More cameras, police presence to curtail illegal dumping of garbage – Pres. Ali
By Shikema Dey
Citizens can expect to see cameras at strategic points across the capital city of Georgetown and heightened police presence at illegal sites as President Irfaan Ali announced on Saturday that garbage dumping will no longer be tolerated.
The President along with the Prime Minister, Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips, other members of cabinet, the diplomatic corps, the private sector and the joint services teamed up to kick off a massive clean-up campaign that saw tonnes of garbage being removed from 13 areas across the capital city.
Noticeably absent, however, were members of the Georgetown Mayor and City Council.
The clean-up campaign began at 06:30hrs at Durban Park with President Ali and the Prime Minister clearing patches of grass and heaps of garbage from Hadfield Street.
There, the President sent a clear message to illegal dumpers.
“We are going to put police presence at these sites where people continuously dump their garbage, who are worse than the garbage itself because they have no regard for the environment,” President Ali underscored.
“While the police will be out here, the government will be working on cameras to be installed at specific locations because some of it is deliberate in action also, so we will be working on cameras to get these persons who continue to deface our country and put us in a negative light,” he added.
The President was keen to note that the clean-up exercise sends a strong message that the responsibility of keeping the country clean “resides in all of us”.
“What you are seeing here is only the tip of the iceberg because in our assessment, we have 25 sites like this in worse condition,” the Head of State noted.
In that regard, the President assured that the exercise will not be “one-off” and will continue throughout. And this will be done in unison with current plans to transform the capital city, the President said.
“We want to create a city that is family-oriented, where families can come out and find a safe zone in which we can build not only the relationship within families but communities as well.
“You saw what took place at Main Street. It is an example of how the ‘One Guyana’ spirit is built when communities come together,” the Head of State noted further.
To achieve this, the President announced plans to transform the old train station as a recreational hub with an art gallery and a “Guyana Breakfast Shed”. Added to that, several walkways and avenues will be built.
Already plans are in the works to transform Durey Lane into a recreational avenue. It was once termed a dumping haven.
“We are going to start to build a new culture, a new approach to how we keep the environment, and how we treat the country.”
Over 200 members from the joint services were out at the exercise that continues on Sunday at the 12 remaining locations across the city. Public spirited persons also joined in.
At the end of Saturday, accumulated garbage will be removed in the following areas: Sussex street, West Front Road, Brickdam and High streets, Broad and Saffon streets, Cemetery road, Hadfield Street, East La Penitence Market, High and Princess streets, Campbellville/Newtown areas, Durban, Princess and Smyth streets.
See pictures from the clean-up exercise here.