Many Guyanese merchants relied on the Parika market for steady revenue, now totally destroyed by fire due to lacking fire defense


The massive fire which engulfed and completely destroyed the peoples market named Parika Market in Essequibo, Guyana on Friday February 10, has left many who depended entirely on its existence to earn daily wage to feed and clothe themself and family at a loss and fear of future survival. They are very worried about what happens next. For many, the cash flow was literally in and out daily as the money earned was just enough to have food for one day and nothing left for saving, therefore each day after this fire simply means they have to beg and depend on support from others. Not only have they lost the place where they sold merchandise of all sorts, but they also lost their products. Since they had no form of insurance or backup supplies, these poorer folks of the community are seeking answers from the government.

So far the authorities have no factual knowledge of what caused the blaze, though there is a preliminary idea that it was caused by sparks from a welding job falling onto flammable material. Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn stated

“We will have to confirm later that there was welding going on in the building and that sparks fell down into flammable substance. That is what we understand so far as to why this has happened,”

An active investigation is in progress. However there is already rumor that it may have been intentionally started by corrupt politicians that have been trying to acquire the lands around the area for corporate developments, and possibly ordered the hit job, again all just conspiracy chatter.


How will the people survive now

Now that so many vendors have lost property and income, they need vital help from the public and the Guyanese government. Minister Benn states

“We intend to meet with those who claim they have losses and make listings for consideration, evaluation and assessments and then we will take it from there,”

The issue with all that bureaucratic consideration process is the long time it takes just to make a decision, then even more time to begin compensation. For this reason someone and possibly few others have started online crowd funding programs to raise donations for more immediate assistance. One such campaign is by Amar Sohan via GofundMe and to date it is over $2,500 USD with a goal of $30k. As with any solicitation for help, it is up to the donor to verify legitimacy.