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“Green Bartica Plan” to provide jobs, solid waste management, cheap renewable energy

Presidential Advisor on the Environment, Rear Admiral (Ret’d ) Gary Best interacting with residents of Bartica.

Following a call by President David Granger earlier this year to make Bartica a model green town, Presidential Advisor on the Environment, Rear Admiral (Ret’d ) Gary Best and his team Thursday introduced an ambitious  “Bartica Green Plan” to the Regional Democratic Council and the Interim Management Committee, the Ministry of the Presidency said in a statement.

The Plan covers a holistic approach to sustainable economic growth in the soon-to-be township which will be implemented collaboratively through the Office of Climate Change, the Ministry of Communities, regional officials of Bartica, residents and other stakeholders.

During his presentation of the “Green Bartica Plan”, in the boardroom of the Bartica Hospital, Best told the meeting that during the upcoming sessions they will be briefed on both short and long-term plans for turning Bartica into a model green town by April 2016. While noting that the strategy crafted by his Office, he said significant features were drawn from the Bartica Development Plan, and ‘Project: Restore Guyana’ produced by Major General (Ret’d) Joe Singh.

The master plan was launched under the theme “Let’s make Bartica clean, green and pristine”, which was proposed by residents. It’s main objectives are to create a climate resilient economy and to establish  a green pathway for the foundation of a new Guyana, which will result in reducing overall carbon footprint in  agriculture, fisheries, water, forestry, waste, manufacturing, transport, construction, tourism and other sectors.

Green jobs

Priority will  be given to creating  green jobs through green growth, for example, with the establishment of wind farms there will be a need for skilled persons to install and maintain them, thereby creating jobs, and providing a renewable source of energy; all while reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Other benefits such as increased equality, fairness and social cohesion are also expected to accrue.

Meanwhile, Marlon Bristol, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist who also made a presentation, told residents that they could look forward to benefits such as an enhanced waste management system and cleaning of the immediate surroundings in the community. According to Bristol, engineers will soon embark on closing the Byderabo Landfill site which has been a health hazard and eyesore for many years. 

While this is being done, government will start work on a new landfill site at Four Miles. In the coming weeks, waste receptacles will be placed at strategic locations throughout the community and a massive education exercise on proper waste disposal will be held.

Open space

Plans are also in train to develop ten acres of land as a “green park” with paved walkways lined with trees and equipped other recreational facilities, including Wi-Fi technology.  Further, components of the plan will be promoted through various forums in order to inform and solicit a feedback from residents. In addition, early next year there will be an official launch of this plan with a “Bartica App” which will give persons in the Diaspora a chance to contribute.  

Following the presentation, Regional Chairman Gordon Bradford commended the team for their efforts saying that regional officials are committed to making it work. While acknowledging that the task ahead is formidable, Bradford believes that turning Bartica into a green town must first begin with the changing of mind-sets.

Bartica residents are excited about the plan. Veronica Charles said expectations are high and residents are eager to pitch in to make it a reality. They are hopeful as other works have already started in the community, including the recent reopening of the Guyana Gold Board office and the National Tree Planting exercise held in October.