Measures which central government should take to prevent a recurrence of Wednesday’s flooding

Dear Editor,

The city is in an unacceptable condition, with garbage piled up in every community. On Wednesday, November 27, parts of the city were inundated after some rainfall. This requires urgent action at all levels including the cooperation of central government.

With the greatest respect, as an initial step to avoid the terrible situation we experienced on Wednesday I suggest the following to President Ramotar:

1. That he persuades the Town Clerk (ag) to settle with our private truck contractors, so that they can recommence the movement of silt and debris from around the city. This will allow us to utilize a working excavator, now idle on Merriman Mall for over six weeks because there are no available trucks to cart away the mud removed from our canals.

2. To advise the Town Clerk (ag) to reinstate the street orderlies and other personnel in their substantive posts; these persons for many years worked in the main business areas and are responsible for the removal of garbage and the clearing of blockages.  Their absence contributed greatly to the ugliness in the main business areas of Water, Regent and Robb Streets. Their reassignment to other duties is unfortunate; this was communicated neither to the Mayor nor the councillors even as a courtesy.

3. To request the Town Clerk (ag) to accept the recommendation of the Workshop Manager to have Ainlim repair two of our trucks, needed to execute works in the Engineer and Solid Waste Departments. A cheque has been on her desk for several months.

4. To ensure that we maximize our garbage removal capability in the city by retaining the services of those solid waste contractors dismissed by the Town Clerk (ag) in spite of a contrary decision taken by the council after examining our garbage situation.  The Director of the Solid Waste Department, Mr Walter Narine at a statutory meeting when this was discussed said that his hands were tied and he needed help.

5. That the state mobilize excavating equipment to clear all of our canals in the city.

6. To ensure that all the outfall channels are cleared regularly (which is the responsibility of the Ministry of Works or Sea Defence); the silt compromises the effectiveness of our kokers.

Judging from a statement he made on the flooding, I assume that the President is unaware of this fact, namely, the Minister’s routine summoning of the Town Clerk (ag), City Engineer and City Treasurer to his office to deal with the management of the Georgetown Mayor and City Council.  It is therefore quite inaccurate for anyone to blame the Mayor and Councillors for the inadequacies of Georgetown.  In spite of our protests the Minister seems determined to make the Mayor and Councillors subordinate to the machinations of Town Clerk (ag).

It is unnecessary in this brief appeal to go into details; suffice it to say that this is an urgent matter, since some citizens have had their homes flooded and have had to find alternative accommodation. Generally we face a potential health crisis that will not be welcome.

The President should please treat as urgent.

Yours faithfully,

Hamilton Green

Mayor

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