The Mayor and City Council (M&CC) yesterday officially launched its Georgetown Green Volun-teer Corps (GGVC) and its first order of business is to clean the entire Regent Street.
The main objective of the Corps is to mobilise all citizens in local communities and neighbourhoods to return Georgetown to its former glory as the cleanest and greenest city in the Caribbean.
On Sunday, the volunteers will clean Regent Street of the garbage in the drains. Volunteers were asked to assemble at City Hall for 8am. In addition, a decision was made to prohibit selling within the designated area scheduled to be cleaned for the duration of the cleaning exercise.
At the launch yesterday in the compound of City Hall, Town Clerk Royston King told a crowd that included volunteers that the Council recognised its limitations and concluded that the work to repair the city could not be done by it alone, which led to the establishment of the Corps.
In addition to the cleaning of Regent Street, the Corps is committed to planting 1,000 trees throughout Georgetown and King said it will work in tandem with President David Granger’s National Tree Planting Day on October 3rd.
The initiative coincides with work to prepare for the country’s 50th Independence anniversary and Mayor Hamilton Green said May 23rd next year is the deadline for the full restoration of the city. He said the Corps’ drive is to instill “love [of] this city in the purest sense” and he posited that people that have ownership of the city will cherish and preserve it. He implored volunteers to, “commit not by words but deeds.”
The GGVC is registered under the M&CC and is overseen by the Council under the stewardship of King. King said the Corps is an extension of the civic responsibility of the Council, which is allowing other stakeholders that are not formally a part of the City Council to make decisions and take ownership. The role of the Council in the GGVC is to provide technical advice but the ownership is on the stakeholders. Persons can register as members at the office of the Town Clerk. The areas for volunteering are in leadership, counselling and guidance, public relations and education as well as practical work.
King said there are over 200 volunteers and several NGOs and religious organisations on board, including Courts, Scotia Bank and the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI). He said the city is also engaging youth organisations and has intentions to work with schools.
GGVC will not incur any major cost on the M&CC, according to the Town Clerk, because it is supported by the business community and works on a volunteer basis.
Mayor Green noted that the Corps is geared at leaving “a country that is clean, green” for young people to look forward to. He also recognised projects of a similar nature that have failed but assured the commitment of the municipality and government to take the lead in maintaining interest.
Green said the GGVC was created to ensure the continuity of the works that are being done by the Council. In order to ensure the sustainability of the work, he said the next stage is to involve and encourage young people through schools to develop a sensitivity about the “green” movement.
Deputy Mayor Patricia Chase-Green, who also spoke at the launch, emphasised the role of women in the initiative. “Women’s power will show how we are going to beautify Georgetown… women have the touch of beauty,” she said, which fired up the crowd that mainly comprised of women.
She announced that provisions are being made for Environmental Health Officers to visit residences to inspect the surroundings. Persons in violation of the laws will be brought before the courts, she said.
Since President David Granger took office at the May 11th Regional and General Elections, citizens principally in Georgetown have sprung into action to restore the city to its former place as the “Garden City.”