The ERC conundrum

first_imgOn Wednesday, April 27, 2016, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Appointments chaired by Dr George Norton, Public Health Minister, convened a high-level stakeholders meeting at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre, to kick-start a democratic process aimed at reconstituting a new Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC).For those conversant with the political history of this country, the attendance at the meeting was rather disheartening in the least and foreboding at most from the standpoint of the pivotal role that the ERC is constitutionally mandated to perform relative to mitigating ethnic discord in Guyana.Indeed, it is hoped that the apathetic attendance at the meeting last week is not by any means an accurate gauge of the levels of [dis]interest in the resuscitation of the entity, and by extension its work, by the constituent groupings that were invited to send representatives, otherwise, in future, citizens may very well reflect on and rue this missed opportunity of meaningfully contributing to the composition of a body that, in the current circumstance, is destined to play a strategic role in defining and influencing race-relations in the country.All things being equal, a new ERC will come into being in probably a month’s time. This would be the country’s second ERC, replacing the first which was formed on March 8, 2002, and which, admittedly, had a chequered history.The first ERC was chaired by Juan Edghill (who was the Christian representative), and its tenure constitutionally expired in 2006. From then, right up to 2015, an inordinate period of time during which the country saw the running-off of two elections (ie, in 2011 and 2015), no new Commission was established to replace the first ERC which, over time, became mired in a host of issues such as court matters instigated by the main parliamentary opposition challenging the organisation’s constitutionality; loss of membership through attrition – resignations, deaths, illness, and migration – resulting in the lack of a decision-making quorum; and, to some extent, a loss of public trust and confidence in the organisation’s credibility.Subsequently, after the results of the 2011 general and regional elections transformed the PPP/C into a minority government, the framework for a new ERC was agreed to in 2013 between the government, and the parliamentary opposition parties – APNU and AFC. At that time it was consensually agreed by government and the opposition parties to add three more constituents – namely, the ethnic representatives of the country’s African, East Indian, and Amerindian peoples – to the original mix of representatives, thus increasing the total number of elected members from seven to 10.The process to select the nominees for the new Commission concluded in 2014 and the names of those selected were made public. But, for some inexplicable reason, they were never sworn-in as Commissioners.However, notwithstanding all that has gone before, the present APNU+AFC administration to its credit, seems very serious about going the whole yard, that is, seeing to finality the linear processes of selection, nomination, parliamentary approval, and swearing-in of a new Commission, and in this regard they should be aptly commended.It therefore boggles the mind as to why the public isn’t fully engaged as they ought to be in the inchoate process underway to select officials to sit on this important constitutional body.Strictly speaking, by way of comparison, the ERC is probably the most powerful of all the Rights Commissions established in this country after Independence. Based on the powers ascribed to it by the Constitution, it is more or less a quasi-judicial body that can summon, adjudicate, and penalise.It is pellucid that the ERC when constituted, will be especially critical to pre-empting and meliorating the divisive ethnic intolerance that usually overshadows the country’s elections periods; whilst generally mediating and arbitrating, all year round, the varied ethnic problems abounding within our polity and which daily threaten the country’s very existence.In fact, the move to put together the ERC at this time is most propitious from the standpoint that race-relations between the country’s two main ethnic groups (Africans and Indians) are at their lowest point, as is customary in the aftermath of all elections held here since the 1950s.Undeniably, the journey ahead for the Commission is going to be predictably challenging and painstaking in service to country. At this point though, it is absolutely necessary that the groupings identified to nominate persons to sit on the ERC take into consideration the character, interests, abilities and competencies of the people they choose.last_img read more

