City Hall deserves a break Editorial
Guyana Chronicle
November 23, 2001

THE City Council has not been the most popular of bodies among citizens and those who have to be in Georgetown on business or just passing through.

Its successes have been few and there is a lot to be done to make Georgetown a city of which all can once again be justifiably proud.

Street vendors are still a major problem and the much-vaunted plan in collaboration with the Central Government to move those from Water Street to a mall has been held up by a court challenge by the owner of the proposed site.

Another Christmas shopping season is about to shift into full swing and the vendors problem that has dogged business places, the municipality and others for so many Christmas seasons past is set to rear its head again.

Keeping the city clean is also a major headache but the fault is clearly not only the municipality's.

It has embarked on an ambitious cleaning-up programme and is spending some $60M to clear the network of drains around Georgetown and its environs.

Town Clerk, Ms. Beulah Williams said Wednesday the council has not carried out such an extensive programme in more than 10 years.

The capital has several times in the recent past been under floodwaters from heavy rains and this is bound to happen again if the drainage system is blocked as soon as it is cleared.

Keeping the drains clean assumes added importance with the impending rainy season and it is time for concerted action by concerned citizens to link forces with the City Council against those who persist in dumping garbage everywhere else except in bins and municipal dumpsites.

President Bharrat Jagdeo on a tour Wednesday had a close-up view of city drains clogged soon after being cleared by contractors.

He called for a new spirit of cooperation from Georgetown citizens to help the municipality curb its enormous drainage problem and backed the imposition of stiff penalties for those caught littering.

A City Hall official recently noted that contractors executing the drainage works in several sections complained about the "unfriendly environmental attitude" of some citizens who dumped whatever they do not want, including old fridges, bicycle frames, old sewing machines, mattresses and bed frames "and other unimaginables".

"Areas recently desilted have not been spared this abuse", reported Mr. Royston King, City Hall Public Relations Officer.

City Hall is making a concerted effort to at least improve the drainage system to spare citizens the travails of floods when it rains and a community watch should be implemented to safeguard the vital arteries from those callous enough to use them as dumps for whatever pleases them.

Those who dump clearly have no interest in caring for the environment and those who are concerned have a duty to keep a close watch out for the deviants.

After the pounding it has taken over the years City Hall deserves a break in trying to make its drainage project effective.

Establishing a municipal court to treat expeditiously with matters affecting the development of Georgetown would also give more teeth to the campaign to deal with the callous litter bugs.