By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Markets in the six municipalities across Guyana and tarmacs in several Neigbourhood Democratic Councils (NDC) commencing April 01, will benefit from a US$1.5M upgrade thanks to the India, Brazil and South Africa Trust Fund.
The money forms part of government’s efforts to curb illegal vending (road side vending) and combat what many have deemed a ‘solid waste management crisis across the country.
During the project which will run for one year, municipal markets and other market tarmacs will see upgrades in their washroom facilities, there will be the procurement of two compactor trucks and two mini- excavators to compliment ongoing solid waste removal from places of vending along with the raising of public awareness.
Present at Tuesday’s (March 25) signing ceremony between Local Government Minister Norman Whittaker (executing agency) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Coordinator Khadija Musa was acting Indian High Commissioner Tirath Singh and Brazils Ambassador to Guyana Luiz Seixas De Andrade along with his Deputy, Sabine Popoff.
Musa explained that the UNDP is responsible for the management of the trust fund. She said it is multi-faceted and addresses poverty alleviation as well, while pointing to the connection between poverty, poor solid waste management and serious health complications.
She said it was in this context that the project is seen as extremely important and she eyed the benefits of less congested markets with less piled garbage.
Meanwhile, according to Minister Whittaker, there is no doubt that the administration has had its fair share of challenges in dealing with solid waste, regardless of its efforts.
He said the escalation of poor solid waste management could be dated back to the same time vending did. He said the Administration recognizing this had move to build markets and tarmacs but was limited still, in terms of resources.
It was against this backdrop that this project, more specifically the support is being welcomed by the Minister.
The project amounts in total to US$1.9M. The over US$400,000 is expected to be provided in kind.