Violators of traffic rules

first_imgOn Sunday, two vendors returning home after selling at the Bourda Market in Georgetown lost their lives after the minibus in which they were travelling was allegedly speeding, causing the driver to lose control after reportedly being grazed by another vehicle.There is always an element of risk whenever someone uses the roadways: be it a motorist, passenger, cyclist or pedestrian. This is somewhat inherent, since it is believed that accidents will happen. Often the fault is not with the one being cautious.The risks may manifest themselves in various forms, such as a lack of street lighting while driving at nights; potholes, which when swerved from could place a vehicle in the direct path of another; absence of or non-functioning traffic lights, which can create uncertainty among drivers; roaming animals; speeding; drinking and driving; narrow streets, and lack of traffic signage. In addition, disobedience of basic traffic etiquette and other rules exacerbate the risks.Seemingly common now is the disrespect for designated major roads. Many drivers, including some within the public transportation system, refuse to adhere to what is mandatory. As a result, a number of accidents occur frequently at some of those points. Similarly, the practice of running red lights and the green signal that allows pedestrians to cross continues unabated, predominantly by minibus drivers. The danger this poses needs no explanation.While there is a plethora of traffic violations on a daily basis, some appear more prominent. Undertaking and cutting in front of a vehicle, and the sticking out of a minibus conductor’s arm to do likewise from the other side seem the new norm of driving. Aside from the obvious danger, especially to young and inexperienced drivers, and being an irritant, it is blatant bullyism and a potent source for road rage.It appears that those who engage in such practices do not see themselves as being errant, or what they do as a traffic violation. Lanes that allow for turning-on-red are abused and used as if it’s the right-of-way. In the City, many roads other than what are authorised for minibus routes are used as thoroughfares. Speeding is foremost, causing areas that are supposed to be free of minibuses to become dangerous.In addition, some drivers seemingly take pride in having an alcoholic beverage in their possession while transporting passengers. Adding to the woes of those who abide by traffic rules, they are verbally abused when trying to stave off a potential transgressor. These practices are not unknown to the Police and while they cannot be at all points where violations occur, there is the expectation for more and sustained intervention in the interest of safety to all road users.This does not take away from the valiant efforts of a few dedicated traffic officers who do their best to curb the situation; one which has reached alarming proportions. Reportedly, many minibuses are owned by some Police ranks and the drivers are of the view that they have a free pass to break traffic rules. It is believed that traffic ranks turn a blind eye when they see firsthand violations by minibuses owned by members of the force.That obviously empowers those errant drivers, and causes others to do likewise. Sometime ago, a senior traffic officer, speaking at a road safety fair, boldly proclaimed that no one is above the law when asked specifically about reports of violation by Police ranks. That is heartening to hear, and he must be commended. However, the follow-up question should have been how effective his action could be in the context of minibuses being owned by some of his colleagues.In fairness to the Police, it did clamp down on tinted vehicles owned by some ranks. That shows that the force seems willing to hold its own responsible. While that offers some level of optimism, it begs the question why the unbridled traffic violations by some minibuses continue unchecked.From all reports, some traffic ranks can easily pinpoint a particular minibus based upon design and route when a complaint is lodged. That probably suggests that traffic violation is not unique to that vehicle. Again, it must be asked: How is it allowed to continue? One can assume that alleged pressure from within is responsible. Seemingly gone is the expectation of the example being set by those entrusted to ensure safety on the roadways.What is desperately needed is a sustained national campaign to reduce traffic violations, and let the law take its course on the errant ones, regardless of who they are. The carelessness exhibited puts all road users at risk. This is where the National Road Safety Council would need to be supported, and probably empowered to have a more visible presence and increased influence all year round.It must be noted that drivers are not the only violators of traffic rules; for some pedestrians are equally guilty. Aside from the common jaywalking, they cross busy intersections when not authorized, and refuse to use the overhead pedestrian walkways, thereby bringing danger to themselves and others. Like errant drivers, they seem empowered to not observe basic traffic rules. This will only change when there is a constant stream of violators up the stairs of the courts across the country. There is a hope that that is not wishful thinking.last_img read more

