Since the unprecedented rainfall led to catastrophic flooding countrywide, Government Ministers heading teams, led by President Irfaan Ali, have been fanning out to assess damage and proffer short-term assistance as and where the need arises with immediacy. This is as assessments are being made for long-term assistance and solutions for those facing the quandary of disastrous losses of personal resources – of both household effects and income-generating assets.
One indicator of the tireless work of Government Ministers and other officials in efforts to alleviate the distress of affected citizens was a Facebook post by a team member of Minister Zulfikar Mustapha’s, who wrote, inter alia: “We visited about 13 villages along the East Berbice Corridor (Region Six)… another seven villages in Region Five (The MMA area) – total of 20 villages in two days…Machines are being mobilized for these areas as well to assist with works that will help to reduce the impact of the heavy rains. Agencies such as NAREI, GLDA, GRDB will continue to monitor and conduct a thorough assessment of these farming areas in order to take further action.”
However, the recalcitrant Mayor and City Council seems determined to derail Government’s unrelenting, indefatigable efforts to bring relief to residents of the city and environs.
In an unscheduled, unheralded late-night inspection of pumps and sluices/kokers in areas where management is mandated to the M&CC, President Ali discovered attendants asleep while pumps were left shut-off and kokers were left closed and unmanned, even as unprecedented levels of rainfall were inundating the city and surrounding communities. Hapless city-dwellers also had to contend with inner drainage systems that were blocked by piles of garbage.
One city resident wrote: “This garbage dumping (referring to pic of a garbage pile-up) is one of the many places in the city that were done by wicked people who are (seemingly) in bed with the City Council, conspired to create major flooding in the country. It was evident just before May month, you could find huge amounts of garbage all over the city #wickedppl…; sabotaging of the city’s pumps, and station personnel neglect of the maintenance of pumps and kokers in order to create major flooding in the country.”
It could be recalled also that the M&CC and the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government had embarked on a massive citywide clean-up campaign in Georgetown and its environs.
Those efforts produced fairly good results regarding the general appearance of the city and its environs, but suddenly the M&CC has stagnated it work.
This comes even as Central Government has been trying to mend its differences with the always-cash-strapped Mayor and City Council (M&CC). The constant lack of finances by the M&CC is hardly surprising, as, over the years, this entity has always been cash-strapped and mismanaged.
The Government certainly cannot keep pumping tax dollars into the operations of City Hall without putting the necessary safeguards in place to ensure that public monies are accounted for.
Perhaps a reason why the M&CC seems to think that it can always depend on Central Government for a bailout is because it is under no pressure to perform. The leniency that has been afforded the Council must stop if there is to be any improvement at City Hall.
We reiterate support for President Ali when he said that there were no excuses for the irresponsibility displayed by the M&CC and its staff, who neglected their duties, causing major flooding in the city.