New beginning…

…in sugar?
It might’ve taken a bit longer than promised – but finally Rose Hall sugar estate – which had been shuttered by the PNC back in 2017 – was finally reopened. It was more than five years in the doing – but that should remind those of us outside of the sugar belt that manufacturing sugar ain’t like making swank!! It takes time to start from ground zero…which is pretty much where Rose Hall ended up after the PNC allowed the factory equipment to rust and the fields to revert to bush.
During the past five years, the reclamation programme that had to be done was almost akin to what the Dutch did to carve out the Berbice plantations from virgin forests along the Canje Creek – three centuries ago!! And this ain’t no exaggeration!! If you’re an urban denizen and wanna get an idea of how quickly bush returns after being cleared, just look at what happens to Le Repentir Cemetery every few months after being cleared!!
Anyhow, the Herculean job’s been done and your Eyewitness saw smoke belching from the factory’s chimney – indicating that “factory grinding”!! Which means that cane had been “cut” and hauled to the factory in punts to be fed into the maws of gargantuan rollers. These would squeeze the juice from the cane-stalks and feed to various and sundry machines until brown sugar crystals are bagged and shipped to Georgetown!! It’s a pity more Guyanese don’t appreciate that sugar was produced from one of the earliest industrial manufacturing processes!!
But there was already a fly in the sugar bowl on opening day. It was revealed that there’s a labour shortage of almost 900 bodies needed to bring the factory up to optimum production. Now while Berbice has been starved of new industries to pick up the slack in field labour brought on by Rose Hall’s closure – the folks have had to become innovative in finding ways to make a living. As such, it’ll be a while – at the very best – before bodies step forward. And that’s even though one worker claimed that the “wuk na suh hard now beca’se ah cut and drap”!! Meaning that even though five were killed at Enmore in 1958 – when cane-cutters refused to  change to “cut and load”  – the latter’s now been voluntarily abandoned!!
The bottom line is that the PPP might just become a victim of its own success. Meaning that as all the development slated for Berbice – a good bit of it being just a short distance away at Palmyra as with the deep-water harbour, oil refinery and stadium, etc  — kicks in, the demand for higher-paying but less strenuous labour  will rise tremendously!!
More mechanisation for Rose Hall??

 …in health care?
The PPP Government has always placed a high priority on health care – which, along with education, is pretty much free. As a former colony, our facilities were never at first world levels – but we had the basics, along with good doctors trained in Britain. When the PNC took over in 1964; however, by 1979 they had rats nibbling at new-born babies’ toes at the “Big Hospital”. It wasn’t easy for the PPP to turn this around – especially when its backbone of nurses were all firmly in the PNC camp.
So when we hear about hundreds of nurses leaving annually and straining the old system, one has to worry about who’s gonna take care of care in all the new hospitals coming on stream. Of course, there’s the matter of higher salaries – but let’s face it, it’ll be quite a while before we can compete with America and England.
Now we’re importing some from Cuba – but we must insist they speak English!! Can’t care for patients when you can’t communicate!!

…with the Black Caucus??
The PNC were all up in arms when the US Ambassador called them out on their attempted 2020 election heist. “Interference!! Now  they’re calling on US Democratic Leader Jeffries to pressure the PPP. Not interference??