The Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) Regional Democratic Council (RDC) October statutory meeting was adjourned on Thursday, 60 seconds after it commenced.
Thursday’s entire episode was no different from previous meetings in the recent past. After the meeting was called to order by Regional Chairman Vickchand Ramphal, he made mention of two persons who were seated around the horseshoe and asked for them to be excused so that the issues pertaining to their presence could be addressed.
As he did, that the Regional Executive Office (REO) Ovid Morrison rose to his feet and said he could not stay because the Chairman was not following the agenda which he had set. He said the first item on the agenda was announcements as he walked out of the board room.
Councillors who represent the coalition government followed the REO, forcing Ramphal to adjourn the meeting.
This is the 10th time for the year that meetings were adjourned without any meaningful discussions.
In April, three new Councillors took up positions at the table but were not given recognition, forcing the April RDC meeting to be adjourned.
Only two of them were present at Thursday’s meeting.
Following another failed RDC meeting, Ramphal met with the media where he expressed disappointment.
“When we cannot have a meeting, it affects the people of the entire region because we cannot sit and make solid decisions to address the many problems, issues and situations that are affecting our people in this Region,” Ramphal said.
According to him, the recent flooding at Mahaica could have been avoided had the RDC been sitting and having meaningful discussions to make proper representation.
However, Ramphal noted that almost a year before the sea defence at Dantzig gave way, he brought it to the attention of the media that had highlighted that there was a small breach and urged for urgent attention to be paid to the area.
“First, when I spoke about it, the same Mr Morrison called a press conference immediately and said to the media that the Regional Chairman is misleading the entire public of the situation there. If Mr Morrison had peddled the right information to the relevant authorities, then that situation there could have been prevented. And if we had the opportunity to address it at the council level, it would have gotten wider representation from all the various Government agencies”.
Ramphal said many of the farmers cannot go back on those lands because it is contaminated with salt water.
“It might take years for it to come back to its natural state and there is very little help being given to those people of that area,” the Chairman told reporters on Thursday.