Solid waste education: The best ever?

Guyana Annual 2018 - oil and gas

Asian-Islamic America? Missing mosquitoes?

I grew up  in little old Alberttown in our capital with red ole grandmother sending me to the “doctor shop” for penny white or brown Vaseline. Later it became the “drug store.” Finally, the pharmacy!

Same time, it was rubbish waiting for the “rubbish-cart man”; then trash and garbage. Today? It’s solid waste!

Again, I leave the issues of current contention and distress to other able commentators. Having only just seen sensible, routine garbage storage and collection elsewhere and witnessing the “normal” resurgence of uncollected refuse – stinking, unsightly and health-challenging – once again in Georgetown, I repeat elements of the most comprehensive Public Education project in which I’ve been involved. And it’s partly because whenever I hear of the latest Solid Waste Management Initiative being promoted and implemented by some entity, I know that nothing absolutely new could be introduced which my project did not embrace. (Possible exception might be technology; but what am I going on about?)

Everything about waste management

Simply put “Solid Waste Management” refers to the storage, collection and (scientifically effective) disposal of garbage. Liquid and medical waste may be included.

Thirteen years ago – February 2004 – the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) joined the government and the Georgetown municipality to fund a public Education Pilot Project in the Lodge and Regent Street areas. There were core objectives and seven phases intended to instil solid waste management best practices – indeed a lasting national garbage disposal culture – in our citizens – from kindergarten, nursery to the (most) seniors.

Through the Implementation Unit at Vic Insanally’s Guyenterprise a group of us, guided by the brilliant expertise and management of Paloma Mohammed, caused numerous relevant activities to happen. Even though I still have rather copious notes, I know the following list will have omissions. Here goes.

  • Mapping of the two Project areas – their community, geographic, environmental, socio-cultural profiles ● Review of all previous SWM Reports Legal and School Curricula on the issues ● Production of handouts, booklets, promotional literature for seminars and use in schools and workplaces.
  • Meetings with parents, teachers, community leaders and municipal officials to promote awareness and full committed participation in the project ● Logo competition for exercise. ● Visits to Mandela Dump and Scope Meeting for intended Haags Bosch Landfill (a team even visited the St Vincent Landfill.) ● Lodge Day activities to promote Green Environment Behaviours ● Best Restaurants and SWM-friendly businesses in Regent Street. Best yard, best parapet.
  • Luncheon for relevant members of the judiciary to discuss law and Municipal Court regarding SW Management. ● Demonstrations of Composting and Recycling (Caribbean Container Factory visit to see cardboard–to–container manufacture.)

Radio/TV Play, Skit and Mobile Drama produced.

Consultations with minibus drivers, taxi associations and popular Deejays on issue – their participation. ● Consultations about medical waste ● Provisions of Waste Containers to schools and buses ● Musical alerts when Garbage Trucks are in community ● (Guyenterprise) hotline to alert MCC of Carcasses, Derelict Vehicle Removals ● Sessions for City Constabulary Prosecutors ● Cameras for City Constables for recording litter bugs and those who dump at night.

  • Relevant competitions and training for journalists re SWM issues ● The mass media campaigns –utilisation of specific media for specific audiences – from teenagers to parent to health professionals to vendors et al.

You get the idea of a comprehensive public education programme? Okay, now list 5 elements missed. I can only wish all current efforts success. Frankly Speaking – cleanliness begins in your own home and yard! Discuss …

Tulis Dyal-Singh, oil, gas…

As discussed two or three columns ago Berbician/Texan Dr Tulsi Dyal-Singh, almost single-handedly (into deep-pockets), engineered the resuscitation of the literary tradition that was/is the (Chronicle Christmas) Guyana Annual.

A literary-minded Medical Doctor – turned – Oil and Petroleum Executive, he is offering $450,000 (G) dollars as prizes for his oil and gas writing competition in the imminent 2018 Guyana Annual.

Evidently he wants young Guyanese to be appropriately stimulated by what oil in and from Guyana would really mean. The savvy Trinidadians and our politicians are speaking volumes. Dr Singh wishes young researchers, students and writers to join the conversation by submitting entries to the Annual’s competition – he has provided a gamut of topics- most from his own Texan/American experience. Go to the Annual’s facebook website (theguyanaannual). Entries close next monthend.

Hey, will Oil Prices ever rise? From Offshore Wells to Land, can oil and gas stay profitable? What ten transactions is government involved in with ExxonMobil? Did you see the movie “Giant” with Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean?

An Asian, Islamic USA?

I know the Statue of Liberty poem which welcomes the world’s wretched and huddled masses to America’s shores and neighbourhoods.

But as I experienced hundreds of Indians, Pakistani, Bangladeshis, Chinese, Koreans Javanese and Arabs and Muslims in just two boroughs of New York, NY two weeks ago, I wondered.

Will they, or do they care to, assimilate into American values and culture as they enjoy rights not present from whence they came? Hardly, I think.

America’s demography is going to be a brown majority soon! But what will be the impact of the Asian and Islamic – not the Hispanic – in time to come? You tell me. Poor President Trump…

Ponder, you must …

1) My comprehensive Solid Waste Awareness Project – 2004 – 2005 was significantly stymied by the Great Flood (Jan 2005.)

1b) Whenever I go to bed in the USA I seemingly miss a bed net as there are no mosquitoes. Do I actually miss mosquitoes when abroad? Congrats to the Ministry for its good anti-filaria awareness effort.

2) Let’s lobby the Pressie to tone down the shade of Green on his Presidential wall.

3) Coming next Friday – the President’s petulant response to his critics.

Til next week!


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