Guyana: Much has been done but has passed unnoticed – By Adam Harris

Much has been done but has passed unnoticed

Adam Harris

It is amazing how some things just become a part of the landscape. People have forgotten the days when Georgetown was just a place where garbage was commonplace. I can still remember the huge piles outside John Fernandes wharf and aback of the old Guyana National Cooperative Bank.

There were piles at every corner and the drains became large garbage bins. I have two nephews who served in the United States army. One of them, having come from Iraq, was allowed to come to Guyana to recuperate. He was away from the things that would have made him remember the horrors of what he faced while in Iraq.     

One day while driving along Saffon Street he encountered a pile of garbage and it had a horrible effect on him. He actually began to take evasive action in the car. I was stunned and hurriedly went on the brake.

By then my nephew was breathing hard and had started to sweat. When he realized that there was no danger and had started to breathe easier he told me that in Iraq, piles such as the one we had just seen would signal an explosive; that he had been caught in one of them on an occasion while riding in an armoured truck.

Now after two years those piles of garbage are things of the past. People have actually forgotten how filthy the capital was. Even the waterways are better looking and people are more responsible with their garbage disposal.

The streets which were once potholed are smooth. Many of us can vaguely recall driving on certain streets and having to break almost every second because of the huge holes. Those holes were the legacy of a government that recognized that it never controlled the city. The result was that it was never too keen to put money into the development of the city which is home to the embassies and most of the business centres.

Today, we drive around the city with an ease that was not possible for decades.

There are the criticisms of the government that nothing has been done. Those criticisms are to be expected. I recall when Dr Cheddi Jagan became president, the defeated Desmond Hoyte, as Opposition Leader, accused him of being presented with a good batting wicket, now he was digging up the pitch.

Most of all has been the complaint that jobs are not being created. In fact, I am not hearing much about this, because someone must have spilled the beans. For starters, many people were employed in the clean-up campaign that has the city looking so spic and span.
Another large number were employed in the road rehabilitation programme and this was evident in the drastic decline in the number of people being accosted and robbed on the streets. Indeed these people were low level workers; people who were not academically inclined. But they had families to support and they were all given a chance to earn and at the same time contribute to the development of Guyana.

But there was more. The public service has been expanded significantly. The previous government was more concerned with keeping the level of the public service down for so-called economic reasons. The truth was that many young qualified people were left on the breadline.

Word is that the public service has grown by about 2,000. Nothing is being said about this. Instead, the doomsayers are finding more to criticize. No one has taken time to recognize that crime has dropped drastically, because such reports are not in the best interest of some people. Crime was a political issue up to a few months ago. Suddenly there is a grim silence.

With a will that must be applauded, the police have actually made the streets of the city safe, so safe that some criminals target rural communities. And even there they are being caught. Recently, it transpired that some of the robberies in Berbice were committed by people who came from the city with the support of those from the community in which the robberies would take place.

Above all, I see many people involved in the housing industry. On Friday, there was the opening of the housing exposition. This is a far cry from the housing exhibitions that showcased what could be on offer. Here were actually houses.

I visited Perseverance where these houses are, last Monday, and I was shocked. There were literally hundreds and the new ones were going up at a rapid rate. I asked one contractor approximately how many people he had employed and he said about 20. There were many contractors and with each of them employing skilled and semi-skilled people, one can imagine the number of jobs created.
While I was there people visited the site and at least two of them immediately made preparations to buy homes. I was impressed. These were not rich people but mere people who wanted a home built by people who had got jobs.

I understand that more homes are to be constructed by the Central Housing and Planning Authority. This is a government at work trying to make life better for people.

And as an aside, I thank the authorities for bestowing a national award on me. When I started working it was always to give the best I could. If my good was such that I have been awarded I am grateful and humbled.

There are many like me, all smiling and basking in the congratulations from every quarter. All of us have a few more years to keep giving, and to be recognized before our days are over says a lot for the people who thought that we did offer something.
Thank you.

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Comments

  • Tata  On June 10, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Excellent observation. Even though I’ve not visited Guyana in a while, everyone comes back with rave reviews for President Gragner for the great work he’s done in MAKING GUYANA GREAT AGAIN. You know the HATERS will never give credit where credit is due.
    Keep the update coming!

    • Mango chutney  On June 11, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      Why is there people still dying from illness like diabetes and minor operations if the 3rd world country guyana is so great

      Why are taxes so high and wages are low?

      Why are people killing themselves because they can’t provide for their family?

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