The seeming rhetoric on noise pollution

first_imgLast week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated that it received a 35% increase in complaints of noise pollution, when figures for this year thus far are compared to 2018. By any stretch of the imagination, that is a substantial increase. That’s reflective of what may be deemed an ineffective approach to curbing this societal menace.Over time, there have been numerous complaints, and gauging from some who pleaded their cases in the media, this scourge continues unabated. Interestingly, the Director of the EPA is reported to have stated that many people stopped complaining, given their perception of not getting a response.For many, it is not a perception; in reality, their complaints are ignored. Despite the pain, suffering, and gross inconvenience many are forced to endure, the Director must be commended for bringing officially into the public domain that seeming lack of a response, even though branded as a perception. He has elevated, through the influence of his office, what many believe and experienced. In so doing, he may have deliberately brought some level of pressure upon those, including his officers and the Police, who are entrusted to enforce the laws.Too often, when complaints are called in to Police stations, and when the call is actually answered, the response is either permission has been granted until midnight, in some cases 2:00 am, or they will “check on it”. Very often, the latter was a means of consoling, and never really materialised.Part of the problem basically lies in the former: permission. Many have argued over the criteria used to allow a few to inconvenience residents within the village or villages. Among those affected in every instance are babies, children preparing for school or examinations, the elderly, and the sick. Medical experts have documented the serious effects of noise on people who are exposed to high decibels of sound, and especially how telling it is on an ongoing basis.The inconsiderate bombarding of others with loud music by bar operators and bar-b-que promoters has seemingly become an unfortunate fixture within many villages. Village days are often promoted without the consent of villagers. To make matters worse, there are reports of alleged collusion with the Police and the operators/ promoters, thereby facilitating this hazard.Having expended much effort for intervention, and having been unsuccessful, wary residents are naturally forced to stop complaining. Some may posit that’s how it’s designed deliberately, to allow the flow of believed benefits from the alleged collusion. How else can one explain permission being granted for bar-b-ques, street limes, and village days — which blare music — to be promoted unabated?How else can one similarly explain established and makeshift bars — that are brazenly polluting with noise — operating unhindered? How else can one explain that the approved midnight timeline is actually 3:00am or 4:00 am? How else can one explain the glaring lack of meaningful intervention in all those instances?That, in many ways, sums up the plight of the affected residents, and the magnitude of the problem.It’s worthy to note, and may be even ironic, that the EPA Director’s comments referenced were made when he addressed a noise management training for Police officers. The Public Security Minister reportedly took the opportunity at the training to highlight the prevalence of noise pollution, and alluded to victims not following through after reports are made; i.e. a reluctance to appear in court.Aside from alleged collusion, therein lies probably the biggest hindrance to curbing the endemic noise crisis.Maybe there is need to relook at the legal requirements in the context that if the Police were to independently, promptly and professionally respond to complaints, verify them, and take statements from complainants, the need for an actual presence could be obviated.While a credible argument can be made that such a proposal could encourage collusion at another level, the possibility for legal resolution could increase. This considers that the Police are equipped with testers to check the level of noise, and that the Minister reportedly said it may be better to enforce the law by taking away the equipment of those caught in the act. Any justification of the latter seemingly negates the presence of a complainant in court; same as the testers.What remains very worrying is that, despite the utterances of the EPA and the Minister, some establishments which are not soundproofed, even within the City, continue to unleash a torrent of noise pollution on residents craving for relief.Reportedly many, if not all, of these establishments, appear to have strong connections, which allow them to operate untouched. In those instances, complaints will be ignored at the expense of the health and wellbeing of the affected residents. That causes the rhetoric from the authorities to be rendered useless. It cannot be just about soundproofing. Many cases, like music carts, bar-b-ques, limes, vehicles and small village shops, are a big part of the problem, which is seemingly compounded by a reluctance to enforce the law allegedly on the grounds of self-interest. That probably explains the 35% increase in complaints, as against a decrease, which should be the primary goal.last_img read more

