Source: (15th October 2019)

“Overgrown bush on neglected house lots” has been something of concern for countless residents across Guyana.

Seetaram displaying scars on her neck caused by bandits trying to strangle her with duct tape
Republic Resident Claim that this house lot has been this way for thirteen years
Empty house lot in Republic Park.

Neighbours of such neglected house lots speak of how fearful they are living next to such properties.
Some have even suffered traumatising experiences because of criminals using these bushy house lots as havens or camouflage to prey on their victims.
One victim is Chandrawattie Seetaram. Yesterday, she told of her horror experience as a neighbour who lives between two neglected house lots with overgrown bush.
Seetaram said that she is a resident of lot 40 Best Village West Coast Demerara (WCD) and has been living there for some thirteen years.
She explained that throughout her years living there, the empty house lots that surround her house have never been maintained properly thus leading to a growth of thick bushes.

“Sometimes, they would clean it one time a year and sometimes they won’t clean it for years,” said Seetaram.

These bushes, she said, has caused her great loss since it would allow thieves to gain access to her property without being seen.
“They rip out the mesh from me fence and break me window and carry away valuable things.”

These were her words as she told Kaieteur News her harrowing tale.
Seetaram added that because of fear and sleepless nights, she would make it her duty to report the matter to the National Democratic Council (NDC) of her district.

However, she said, her complaints seem to be ignored, since the neglected house lots remains same.

Recently, Seetaram experienced the worst of her fears. On September 29, last, she and her daughter visited the mandir to pray.
As they returned and entered her yard, Seetaram began to retrieve her laundry from the “clothes line”.
While retrieving her laundry, her daughter entered the house and soon after, began to scream.
According to Seetaram, she ran into the house to investigate what scared her daughter. To her surprise, she was confronted by a masked man who had a cutlass placed to her daughter’s neck.
As she advanced, another man emerged from behind the door and hit her in the back of her head. She fell to the floor.
The thieves she said began to duct tape her hands and mouth; however, whilst they were trying to duct tape her mouth, she fought back which led to the man wrapping the duct tape around her neck with the intention to strangle her.
She said that for a moment, she fainted but was revived by the man shaking her head violently.
“When I realised that I was still alive…I remained silent,” she continued.
The man then placed a cushion and cloth over her head and turned his attention to her daughter.
During this period, she managed to escape through the back door with her hands still bound. She ran onto the bridge, which leads to the entrance of her home. Her daughter also managed to run behind her.
The two men followed and began to “vice” the women.
At the same time, a passerby yelled “What goin on there?” This, she said, caused the men to abort what they were doing and leave.
Seetaram and her daughter freed themselves and returned to their house and shut the door behind them tightly.
“For that entire night, we did not sleep, because of fear that the masked men would return,” said Seetaram.
Seetaram further explained that because of her fear, the very next day after reporting the matter to the police, she moved out of her own property and went to live with a relative.
She also added that yesterday morning, she returned with a relative to check on her house and observed a broken window which indicated that the bandits returned. Upon inspection, she noticed that they carted off a transformer.
She also informed this newspaper that on the night she was attacked, they stole cell phones and jewellery.
Yesterday, the Regional Democratic Chairman (RDC), Omesh Balram, said that there have been many complaints relating to the issue of neglected house lots with over grown bushes.
This matter, he said, has been a major concern. They have been trying their best to satisfy both the owners of the properties and neighbours living in fear.
Balram added, that dealing with the matter is often a lengthy process since majority of the owners live overseas.
However, he said that these house lots do not only harbour criminals but also snakes, frogs and even mosquitoes, which can spread diseases.
He also told reporters that the NDC understands the importance of the matter and is doing the best to address the situation.
It was found that there are a number of such house lots that exist.
Yesterday afternoon, in Republic Park, one resident stated that she has been living close to a neglected house lot with overgrown bushes for some 13 years.
She added that she is also fearful of being robbed by delinquents who would make use of such environments to commit their acts.