THE Guyana Consumers Association, like all consumer advocates world-wide, are deeply committed to improving the quality of life of all citizens. There is no disagreement in the Guyanese society that the quality of life has deteriorated and has been deteriorating over the last three or four decades.
In both the print and electronic media over the last several months there was very little, if anything, about addressing the issue of raising the quality of life in our society. The media was dominated by reporting on political matters and always with a quiet subterranean streak of pessimism.
It was therefore a real joy to read Major General (rt’d) Joseph Govinda Singh’s recent address given at the Indigenous People’s Rights and Resources Conference. General Singh was speaking as Chairman of the Guyana Restoration Project and his address was one of constructive creativity exuding an infectious forward optimism. It was the essence of Guyanese Nationalism and provided a platform on which all Guyanese, irrespective of their various divisive affiliations, could stand in spontaneous unity.

Pat Dial
Pat Dial

It will be an injustice to summarise General Singh’s address, so I will quote in extenso from it.
Guyana, as older folk nostalgically recall, was known as “El Dorado,” “the Land of Hospitality,” and Georgetown, the Garden City.
“Guyanese life,” as General Singh remarked, “has suffered significant deterioration in many aspects including unplanned settlements, inadequate traffic control, garbage build-up and flooding in many areas.”
He then highlights the causes of this deterioration: “Because of the many failures of society, the failure to enforce the laws and standards, lack of physical planning for growth and renewal, lack of routine and necessary maintenance, and general neglect of the poor, homeless, aged, disabled and other unfortunate ones.”
General Singh then briefly adumbrated the goal of the Restoration and Rehabilitation Project: “The restoration of civic pride, making Guyana a hub for commerce, tourism and development and making Guyana into a land of great attractiveness and prosperity, and one which offers a good life for all citizens and visitors.”
He then focuses on the causes and solutions for two of the most depressing and demoralising of Guyana’s problems – the regular flooding and the build-ups of solid waste: “The City of Georgetown and all six towns drain into the Atlantic Ocean. The situation is worsened by alleyways, main and lateral drains and drainage canals often being blocked by vegetation and solid waste. The problem is then compounded by lack of maintenance of sluices and outfalls. The Task Force plans to develop a drainage mechanism that effectively drains the country during periods of heavy rainfall; hence reducing the obstacles to economic activity as well as the health and livelihoods of citizens.”
In dealing with the problem of solid waste, General Singh pointed out that “solid waste was a by-product of modern living that can have a negative impact on the quality of life of communities and the environment in particular. This problem is monumental in almost every Guyanese community and must come to an end.”
He then briefly touched on the ways of dealing with the solid waste problem: “The Task Force will use well-developed best practices which can be employed in all areas of Guyana including predictable garbage collection, recycling, conversion of organic waste into compost and removal of derelict vehicles.”
Finally, General Singh did mention other problems to be addressed by the Guyana Restoration Project including traffic management, sustainable urban, rural and hinterland physical renewal; and welfare management of the homeless, addicted, and mentally challenged.
The Guyana Restoration Project is at present going through its detailed planning and budgeting and this will be completed in October and implementation will begin in November, 2015.
All Guyanese should identify themselves with and give whole-hearted support to this Guyana Restoration Project, since every single citizen will gain by its success. Government should also provide all required and necessary funds in a timely manner. The Georgetown M&CC should also lend its support and co-operation to the Project. (GCA’s email:
By Pat Dial



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