Still no rest for the dead in city cemetery

With recent burials obstructed by the flooding of the La Repentir Cemetery, Public Works Minister Robeson Benn says efforts are underway to fix the problem even as Georgetown Mayor Hamilton Green maintains that the “sorry state of affairs” is because of central government’s obstruction.

Recently, burials, including that of former deputy manager of the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Terry Holder and designer Trevor Rose, were postponed because of the state of the burial ground.

In an invited comment, Benn told Stabroek News that the ministry is currently looking to work with the Ministry of Local Government and City Hall to improve the surroundings of the cemetery.

Overgrown bushes at Le Repentir Cemetery.
Overgrown bushes at Le Repentir Cemetery.

He said that for the past week they have being trying to get the water pumped out of the cemetery. “For the past week we have been looking to see how we can get the water off, we have been pumping for over a week. There is too much water which is flooding out the cemetery and giving problems with burials,” he noted.

Benn said too that while it is not its job, the ministry over the years has been assisting the Mayor and City Council with certain infrastructural works. He added they are trying to get funding to do spraying around the cemetery.

Speaking to Stabroek News yesterday, Green said that the City Council is, “doing what we can, in the circumstances.”

Green, however, contended that the non-support of the government is hampering works on the cemetery by blocking the council’s attempts to broaden its revenue base. “The government has failed or refused every single initiative that the Mayor and City Council has proposed, every effort that we have made has been frustrated by the government,” he stressed.

Green added that there are also problems with management on the Town Clerk, Carol Sooba’s part. “We don’t have the money. She can find half a million dollars to pay legal fees but can’t fix the cemetery, this is a serious indictment,” he said.

Green further added that the council is not being allowed to get support from outside agencies. “The government is not allowing us to go to international agencies and they are not helping us, they are not helping the city,” he said.


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