How does the garden grow?
Guyana Chronicle
August 20, 2004

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QUITE contrary, the once garden city is not exactly blooming with flowers in myriad colours. It is in fact in danger of being taken over by overgrown grass.

It’s grass, grass everywhere in the city and no one seems to care.

Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon, earlier this month announced that Cabinet has endorsed a Greater Georgetown development plan that could see the capital restored to its once proud `Garden City’ of the Caribbean status.

The restore Georgetown plan was put together with inputs from the government, the private sector, the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), the Georgetown municipality and other stakeholders, he told reporters.

Dr Luncheon said aspects of the scheme would soon be implemented.

The seawall area, widely popular among citizens for Sunday afternoon and holiday walks, and Durban Park, have been earmarked for development under an “economic opportunities” aspect of the plan, the government spokesman reported.

Tenders will soon be closed and awards made to prospective developers of the seawall project, he said.

Such ambitious projects take time and no one expects that Georgetown would overnight again become the `Garden City’ of the Caribbean.

But surely something could be done about the threatening takeover of the city by grass without any special committee having to be brought together and tenders submitted and approved?

Owners of cattle, horses and donkeys would be only too happy to be able to let their animals loose on the lush grazing grounds that city avenues and street parapets have become.

But animals vying to stake out territory in such verdant feeding fields would pose even more dangers for stressed-out citizens trying to dodge potholes on the city streets.

A visitor to Georgetown would be forgiven for thinking that he/she has landed in a backwater of the country and not the capital city.

While lush vegetation is important to the environment, overgrown grass every which way in the city and other parts of the coast is a depressing sight.

Chief Labour Officer, Mr Mohamed Akeel, in a recent letter to the press, found cause to remark on the striking difference between the cleanliness on the Essequibo Coast and the nastiness that prevails in Georgetown and surrounding areas.

We salute the folks and the authorities in the Essequibo for taking such pride in how their surroundings look and wonder what is it that make them so different to the rest of the country?

The capital city of any country should be among the pacesetters and not the creeping jungle that Georgetown is crawling into.

As a young letter writer yesterday observed, it “is very upsetting to observe the piles and piles of garbage (and overgrown grass), as one traverses some streets of Georgetown and on the East Coast Demerara.”

“One is left to wonder if we, as a people, have become so insensitive to each other and, more importantly, to our environment. This should not be so”, the writer added.

Surely, while we wait for the Greater Georgetown Plan to unfold, the municipal authorities could somehow get the grass cut and keep the avenues and parapets clean?

And we don’t expect they would have to undertake an excursion to Essequibo to find out how the folks there manage to do it.