June 12, 2024



Residents of Retrieve protest Dorfolk home being used as a COVID-19 quarantine facility

By Solomon McGarrell

Plans to convert the Dorfolk Home, located in Retrieve, which previously served as a senior citizens home, into a COVID-19 quarantine facility, were protested on Friday by residents of the Retrieve community, who attended a community consultation meeting. Officials present at the meeting, include Region 10 Regional Chairman, Deron Adams; Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr.Gregory Harris; and Regional Executive Officer (REO), Dwight John.

Residents of Retrieve protesting the move to convert the Dorfolk home into a COVID-19 facility

According to the REO, the decision to have the home converted in a COVID-19 quarantine facility, was made by his predecessor and former RHO.
“It’s an unfortunate situation and I hereby empathise with the residents of the Dorfolk Home. With the dumping of the senior citizens’ belongings, I may want to think it is not a willful act, but they should have been proper supervision of work being carried out at the premises,” John told INFO10.
John, through his office, promises to donate several amenities when handing back the home to the senior citizens.

Residents wasted no time in expressing their disapproval to covert the home and gave the officials the only ultimatum of allowing it to be used for its original purpose or for the development of the community.

“When I visit the building this week I observed the building was being cleaned and our things were thrown outside, I am very upset about this, we were treated like a flock of sheep, y’all just dump us outside,” an elderly woman relayed to the officials.

Regional Officials addressing the residents at a community consultation meeting

“We want a training centre, not a quarantine facility in the heart of Retrieve, we will not allow this,” a furious resident stated.

In 2019, the Regional Democratic Council had commenced rehabilitation on the Dorfolk Home with the intention of providing a better facility to accommodate the elderly. In 2020 however, Guyana was hit with the deadly COVID-19 virus and it was decided to use the facility for that purpose.

Regional Chairman Deron Adams, said he vows to work along with his counterparts to take a considerate approach in handling the situation. As a resident of Retrieve, he expressed his disappointment in the way the situation was handled.

“When I assumed office I have pledged to consult with the people before the launch of any project and the residents have sizably detested. I’ll work collaboratively with the RHO to assess the situation and navigate a way forward,” Adams told INFO 10.

The Dorfolk home was constructed 25 years ago. The elderly utilises the facility twice a week for recreational activities. Elderly persons who were without a home, were also sheltered at the facility.