Culture of Indo-Guyanese

first_imgDear Editor,I have been asked many times by Indian nationals as to the reasons Indo-Guyanese still sing, play, enjoy Indian music and its attendant cultural traditions almost 180 years after they were brought here and lived in slave-like conditions for many of those years.Music originates and emanates from that most primitive aspect – the base channel – of the human soul where lurks the ecstatic condition of wonder and terror – it is the souls’ primitive and primary speech:  a “speech” of rhyme without reason.  Plato said that in order to take the spiritual temperature of an individual or a society, one must “mark the music.”To the philosophers of old, the history of music is a series of attempts to “give form and beauty to the dark, chaotic, psychic forces in the soul – to make them serve a higher purpose, an ideal, to give man’s duties a fullness”.  Music then plays an integral part in influencing our individual and then – as a shared cultural inventory resonating as a vibrating string through the community – our collective identity.The majority of Indo-Guyanese came from the Bhojpuri region of India where the local Bhojpuri culture of music, songs and dances played a seminal role in everyday life.It was the Bhojpuri region’s folk-music culture that would make up the core of the legacy brought to the West Indies. The Bhojpuri music culture imported was typically a simple rural folk-song genres but heavily oral-narrative based. It’s widespread use, even today, of the dholak and dental, in addition to the fact that great emphasis was placed on Bhojpuri words/lyrics to these early performances (contrastingly, the meaning and words of Indo-Guyanese Indian singing today is almost irrelevant!).Even today, we are familiar with the various Bhojpuri genre that were imported, but morphed and coalesced into something uniquely Guyanese.Many of these genres persisted and were maintained almost defensively by the cultural and religious structures that gradually solidified over the decades in the secluded and culturally isolated confines of the sugar plantations. For example, key festivals such as Divali and Phagwa supplanted older “lesser ones” and became prominent; and domestic events like bhagvats (nine-day ritual sessions), pujas (formal prayer sessions), and neighbourhood song sessions called satsangs became prevalent.Today although some of these genre have slowly disappeared (but counter intuitively and fortunately, have sprung up in Guyanese/TT immigrant communities in cosmopolitan NY, Toronto and London), they have given way to Bollywood music, and the locally Indo-Caribbean derived Chutney-Soca. But the singing and performance of Bhajans, Bollywood Geets and Ghazals still enjoy privileged status at concerts and Mandirs wherever Indo-Guyanese reside. Virtuoso drummers, like my close friend “Biscuit”, are still prevalent.Amid the deculturating effects of the slave plantations and the larger colonial environment, we have managed to recreate those old strands to weave an almost new repertoire and adjusted forms of the Bhojpuri compositions.Naipaul says, “The Indians endured and prospered. The India they re-created was allowed to survive. It was an India in which a revolution had occurred. It was an India in isolation, unsupported; an India without caste or the overwhelming pressures toward caste. Effort had a meaning, and soon India could be seen to be no more than a habit, a self-imposed psychological restraint, wearing thinner with the years.”Yours sincerely,Dev Prakashlast_img read more

Questions for GuySuCo

first_imgDear Editor,Below are some questions for the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).1. What is the last year of audited accounts and has this been made a public record?2. Has GuySuCo’s procurement procedures being complied with?3. Has GuySuCo disposed of any of its assets and have these been based on public tenders and valuations. How much has been raised and how does this compare with the valuation. Is this information a public record?4. Is GuySuCo up to date with its remittance of PAYE and NIS deductions and obligations5. Are all severance payments up to date?6. Will Government make whole the GuySuCo pension plan deficit and will those workers be guaranteed their full pension benefits?7. Is there a business plan that is being followed and is this a public record?8. How many acres of land does GuySuCo own? How much is leased?9. What percentage of the land owned or leased to GuySuCo is been utilised.10. What is the total funds provided to GuySuCo since the People’s Progressive Party left office?11. Who has responsibility for accounting for the proper use of the monies lent to GuySuCo?12. Will the G$30 billion be repaid by GuySuCo or Government?13. Is there a business plan that shows that these funds will be repaid? Has this been laid in Parliament and made a public record?14. Is Government giving a guarantee to the lenders of the G$30 billion and who will be responsible for ensuring that the funds are properly accounted for.15. Would it be cheaper for Government to borrow the money directly and lend GuySuCo, thus ensuring lower borrowing costs and full transparency and accountability?Sincerely,Name withheldlast_img read more

