Govt’s Clean Up Georgetown drive not effective -Deputy Mayor

Govt’s Clean Up Georgetown drive not effective   -Deputy Mayor

Several parts of Georgetown remained under flood waters on Friday, more than 24 hours after heavy rainfall pounded the coastlands and the city. Businessmen and homeowners were still counting their losses. Several main city streets remained inundated with flood waters and some communities reported up to three feet of water in their areas.

The Government of Guyana is blaming the current situation on the heavy rainfall. But the Deputy Mayor of Georgetown, Patricia Chase-Green believes the Donald Ramotar administration has been ineffective in tackling  the problem facing the city. During a press conference at the Office of the Leader of the Opposition, the Deputy Mayor told reporters that the Government and the Town Clerk have been starving the municipality of resources to attack the drainage problems that continue to haunt Georgetown.

Earlier this year, the National Assembly approved $1 Billion as part of a Clean up my country programme. The Ministry of Local Government has taken the lead on that project and the City Council has been sidelined for city works. Of the $1 Billion, half of the amount was set aside for clean up works in the city. The Local Government Ministry has been handing out contracts to private companies and groups for the works and the Georgetown City Council has never been consulted or made to be a part of the drive.

Now with flood waters all across the city, the Deputy Mayor said the situation shows that the initiative undertaken solely by the Government is ineffective.DSC_0880

Chase-Green said “the $500 Million being spent on the clean up Georgetown has not been effective because what you are seeing happening is that there has been no desilting of drains to provide large catchment areas for water. You just have them removing the bushes from at the top of the drains so if the drains were six  inches, they remain six inches. They did not do any desilting”.

She said the main areas of the city should have been desilted but all of that has been overlooked by the Ministry of Local Government and its Clean Up My Country drive. According to the Deputy Mayor, the City of Georgetown is being mismanaged by “a minister who does not know his role and by a Town Clerk who does not have a vision for the City of Georgetown and who does not know what to do as a Manager for the city.

Ms. Chase-Green said over the past two years she has been pressing the Town Clerk to begin projects that would have seen major drainage works being undertaken, but all of those efforts have failed.

She said the Mayor and Councillors of Georgetown will not accept any blame for the current state of the city. Blame should be placed at the doorsteps of the Local Government Ministry and the Town Clerk who have been bypassing the municipality with major works and have been starving it of major funding.

On Thursday, while many areas were under water, the Minister of Local Government Norman Whittaker declared that the situation might have been worst if not for the government’s clean up campaign. The Deputy Mayor said such a statement is an “absurdity” and one has to only visit Albouystown where millions of dollars were spend under the clean up programme and the area is one of the hardest hit by the flood.


Filed: 21st November 2014

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