City Hall prepares for second phase of drainage programme
Guyana Chronicle
December 12, 2001

THE Mayor and City Council (M&CC) is in the process of mobilising resources to commence the second phase of its drainage programme in vulnerable areas, a press release said.

This would involve the linking of three main canals, Sussex Street, Laing Avenue and West Ruimveldt Front Road (North Sideline).

"The connection between the Laing Avenue and West Ruimveldt Front Road Canals will be done via the creation of a new waterway on the western periphery of East Ruimveldt Market," the statement added.

The M&CC said the main idea is to allow the canals to drain using the mechanical pump at the Riverview outfall.

At present, the canals flow sluggishly to the Liliendaal pump. At the end of the operation, the canals would have a shorter run to the Laing Avenue Riverview outfall, the release said.

The municipality is also finalising arrangements to desilt all the street drains and alleyways in the Albouystown community, the main canals in North and South Road, Church, Irving, and Lamaha Streets.

"Generally, the Mayor and City Council has been making steady progress, in its effort to improve the integrity of the city's fragile drainage system," the press release added.

Over the last four months, the M&CC expended $75M in drainage works in a number of areas. These are: McDoom, Agricola, North East La Penitence, East La Penitence, Lodge and Lodge Housing Scheme, and North and South Cummingsburg.

These were preceded by a public awareness programme, which utilised community meetings and the media.

"The intention was to spur community initiative to help in the management and preservation of the works. This would allow the Council to focus in other crucial areas", the statement added.

However, one source of concern is the wanton dumping by some citizens, who continue to use the waterways as refuse receptacles.

"In spite of our pleadings and exhortations, quite a few residents in Bourda, North East La Penitence, North and South Cummingsburg and other sections have resumed dumping whatever they do not want into our canals".

"This is highly unacceptable and could not be tolerated by decent citizens", the M&CC said.

As a result, the Municipality is urging all concerned to persuade those who engage in this type of behaviour to desist "from hunting the environment".

The M&CC expends millions of dollars to correct this situation. To this end, the Public Relations Division will begin a series of television and radio programmes to encourage citizens to do the right things.

This will be done in the form of live Call-In one-hour sessions on GTV 11 on a weekly basis, and would include leaders of the different segments of society.

"The political, educational, social, judicial, different religions, the private sector, the Consumers Association, ordinary civic-minded citizens -- everyone must raise a voice against this embarrassing situation in our city", the statement said.

The M&CC has more than 300 such cases pending in the judicial system. However, the long delays at the Courts are causing a softening of the impact of the fines against litterbugs, the release lamented.