By Tracey Khan Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The long awaited National Scientific Forensic Laboratory was officially commissioned this evening (July, 14), by Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon and Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee at its location in Turkeyen, Behind the University of Guyana Campus.
During his remarks, Rohee again sought to clear the air on perceptions that the facility may become a ‘white elephant’ and restated that it will be used to its full potential to take Guyana forward as it joins other partners in the developing countries.
The Minister highlighted that the purpose of the lab is not only to generate funds for Government but will be used as an instrument to deter criminal activities and reduce crime.
“The introduction of this important forensic science laboratory will see the utilization of scientific techniques to solve crimes that we have never seen in the history of crime solving in our country before and these new techniques is all a part of modernizing a system in keeping with international best practices,” Rohee said.
A special section of the forensic lab will be used as a training ground for young Scientists in the field of forensics. Also, a business plan has to be formulated for the lab to ensure its development and sustainability.
The equipment are state-of-the-art. It has a highly specialized evidence recording system for lab information management will keep track of evidence submitted for analysis. “This lab will specialize in the analysis of toxic substances, narcotic drugs, pharmaceutical drugs, alcohol, forged documents and biological fluids,” Minister Rohee added.
Also to be introduced by the Home Affairs Ministry are elements of DNA testing in the lab; currently the Ministry is engaged with the Inter-Development Bank (IDB) to establish such testing.
Meanwhile, Dr. Roger Luncheon, during his address, sung praises to Former President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo whose vision this was.
Dr. Luncheon highlighted numerous times during his speech that the 2006 to 2011 period under Dr. Jagdeo leadership is unparalleled for the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).
He boasted that a lab, such as this, is an inventory to national institutions. He is also hopeful that this initiative will flourish and bare fruits; noting that it is a “tremendous boost to science and technological applications here in Guyana and in the industry as we seek to accede to those provisions of the bilateral agreements with the kingdom of Norway that under pin the Low Carbon Development strategy.”
Additionally, Luncheon said “it’s quiet fitting and it belongs on the report card of any nation and government.”
The IDB funded $1.4 billion project is expected to advance Guyana’s forensic scientific capabilities. The construction work was done by Courtney Benn Construction.