This bridge is one of 12 footpath bridges constructed and rehabilitated in Regions Three, Four and Five under the second phase of the bridges component of CIIP. The NDCs which benefitted from this component are: Golden Grove/ Diamond Place, Beterverwagting/ Triumph, and Mocha Arcadia in Region Four; Bath/ Woodley Park, Profit/ Rising Sun, Union Naarstigheid in Region Five; and Canal’s Polder, La Grange/Nimes, La Jalousie/Nouvelle Flanders, and Mora/Parika in Region Three.
According to Charlene Michael, Head Teacher of Samatta Point Nursery, she is pleased with the with the construction of the bridge linking the two communities since 90 percent of the school’s student population resides in Kaneville and have to cross the bridge daily to get to school.
Michael explained, “The previous bridge had no rails and was unsafe…the children were scared to cross but parents had no other option…persons in the community used to do self-help to keep the bridge going…I am relieve that there is a new bridge now.”
She noted that the concrete walkway constructed near to the bridge by CIIP has proven effective during the current rainy weather. “Usually whenever it rains the place would be muddy but during the past couple days of rain the children were able to walk the piece without get mud on their footwear,” the Head Teacher said.
The bridge is also helping small businesses in the community of Kaneville to grow.
According to Viola Melville, a shopkeeper, since the construction of the bridge the number of persons buying groceries from her small business has increased. She believes the additional customers are residents of Samatta Point.
Melville stated that her husband was one of the few persons who assisted to maintain the old bridge, which was actually made up of planks nailed across two broken timber utility poles. “Every now and then my husband would nail the loose planks and sometimes he get old wood and put on it but as you see for yourself it had no rails and had space…I am happy that a new bridge with rails was built,” she added.
Eighteen footpath bridges were constructed under the first phase of the bridges component of CIIP. The NDCs to benefit were: Seafield/ Tempie; Rosignol/ Zeelust; Profit/ Rising Sun; Unity/ Vereeniging; Golden Grove/ Diamond Place; Gibraltar/ Fyrish; Lancaster/ Hogstye; Hague/ Blankenburg; Best Klien/ Pouderoyen; Greenwich Park/ Vergenoegen; Hydronie/ Good Hope; and Stewartville/ Cornelia Ida.
The timber footpath bridge linking the communities of Kaneville and Samatta Point, East Bank Demerara