–to maintain clean environment, President Ali says
ACKNOWLEDGING that the government’s efforts have been catching on and there has been improvement in the cleanliness of certain areas around Georgetown and other parts of Guyana, President, Dr Irfaan Ali on Saturday said that authorities will now focus heavily on enforcement to ensure that a clean environment is maintained.
Dr Ali made those remarks on the sidelines of the continuation of the National Clean Up Exercise.
“Definitely after this segment of the National Clean Up Campaign, we will now have to focus heavily on enforcement. We have given enough time, enough education programmes, so enforcement is going to become a major aspect of what we’re doing,” the President underscored.
The country-wide clean-up exercise is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Public Works’ National Enhancement Committee, and saw the involvement of various stakeholders, including government agencies, the diplomatic corps, the private sector, NGOs, the joint services and members of civil society.
The initiative dubbed, “Operation Clean Up,” started earlier this year to transform Guyana into a clean environment.
For some time now, Guyana has been battling a severe garbage problem, with citizens indiscriminately dumping refuse in waterways and at illegal dumpsites.
Since the commencement of “Operation Clean Up,” the President believes it is slowly but surely beginning to yield gains.
“I wouldn’t say that there has been a marked improvement, but there has been improvement in the right direction. Not the level of dumping of garbage as we saw the last time, although we still have dumping,” the President said.
Donning gloves and long boots, President Ali, joined by Prime Minister, Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips, once again led from the front in the National Clean Up Exercise. Cleaning was done along Vlissengen Road in the vicinity of St Sidwell’s Primary School, in the area around D’urban Park, the seawall, and at Stabroek Market, among other areas.
The President and Brigadier Phillips raked grass and leaves, and helped in filling the garbage bags.
President Ali and Brigadier Phillips were joined by several members of the Cabinet as well as the Guyana Defence Force Chief of Staff, Brigadier Godfrey Bess, and Private Sector Commission Chairman, Paul Cheong, among others.
The President emphasised that the cleanliness and the upkeep of the environment is a shared responsibility.
“The entire Cabinet is out, the private sector is out, and young people are out, the City Council, they’re all out. Members of the different political groupings are out here also. This is what we want, the responsibility to be shared responsibility in bringing our country to the sight that we all want it to be,” the President commented.
Dr Ali noted how heartening it was to see support for this initiative from a group of youngsters from the Albouystown area.
“I am so proud of these guys today; all the young people from Albouystown, we went into those areas, we are working in all of these areas and the boys are responding. I am very pleased we brought out an entire group of young people showing positive living, positive life. This is the type of influence we want all across the country,” the President said.
Dr. Ali also expressed his gratitude to the private sector for the support and assistance that was given to this initiative.
“They have been a great partner. They have brought out tremendous assets. The many trucks, excavators, bulldozers, weeding machines, all mobilised through the private sector. So, the private sector must be lauded for the great support in this programme. The police force, the prison service, the joint services, also all did tremendous work,” the President said.
He added that right after this national clean-up effort, there will be efforts across the country to address secondary drainage run-offs.