Eyewitness: Renewal…of Georgetown?

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With all the initiatives by the First Lady and her husband’s administration to return some dignity to our capital city’s appearance, do you think we’re at the cusp of a renewal of our “Garden City” of the Caribbean? First, there was the complete makeover of the seawall from the Bandstand to the Pegasus by the First Lady. It just takes your breath away! It’s drawing both tourists and locals to return to one of our most noted landmarks – the Bandstand. It had unfortunately become a haven for vagrants.

Then there’s the ongoing development of the railway embankment, from the old terminal to Camp Street, into a mixed commercial and family recreational hub by the Central Government, led by the President and his indefatigable Minister of Public Works, Edgehill. The embankment – stretching all the way to Vlissengen Road, and further to Sherriff St – has seen various desultory attempts to put it to practical use. But it was too hap-hazarded, and certainly looked it! There’s talk now of extending the initial initiative to the full length of the embankment. The Vlissengen median to the sea wall has already been paved into a walkway!

And Central Government’s taken the bull by the horns to degut City Hall and rebuild it to its Gothic splendour. How many times haven’t we – including the Private Sector and foreign donors – thrown money down that black hole? But then nothing leaves a black hole, can it? Save in the pockets of the occupants!! The Central Fire Station from the Stabroek Market area is also going to be removed, once its spanking replacement is completed on Homestretch Ave. And finally, there was the two-day cleanup effort by the Government, Private Sector, and the disciplined forces of large swathes of the City. Isn’t the City a thing to behold?

But let’s face the truth, shall we? No matter what the Central Government does, the responsibility for MAINTAINING AND EXTENDING what can only be a demonstration of POSSIBILITIES lies with City Hall!! And from the Mayor’s reaction to the clean-up efforts, we know that, once again, this effort won’t lead to sustained makeover. Who could’ve imagined this worthy not only would not help, but would actually call for his people and the residents of the city to BOYCOTT the initiative!! As the old people would say while shaking their heads sadly, “Good na deh heah.”

Your Eyewitness recommends that the Government doesn’t continue on this Sisyphean hill. Here, the rock won’t just roll down through gravity, but will be kicked down by the perennial PNC mayoralty. The President has already floated the idea of Silica City in our interior. Make it the Administrative Capital, and leave Georgetown to its chosen fate.
Who na hear mus’ feel.

…of sugar?

We were just told that the projection for sugar production was once again revised downwards. It’s now a paltry 66,000 tons, as opposed to the 147,000 tons that were projected when the industry was downsized back in 2017. We all know about the floods of 2021…but things certainly had continued downwards between 2017 and 2020. But what about all the other plans announced by the new management? Wasn’t Albion Estate supposed to focus on bulk sugar, plantation white sugar, co-generation, and molasses – in addition to bulk sugar?

Several GuySuCo estates used to produce plantation white sugar for local consumption – including Albion and Uitvlugt. The technology isn’t new…but have we even started acquiring new equipment? Are we only going to ratchet up packaging sugar into packets and call it “diversification”? But back to the production travails.

Climate change has precipitated heavier rainfall patterns. (Pun intended!) Even if we don’t have annual floods, we gotta expect increased waterlogged soils.
We better put on our thinking caps before moving ahead.

…of commitment to Guyana

With the COVID-19 pandemic on an upward surge in our dear mudland – combined with a political Opposition that seems inherently unwilling to practise non-confrontational politics, as defined in our parliamentary rules – we do need a picker-upper.