City markets under garbage threat

Guyana Chronicle
October 14, 1999

THE growing piles of garbage in Georgetown may force the authorities to close the city's municipal markets, according to Deputy Mayor, Mr. Robert Williams.

He said in a telephone interview yesterday that the situation at the markets was unacceptable, breaching food and food safety regulations.

"Some decision may have to be taken to have the markets closed", he said.

An official at City Hall predicted that people's lives will be affected by the worsening garbage build-up and an extraordinary meeting is being called today to discuss the matter.

City Hall's garbage collection ground to a halt last week Wednesday as contractors withdrew their services, demanding millions of dollars outstanding to them.

But the authority said it has no money and is asking Central Government to pay up some $600M outstanding taxes. The Government has agreed to pay an initial $89M owed by the Ministry of Public Works, Communication and Regional Development.

So far, only two entities falling under this ministry have paid $2M, officials said.

City Hall attempted to pay contractors and one said he has collected 15 per cent of what he is owed.

A verification committee was set up to determine whether the $600M being claimed by City Hall is correct. City Hall said $300M has been confirmed.

But Local Government Minister, Mr. Clinton Collymore was not satisfied and has said he was waiting on his ministry's representative to return from leave to confirm the figure.

Garbage yesterday continued to pile up throughout the city, particularly outside the markets.

Some Bourda Market vendors are unable to sell and others are closing their stalls early. All are concerned about an outbreak of diseases near the market.

Persons have resorted to dumping outside the closed landfill site. (GWEN EVELYN)

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