Letter: Get rid of them

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Dear Editor,

After the videos of President Ali visiting the various pump stations in Region 4 started surfacing on social media, I anxiously waited to see what would be the outcome.

So far, neither the news publications nor social media has mentioned anything, even though there’s plenty of speculation circulating all over. Added to that are images of piled-up garbage around the city, and similar to the pumps’ situation, there’s been a blame game.

Since before 2005, whenever there’s heavy rainfall, many places could be considered ‘hotspots’ for flooding, especially in Georgetown; and over the years, this trend has continued while the Government has tried various methods to combat the flooding.

Over the years, trenches and kokers that weren’t functioning started working again after what was affecting them had been addressed. While improvements could be seen in outlying regions, Region 4, especially in Georgetown, has remained the same or gotten worse when there is flooding. Based on the videoed exposure of the actions of the sluice/pump attendants, I’ve started to question whether it was a deliberate action to sabotage the city, causing it to constantly get flooded and make the PPPC look bad.

Why did a President have to go see what was taking place? There are supervisors who are supposed to visit all the pumps/sluice/kokers throughout the day and night. Some even have motorbikes.

Editor, in the videos, clearly you could see that every one of the operators/attendants was failing to perform the duty they were supposed to do. Were they given instructions?

I cannot imagine that, in such a crucial situation, they all would turn off the pumps and go to sleep. Seeing former Minister Patterson and the Georgetown Mayor trying to defend the skullduggery that was exposed convinced me that all the time when Georgetown gets flood, instructions were given for technical sabotage to prevent the water from draining out of Georgetown and cause the PPPC to get blamed for incompetence.

Whenever there is a flood, not only are householders affected, but the whole country is affected in various ways. agriculture: farms, animals; infrastructure: businesses, etc, get affected, resulting in increased prices for many things, money having to be spent unnecessarily to repair damages and help to replace losses suffered by farmers; people being prevented from going to work; sickness arising etc.

It shows clearly that certain politicians are interested only in their personal gains at the expense of society. Will this administration continue to allow this blatant sabotage to continue?

In closing, Editor, it seems to me that, every year, only when there’s flooding, the koker/pumps/sluice attendants would find it convenient to make some sort of mistake that causes severe discomfort to society. They would either be drunk, not go to work, cannot open koker, leave koker open, sleep away, and the list goes on. To my knowledge, these attendants are mostly pensioners working, and their average salary is around $2,500 per day. A worker from the sugar estate earns around the same amount per day. It’s my humble view that because they are already getting pension, their attention is not fully focused on their duties that they are collecting another salary for. As far back as I can remember, that is the behaviour of people operating the kokers, and its time Government seeks younger and more responsible people to operate these kokers/pumps.

The salary is just like the average salary, less working hours.

When its nip tide, the operators don’t even have to open the kokers at times, because the sea water is higher, they just have to be present at the kokers. And many times they done even go there! Their working hours vary, depending on the tide, but most time they don’t work for three hours. And still, when we are on a critical situation, they are conveniently adding salt to the wounds. It’s time that Government seeks alternatives that are not so crucial to society, and get responsible people to man these sluice/pumps/kokers.

Put the present operators to weed the burial grounds and road parapets, clean drains etc if their pensions are not enough. There are many pensioners that the NDCs are employing to do similar work, and most of them are at home by midday. Many are of the view that the NDC just finding means to give them an extra change in their pockets. They go to work sites and hardly work. It’s time that pensioners either stay at home and enjoy their pensions, or find jobs that are not that important.

Clearly, we could see that they are not functioning properly! The sanctimonious gangster took a set of pensioners out of retirement and gave them high-paying jobs that many young people work hard for. When everyone thought that we would have seen improvement, we got severe hardship. It’s time young people get better opportunities.

Sincerely,
Sahadeo Bates