Lesson from Linden

Guyana Chronicle
May 12, 1999

WE DO not want to read too much into a community project but there seems to be a lesson for the rest of the country in what has been happening at the grassroots level in the bauxite mining community of Linden.

Newspaper reports yesterday told of how Linden residents of different political persuasions last weekend put their differences on hold for the common good of the community.

They came together to get potable water to about 150 families in the Lower Karakara/Speightland community aback of the abandoned alumina plant.

The people there have reportedly been without potable water for more than 15 years, despite numerous appeals to the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) while the People's National Congress (PNC) was in government and under the current People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/Civic) administration.

The man behind the drive is former PNC parliamentarian, Mr. Phillip Bynoe, who now heads a group called the Linden Salvation Council.

This self-help spirit is common in several other places in Guyana where residents have banded together to help provide their communities with water supply, better roads and other amenities. But these have been in places not usually divided by different political loyalties.

Linden, however, is seeing something different, according to Mr. Bynoe.

While street protests and other forms of demonstrations have become common political fare in Georgetown, the people of Linden are showing that they can come together in the interest of their community, he feels.

According to Mr. Bynoe, his organisation plans a community project every weekend.

The bridge across the Katapuli Creek in the Christianburg area has been fixed.

Last weekend they laid pipelines. Next week it will be repairing four critical bridges in the Silver City area.

Residents provide the labour and business firms are supplying the materials.

"This is one occasion whereby PNC people have needs and PPP people have needs. It so happens that in Linden, these needs coincide. So people put aside their differences and work together to achieve these objectives that we set", Mr. Bynoe explained Sunday.

He is encouraged by the goodwill "out there".

"A lot of business people want to help; they just need to be asked. You would be surprised to know how many business people helped us and are still prepared to do so", he said.

This is the way it should be in all Guyana.

A page from:
Guyana: Land of Six Peoples