Fed up with the condition of the city

Dear Editor,

As a Guyanese I am totally fed up with the condition of the city and the country as a whole, not only with the crime, the schools protesting, the run-down police stations, non-functioning street and traffic lights, etc, and the lack of professionalism in most government places when you go to transact business. Guyana was never at this stage as far as I can remember; it seems that we the people, the government and those in authority who enforce the laws are all failing, and for what? Maybe we might never have the answer or maybe we just do not care.

I read the newspapers each day and ask myself, why things cannot be fixed or solved and why did we allow a problem to grow into a monster we cannot control. We all learned proverbs in school, we will remember “A stitch in time saves nine.”

Having a clean, organised, tidy, well-kept, drug-free, crime-free country would automatically encourage people from all around the world to speak about Guyana and come to see the country once called El Dorado, and the capital called the Garden City.

Some suggestions:

(1)  Clean the major trenches within the city  – Lamaha St, Church St, Carifesta Ave, Vlissengen Road, Croal St/South Road, Princes St, Sussex St and Front Road, so the water will have somewhere to go and not flood the city.

(2)  Have a major clean-up of east/west – Public Road; LaPenitence, Water Street to Vlissengen; Sheriff Street; plus north/south – Seawall Road to Mandela Avenue, in the short term.

(3)  Hire new people for this 6-week project or use city council and Ministry of Works workers with private contractors or tender the project.

(4)  They should work seven days a week to ensure the project is completed,  reporting directly to a minister with the collaboration of the Town Clerk and private businessmen.

(5)  Divide the areas mentioned into sub-sections and have 2-3 contactors bid; each will be responsible for his/her area of cleaning.

(6)  All alleys, gutters, sidewalks and parapets must be clean, weeded, repaired  and painted if need be; this is where the Ministry of Works comes in. They could possibly decorate the areas for Christmas with lights, etc.

(7)  After the clean-up is completed, each business area and private resident would be responsible for maintaining the area in front of his/her yard/fence/parapet.

(8)  Hire all the sand trucks available, particularly on Sundays when most stores are closed and fewer people are on the road; this is a better day for cleaning the major shopping areas.

 

In the long term contractors should be monitored to ensure they follow the agreement. Different communities could have their own contractor who could hire people thereby creating more jobs.

Residents and businesses will be charged a fixed fee if they cannot keep their immediate area clean, tidy and organized at all times.

Supervisors will be responsible for ensuring that areas are actually being cleaned, and a copy of form signed by the supervisor should be submitted with an invoice to the council or ministry responsible for paying the contractor at the end of the month.

The city council should be disbanded; they should only be responsible for collecting rates and taxes for which a special office would be set up. Contractors would be overseen by a special committee and the relevant ministry or town clerk, while another committee would be responsible for overseeing repairs to roads, tree trimming, etc.

Many more ideas and suggestions can be given, but I am sure there are people within the present council, ministries, EPA, private and public sector who can put things in place and stop the delay.

I am tired and embarrassed to see what our country/city has gone to’ can we not find around $250M to make this happen in the short term?  Would health not cost more if there is an epidemic? Would the damage to houses and stock in stores not cost more if we get a major flood?  Would it not cost us more if visitors stop coming to Guyana?

Remember the proverb.

Yours faithfully,
A Whyte

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