Minister of State, Joseph Harmon yesterday urged the residents of Alexander Village to take personal responsibility for the condition of their surroundings even as he returned to the village on a walkabout to observe progress to reduce flooding in the community. Residents had pleaded with him during his last visit to have the matter resolved. Under the current programme of work to be completed, the main canal at First Street, Alexander Village and Hunter Street is being cleared, according to a release last night from the Ministry of the Presidency.
The clean-up effort, which is expected to be completed by Thursday, also targets the main drainage outlets from First to Fourth Streets and is being done in collaboration with the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), the M&CC, the Ministry of the Presidency and the Guyana Tractor and Equipment (GuyTrac), a company based in the area.
During a visit to the community on January 29, 2018 the residents complained about drainage in the area with one of the residents even dropping on his knees to beg for assistance. At that time, Harmon committed on their behalf, to seek the assistance of the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure to have an official assessment of the village in order to address the problem.
During the walkabout yesterday, Harmon told residents that while central Government, the private sector, the CDC and the M&CC have undertaken this collaborative effort, it is now their responsibility to become the gatekeepers to ensure that drainage infrastructure and the environment are protected.
“The point that I want to make here today is that there is tremendous value to be had when citizens cooperate with the City Council. What we are seeing here is a combination of the Mayor’s office, the constituency representative and GuyTrac. The citizens are very pleased and they have undertaken to keep the drains clean so that flooding will be something of the past. Additionally, what I was happy about this morning was that people were prepared to come and offer their services to be what I call environmental wardens. I am asking that we understand that this is a personal responsibility that we have to [take] and that we must work with the constituency [representatives] and the City to have a clean and healthy community,” he said.
Navin Persaud, who was the resident who took to his knees to plead for the Minister’s intervention, said that he is grateful that Harmon has taken such a proactive approach. He also committed to providing the manpower to conduct clean up exercises when the tools are provided to the community.
“We are pretty much grateful to Mr. Harmon for upholding his word. We are pleased that the work is being done. The residents of Alexander Village are appreciative,” he said.