Skeldon’s Heritage & Recreation Park

first_imgDear Editor,While the media is abuzz with the pros and cons of the future of the sugar industry and the fate of its thousands of employees, it is heart-warming to see the development of the Skeldon Estate Heritage & Recreation Park, which is a brainchild of the current estate manager, with support from her principals.This park essentially represents a profit centre, with employment opportunities for many otherwise unemployed staff, converting the liability of the unused Senior Staff Compound with all the sunken costs by renting the many empty Senior Staff Houses, and opening up to the public, at affordable fees, the use of the staff club, swimming pool, children’s playground, tennis court etc spread across the extensive lawns, with beautiful trees and flowers, which must be maintained lest what is now a pristine compound turns into an ugly forest.This initiative is not only financially sound, but it represents the breaking down of an age-old, anachronistic barrier between the privileged classes and rank & file citizens in the community and the country at large, as well as overseas-based Guyanese who return to their homeland for vacations. The body language and expressions of joy on the faces of the men, women and children of the local community and others as far away as Georgetown, as they use the erstwhile ‘forbidden’ facilities, speak volumes for this socio-anthropological breakthrough. (I often recall and recoil at the personal inferiority complex which overshadowed my boyhood days at Blairmont Estate, when the invisible barrier along the public road which runs through the Senior Staff Compound was so strong that I suffered mortal fear when I had to scamper on the lawns to retrieve my bumper ball; lest Mr Edoo, the compound foreman, apprehend me with a good thrashing with his ‘koodari’ (walking stick)!As far as I am aware, the initiative includes use of the Skeldon Heritage House (known as the Big House), conducted tours via empty cane punts through the cane cultivation, as well as walks through the old and new sugar factory, rental of the Training Building for occasional meetings and longer-term residential training activities, conventions etc.Bravo, SkeldonManagement!Sincerely,Nowrang Persaudlast_img read more

Where is the vision to lead our country forward?

first_imgDear Editor,Agriculture Minister Noel Holder’s unbelievably frank admission of ignorance made in the media on September 26, 2018, may have shocked many “…so they have now apparently secured some $30 billion bond, which the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) management has not seen, which the Agriculture Minister has not seen, and frankly speaking doesn’t really want to see” but not those who have been paying attention to the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) maladministration of our country.Editor, our nation expends enormous amounts of money and energy to elect an Executive President and his/her Administration; in 2015 we elected Head of State David Granger to serve in this Executive capacity, his first act was to establish a Ministry of the Presidency to handle all the Executive parts of his job. Granger undertook no sector of our economy, social aspect of life or other area as his personal responsibility, he created new Vice Presidents, new Ministries, new Ministers within old Ministries, new departments and chose to chair Cabinet without holding any portfolio.President Granger has effectively assigned himself the role of ‘ceremonial President”; he had tea with the Queen of England, attends heads of anything conferences and of late, is available to cut ribbons locally. The Head ofState also held his third annual press conference where it emerged that he had not read the ExxonMobil Production Sharing Agreement contract as of August 2018, he was “awaiting a briefing next month” – the single most important document to ever affect our nation since independence in 1966 and our President had not read it. Quo Vadis?Editor, the old adage of ‘actions have consequences’ is being borne out three years plus into this maladministration. Ministers ignorant of critical matters under their portfolio is the new norm; the action of hiring a crony to a top position and then hiring an expert to do the crony’s job has now duplicated itself at many Ministries and departments, most recently in the Department of Energy. How much longer can we, the taxpayers, carry this as our burden? This type of bureaucracy come with a hefty price tag, over 60 billion in new revenue collected by the GRA per annum and yet we cannot pay our teachers a much deserved increase in salary or our hard working GuySuCo employees their lawful severance.Editor, President Granger’s only meaningful actions have been his unilateral appointment of a chair for GECOM; his signing of the Cybercrime Bill of 2018 with clause 18.1 intact into law; his selective, costly and mostly unnecessary Commission of Inquiries (CoI); his refusal to hold a necessary CoI into the mysterious operation that led to the death of Guyana Defence Force Officer Pyle, as he chased People’s Progressive Party MP Charles Ramson Jr’s terrified wife through the streets of Georgetown and his policy suggestion that the ‘Carter Formula’ has outlived its usefulness and calling it a “recipe for disaster” – all of these actions point to a care for retention of political power.Editor, I must ask where is the vision to lead our country forward? Where are the policy documents, statements, speeches, indications?When asked about plans for GuySuCo, Minister Holder referred to a State paper presented in Parliament. Editor, this paper is long on rhetoric and bereft of detail, sadly it is a characteristic of all APNU/AFC Ministries and departments. This is no way to run a country.For I would much rather ‘Quo Vadis’ apply to comrade Granger than to our dear land of Guyana.Respectfully,Robin Singhlast_img read more

