Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 December 2021, 17:20 by Denis Chabrol
President Irfaan Ali on Wednesday announced that police and soldiers would be joining hands with the business community in a massive clean-up of Georgetown in the coming weeks.
He made the announcement during an address at a Christmas Luncheon at the Guyana Defence Force’s headquarters, Base Camp Ayanganna, he said he had already spoken with the GDF Chief of Staff, Godfrey Bess and Police Commissioner Nigel Hoppie about the clean-up initiative.
“Here in Georgetown we are not going to go through the New Year with the city looking the way it is in terms of cleanliness, and we are going to lead by example by launching with the private sector a massive cleanup of the city,” he said.
The President said that after the clean-up he expected the elected local council to maintain the environment. “We will show them by our example that we can do it and if we do it as a people, then those who are in the leadership position whether at the NDC, the Town Council or the City Council, they must follow with their leadership in keeping it the way we will hand it to them,” he said.
Georgetown’s City administration, sometimes with assistance from the private sector, has been struggling to clean up the streets, drains and alleyways of large quantities of solid waste in commercial and residential areas. This is compounded by poor waste disposal by people in the city. The Head of the Solid Waste Management Department of City Hall, Walter Narine had expressed concern that street dwellers scatter garbage from receptacles or leave food boxes and cups on the streets after usage. He had also said that foreign shoppers wantonly dispose clothing wrappers in commercial Georgetown, adding to the waste build-up. There is also poor coordination between drainage cleaning and waste collection.
Dr. Ali credited the GDF with repairs to the median on Carifesta Avenue and a number of bridges around Guyana as examples of the military being involved in nation-building rather than just merely the conventional role of protecting Guyana’s borders. He said there was a larger role for the GDF in helping create positive image of Guyana. “We will demonstrate that love for country and patriotism goes far beyond what one may consider the military defense of our borders. It is about how we see ourselves. It is about how we respect ourselves. It is about how we respect the communities we live in. It is about how we portray Guyana to those who visit our shores,” he said.