After attending the ‘National Conversation on a Clean Guyana’ at the Amerindian Village, Sophia Exhibition Site on Saturday, June 21, apart from my comments, it is apparent that what we heard from three government ministers (Health, Natural Resources and the Environment and Local Government) was no more than part of a propaganda blitz.
Vital to a clean Guyana, and in particular, Georgetown, is the quality of our drainage system and solid waste collection, supported by a well-structured public education programme. This was fashioned ten years ago but not properly implemented, even though the IDB provided money.
Georgetown is below sea level and the drainage system must be properly fixed. We know what has to be done in this vital area; it is not ‘rocket science,’ it is just money and management which are required. If we had done this as proposed eight years ago, this alone would have reduced or eliminated the vector borne diseases and been a major contributory factor to a clean environment.
Let us dredge all of our canals. Some may need revetment – a costly exercise, but necessary. We could begin in the north of the city, or do some at the same time.
• Young Street Canal
• Cummings Canal
• Lamaha Street Canal
• Church Street Canal (stop GWI dumping their sludge)
• North Road Canal
• South Road/Croal Street Canal
• Hadfield Street Waterway
• Princes Street Canal
• Sussex Street Canal
• Laing Avenue Canal
• North Ruimveldt Sideline Canal
• Cane View Waterway
• Houston Canal
•Plantation Rome (Agricola) Flour Mill area Waterway, then –
• The Downer Canal
• Irving Street Canal
• Vlissengen Road Canal
• Avenue of the Republic Canal
At the same time, we should clean or blow out the underground culverts. A few weeks ago, we found one along the Parliament Building during a clean-up exercise. The fire service helped our young engineers who did not seem to know of all the alleyways, drains and trenches.
All this noise about committees is a sham. Lots of work was done. Make available the tools – that is management by a competent, qualified administration and technical personal – and the money.
For the sake of transparency, there should be a small group to manage the funds (I would invite the likes of Yesu Persaud, Christopher Ram, Lance Hinds, Charwin Burnham, JSM Worrell, Joyce Sinclair, Philip Allsopp and some retired engineers.) For the technical team, we have M Ceres and Mr Lloyd Alleyne; we will get the job done, so that after, or during rainfall, our kids could swim safely in any of our waterways.
We can do it, but the state must take its steel heel off the citizens of Georgetown and allow competent, qualified folks to run the show.
Reminding our government ministers that the oath of the office they took demands a certain course of rectitude and service to all citizens.