Open letter to all media practitioners

first_imgDear Editor,The Guyana Press Association’s statement on 11th March 2019 accused the General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Leader of the Opposition and former President of Guyana, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, of a direct attack and threat to the lives and livelihoods of members of the Association’s professional journalists and media houses. This grave threat is described by the GPA as, “…he quipped that the question posed by journalist Nazima Raghubir was ‘stupid’.”The use of the word ‘quipped’ to describe an attack or threat is novel. Deliberate misinterpretation of a quip is not, however; so an examination of the press conference on 7th March 2019 is instructive.In relation to the SARA offer to settle the issue of his home at Pradoville, Jagdeo said, “It is a political thing…I will not pay a cent more”. Ms. Raghubir then asked, “You said you rejected it, but on what basis?” Jagdeo replied, “…what kind of stupid question is that? …because you have to use deductive reasoning if it’s a political thing…”Ms Raghubir, President of the GPA, was vociferous in her response, and was at no time cowed in the exchange. She spiritedly replied, “I get impatient with stupid statements”. This was in reply to a former President of Guyana.Having found common ground on this issue, the press conference continued with both parties asking and answering questions in good humour. Ms. Raghubir did not leave the press conference.It is difficult to discern an attack or threat from either tone or posture displayed by the Leader of the Opposition during this exchange, (complete video of which is available via the PPPC Facebook page).The GPA should be in praise of the unprecedented access, via weekly press conferences, to the Leader of the Opposition, which allows unfettered access to Jagdeo without constraint of time or a moderator. The PPP has a long track record of championing freedom of the press, and has fought its own struggles during previous PNC regimes to ensure the public always has access to the media, and that the media is free and fair.While the GPA may indeed see questioning of deductive reasoning capabilities as a threat to many media houses, the biggest dangers to the lives and livelihoods of media practitioners and media houses are not quips and/or testy exchanges at press conferences. The threat comes from the media’s abandonment of the universal journalistic code of ethics.For enlightenment of those who entered the profession without formal training, there are four core principles: Seek Truth and Report it; Minimize Harm; Act Independently, and Be Accountable and Transparent.An examination of the work of some members of the GPA shows a pattern of fabrication, lack of regard for the public good, bias and partisanship. A few examples presented here should be sufficient evidence of the need of the GPA members to take a more professional approach to their job.On the 24th August 2018, Newsroom reported that the Opposition Leader hoped “that these shelters are just to assist the refugees temporarily, with a vision of having them deported.”However, Mr Jagdeo did not use the word ‘deported’, but said ‘repatriated.’ The article has since been amended.Newsroom was again the perpetrator of fake news on two occasions when they claimed, on 4th October 2018, that the PPP/C had “pulled out of Wakenaam local government elections”, and on 8th September 2018, “Jagdeo supports repossession of Providence lands”.The Guyana Chronicle, on any given day, will carry so many fabrications that it has become a futile exercise to keep up.The GPA should work assiduously to self-police its members and curb the manufacture and dissemination of ‘fake news’. At stake is the credibility of the media.For instance, there are unproven accusations that have been repeated ad nauseam: 400 Black youths killed by PPP and $28B stolen by PPP. These have never been the subject of credible, independent investigation — a continuing blemish on the local journalistic fraternity.The GPA Executive as constituted currently is an extension of the Ministry of the Presidency staffers employed at the Guyana Chronicle. This attempt to manufacture a threat from a good-natured exchange is transparent in its motivation and puerile in its execution. I would therefore advise the GPA Executive to spend some time in reflection on the harmful impact of this dishonest action on our country. I suggest they begin with Matthew 7:5, “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”Yours truly,Nigel Dharamlall, MPlast_img read more

