President Irfaan Ali Wednesday said that maintaining a clean country was not only part of patriotism but also forms a major part of earning respect as a country at the regional and international levels.
He said Guyana will take action to earn that respect and the government, inclusive of the police and soldiers along with the private sector, will begin early in the New Year with a massive clean-up of the capital city, Georgetown.
“I spoke to the Chief of Staff [of the Guyana Defence Force] and the Commissioner of Police and told them, 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,” Dr. Ali said Wednesday as he addressed soldiers at Base Camp Ayanganna.
He said the intent of the government was to lead by example and to prove to citizens and those responsible for waste management that keeping a clean country can be achieved and maintained.
The NDCs [Neighbourhood Democratic Councils], Town Councils, and City Councils, must follow with their leadership and keep it the way we hand it to them.
“We will demonstrate that love for country and patriotism goes far beyond what one may consider the military defence of our border. It is about how we see ourselves, about how we respect ourselves, how we respect the communities we live in and how we portray Guyana to those who visit our shores,” Dr. Ali implored.
He said it was a big part of Guyana’s image on the international stage with efforts underway to improve the country’s tourism potential and infrastructure.
Dr. Ali has also promised better sidewalks, pavements and improvements to medians; the construction of more green spaces, appropriate for leisure and improving the overall aesthetics of the country.
“This is how they will judge us; this is how they will talk about us and this is how they will think about us and we must always give our best.
“When anyone visits and speaks of Guyana, they must do so with the highest degree of respect because we will work to earn it,” the President added.
This is not the first time a massive clean-up of the city has been attempted.
In 2015, the then APNU+AFC government launched a ‘Clean –Up My Country’ campaign where the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown embarked on the cleaning and desilting of street drains, alleyways and canals.
Several cemeteries were also cleaned of garbage and overgrown weed with some $100M allocated to those works. Although intent on restoring Georgetown to its previously designated state as the Garden City of the Caribbean, that was never truly achieved.