Anticipations of the 2014 budget: Sanitation

Commitment to hygiene

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), sanitation is about the provision of facilities and services for the safe disposal of human waste. It is also about the maintenance of hygienic conditions through services such as garbage collection and waste water disposal.  Sanitation therefore requires a network of infrastructure that permits the safe collection, storage and disposal of solid waste and the conduit of clean and waste water.  It also requires a commitment to hygiene.  Guyana has long had well-established national institutions and agencies overseeing sanitation.  Yet, a look at the condition of Georgetown and its environs today contradicts that truth.  The current deplorable state of affairs leaves one wondering to what degree the people of Guyana understand that the disposal of all waste generated is a personal responsibility for which they are all accountable.  Not many Guyanese seem to realize that they are the reason Georgetown and its environs look as untidy and as unattractive as they do.

Stagnant and filthy repositories

Georgetown is a far cry from the garden city that it once was.  Despite being invaded by modern architecture, Georgetown now looks like a special kind of multi-cell landfill.  Piles of garbage could be found in almost any open space, on virtually every street and practically in every canal.  The gutters and alleyways caress food containers, bottles, rags and other debris.  Where water was once visible and flowing freely in alleyways, it has been buried by jungles of shrubbery.  Adjacent to, and over, these now stagnant and filthy repositories, there is a mad scramble to erect the largest buildings that the soil could take sometimes without any consideration for the surrounding landscape.  The tight spaces between many of the buildings also serve as one more holding cell in the vast garbage landfill that Georgetown has become.  When the construction is done, some of the unused building materials fill the water conduits and block the movement of water while at the same time causing the gutters to become shallower and overflow their tops.  These images are not confined to private property.  Public buildings, including areas around police barracks and stations suffer from the same environmental indignities.

According to Guyana Water Incor-porated (GWI), the flooding that follows often contains sewage, seepages or animal faecal matter thereby  …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.

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