Recurring breaches in Guyana’s sea defences

first_imgDear Editor,It has been reported in the media that the high tides being experienced along Guyana’s coastland have again flooded and caused extensive damages to several villages and cultivated lands located at Fyrish, Mahaicony, Mahaica, Leguan and elsewhere.These flood occurrences, particularly during the months of October and November, are being dealt with as emergency situations by the Sea Defence Board/Ministry of Public Infrastructure (SDB/MoPI) as they scramble to mobilise equipment and materials such as boulders to temporarily build earthen embankments with a rock armour to seal the breaches which have occurred. These last-minute efforts will not help much as the damages have already been done and the ravages of the sea will require formidable defences to contain them and the infrastructure is just not there.The SDB/MoPI was committed to implementing scientific approaches to the planning and execution of interventions of the country’s sea and river defences with emphasis placed on sustaining functional and structurally adequate dykes to protect life and property particularly in critical coastal areas from the onslaught of the sea. Further, the Dutch had conducted a hydrographic study of Guyana’s coastland and concluded that erosion/accretion of its foreshore was occurring with a cyclic mode and moving westwards. Presently, erosion with breaches is taking place at several coastal locations including Fyrish and Mahaicony.The SDB/MoPI has no planned programme to raise and strengthen the copings of existing seawalls and earthen embankments to counteract the hydraulic forces being impacted on them. Therefore, weak areas are being seriously eroded and breached, causing flooding and extensive damages to properties.Guyana has limited resources to spend on its infrastructures. Unfortunately, much of it is wasted on questionable projects such as elevators on road overpasses and the planting of mangroves on the foreshore to arrest erosion. Ms Annette Arjoone, one of the principal proponents of this idea should visit Mahaicony and get a firsthand look at what has happened to the mangroves there and its ineffectiveness in preventing the breach which has caused extensive flooding to large areas of valuable farmlands.It is time that the Govt through its SDB/MoPI starts constructing adequately designed sea and river defences in critical areas to protect the lives and properties of the many poor people living along the coastland from rising sea levels which is generating larger destructive forces on the sea defences.Yours truly,Charles Sohanlast_img read more


first_imgStory Links Read the full story here.For more information, scores and highlights on your favourite U of T athletes and teams, please visit Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and Facebook for the latest and greatest in Varsity Blues intercollegiate athletics. Print Friendly Version The Thunder won their first Clarkson Cup in franchise history. They made the move to Markham this past offseason, previously hailing from Brampton where they made two appearances in the championship finals in 2012 and 2010. Urban played for the Blues from 2007-12, captaining the squad for her last three seasons. The native of Kamloops, B.C., racked up 40 goals and 86 points in 133 regular season games as a Varsity Blue. Former University of Toronto Varsity Blues women’s hockey player Karolina Urban helped the Markham Thunder to the 2018 Clarkson Cup as they defeated the Kunlun Red Star, 2-1 in overtime, on Sunday, March 24 at Ricoh Coliseum.last_img read more