Working for the good of Region 2

Dear Editor,
In another section of the media on January 13, 2017, a story under the caption ‘REO blamed for flooding in Region Two”, in which paragraph two detailed the reason why he was blamed and by whom the comments emanated from.
On January 12, 2017 statements were made by the Senior National Drainage Agriculture Official indicating that he was to a great extend satisfied with the efforts made to reduce flooding in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), so who are we to believe?
It is public knowledge that the Regional Democratic Council (RDC), which is the highest decision-making forum in the Region, the Regional Executive Officer (REO) is the clerk of the RDC and can be described as the Regional Finance Officer also, was he at the meeting (Council Meeting) where I supposed his issue was discussed after which a press release was made, or was the story reported by a reporter who was at the meeting, because nothing is mentioned about the REO’s side of the story, or what may have caused the flooding, and I am certain that if given a chance he may have rebutted strongly the negative things that were said about him.
There was never a coin with one side, and no matter how thin you try to slice anything they are bound to be two sides; whatever the circumstances or situation is the right of the person or persons to be heard must at all times be respected.
I served as a member of the Region Two RDC for seven consecutive years until I resigned in 2013, and during that time I was always a member of the Works and Agricultural Committee, a Statutory Committee of the RDC, a committee that was always chaired by no less a person than the Regional Vice Chairman, a Senior Member of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and included senior officials from the Drainage and Irrigation Department (D&I), the Rice Producers Association (RPA) and the Water Users Association, and at all of our monthly meetings pertaining to maintenance of dams, clearing of trenches, de-silting of trenches, and clearing of outfalls, so as to stop or reduce the flooding, would account for more than two-thirds of the discussion, but unfortunately we never got the kind of result we all would have wanted. It is relevant to mention that during those seven years, they were two Chairmen and four REOs, all elected or appointed by the PPP.
The RDC of Region Two is a Council where for decades the PPP have a two-thirds majority, the REO. It is not just because this REO was appointed by the Coalition of the APNU and AFC, does it mean that a close and harmonious relationship cannot exist and while there are persons that will always be looking for place and space, it should not be done at the expense of other persons including people of the Region.
I am not an apologist for the REO, I have openly criticized him a couple of times using strong language, but to lay the blame squarely at his feet from the recent flooding as the story informs, is evil. My father was a rice farmer and I was with him in those days when we used to plant it, cut it, drug or slide it, mash it, wind or sift, bag it, before you sell it, so I know what it means to the farmers. Rice in Region Two, and by extension the whole country is and will always be equivalent to what oil means or is to Arabia and the rest of the Arab world. It is time all, the stakeholder, the officials, and the administration at both levels -regional and national – work in tandem for the good of the industry.

Archie W Cordis
Former AFC
Region Two