It has long been my belief (and experience) that Guyanese engage in a protracted go-slow during the entire month of December. It might be closer to home to say that in some places things come to a dead stop. Well, City Hall officials just went and proved the latter.
Before going further, I do not know what would have materialized in Thurs-day’s scheduled meeting between City Hall and Cevons Waste Management (and possibly, Puran Bros, too). I am optimistic, however, that mutually acceptable terms can be finalized. Having said this, I am appalled that the space furnished by the five weeks of central government’s gift-giving from last November was frittered away by City Hall in the traditional Guyanese fashion of one big seasonal lime.
I mean here it is in early January, and this pending unresolved garbage collection matter is only now being exhumed and placed at centre stage where it rightly belongs. Suddenly, I am learning of tabling due to the fact that “certain events unfolded and with considerations for the environment.” It is better if those certain events remain mysterious from the likes of me, but the one about “considerations for the environment” is so rich as to induce post-Christmas upset. Now I am not one to interfere with other people’s festivities, but five weeks of not engaging the known principals and letting the clock expire might test even the redemptive prowess of that child in the manger. From my perspective, this is inexcusable and unforgivable, given what is at stake.
Clearly, City Hall’s nonchalance for, City Hall’s dismissal of, and City Hall’s contempt toward the welfare of taxpaying citizens are all emphasized in the relegation of this health and sanity and aesthetic issue to the remote warehouse of its lower tiered interests. It goes without saying that Georgetown cannot be revitalized, or gentrified, or beautified when garbage monuments become historical landmarks of dubious distinction. Now that may comport with the dignity and standards of some at City Hall (and many citizens, too), but I assure everyone that this is found anathematic to this resident.
Further, the last five weeks made clear that only those two private contractors can get the job done: efficiently, timely, and satisfactorily. Even further, the evidence was provided that the makeshift, shabby arrangement made in lieu of Cevons and Puran does not work, and holds residents, visitors, and the general public hostage. It embarrasses the government. The country gets a dirty name. Therefore, every effort must be expended in the negotiations to not return to that sickly stopgap setup, as it represents a time bomb. This is a real and not a metaphorical one. Official assurances to the contrary are not even worthy of a dump at the landfill.
So, as the New Year gathers its feet, it is my wish that, like Maduro who asked, “What happened to the pork” Guyanese can ask what happened to the garbage and arrive at the same place. That is, there is none.