Yes, Freddie Kissoon, for me the saturation point has come. “I can’t take this any more.” I pay property taxes to the central government and I pay my rates and taxes to the city council. I also pay VAT and more taxes on my little savings. I am not asking a favour. And yes, the time is long overdue for citizens to demand that services paid for are delivered. How? It took one desperate citizen to start the Arab Spring and it took one angry citizen in Guyana who threw a bag of garbage in front of Compton Young’s home, for the then mayor to galvanize some reaction from the administration a few years ago. But what will it take now? A new mayor, a new government? When? I have one life to live. I have witnessed the accelerated deterioration of morals, attitudes and behaviour until now we are at the lowest ebb in all spheres of life, all in the name of politics. And yes, it is most glaring when you return to these shores after a spell abroad. And hell, no, the young people do not even want to come here for a holiday; no recreation, no freedom to roam for fear of being mugged, no proper nightclubs only drinking holes, uncouth behaviour and lewd language everywhere.
Indifferent corporate Guyana is not helping. Corporate Barbados has adopted/sponsored the various roundabout islands, keeps them beautifully manicured and uses them to advertise their company and showcase different themes on holidays.
Here in Guyana it is a corporate culture of grab and take. Really, how much will it cost for Courts or Tower or Palm Court and New Thriving to employ a single gardener permanently to beautify, plant and clean up the avenue in front of their business premises? How expensive can it be to place only one garbage bag in the bins before your business and be responsible for removing it at the end of the day? Where is your pride? Why should your customers be wading through garbage to get to your business? Shame on you! And this holds good for Waterloo Street, Camp Street, East Street, etc.
And now we come to Fogarty’s, Muneshwer, Guyana Stores and the commercial banks in Water Street. There are a few straggly, struggling trees on some tiny islands on Water Street. Please do help them. I know that all of you have travelled abroad and know better. GTM needs a fly-over when it drizzles. The canal that runs by the Museum and the Bank of Guyana is so full of garbage and is so smelly that you have to hold your nose when you are walking there. Phew! After a trip in town you must have a shower to get rid of the stink. Yes Freddie, I can’t take this any more.
My further suggestions? Cover the canal along the Avenue of the Republic. Move the minibus parks there and make way for the air-conditioned big buses. There is a little street that has been converted into an arcade. It has served its purpose and it is time to take it back. The Toolsie Persaud Mall should be a double-decker to accommodate these vendors.
And now the fun will start with the naysayers, the politicians and every Tom, Dick and Mary. But at the end of the day, this is only my opinion. And I am very much aware that I am blowing bubbles in the wind. But I have seen better and want a better environment for the tiny dot of a town that I must dwell in, in this world, and so do all of you.