This country is perhaps the weirdest hell-hole on the map. You travel all around Georgetown and you are amazed at how filth and wealth could co-exist so graphically, how leisure and disease could so happily co-exist. And you wonder if what you see is real. Surely such an impossibility cannot be real. But it is.
Kellawan Lall, in 2010, said publicly that he wished there could be a health crisis so it could be the motivating factor to remove the opposition-dominated Georgetown City Council that cannot clean the garbage. There was a swift condemnatory reaction to Lall. Condemnation was automatic not only because you don’t wish illness on people, but for the reason Lall wanted the epidemic.
In Guyana, you can put a justification on many thoughts, because Guyana is a sick nation. Lall was wrong to say what he uttered, but can you put a more acceptable touch to what Lall said? I believe you can. I believe you can say that the people of Guyana deserve an outbreak because they are a bunch of self-destructive sheep.
This article is being typed on Sunday afternoon, minutes after I received a second call from a distraught parent. He called earlier in the morning when I was at the protest by the people of Plaisance to reclaim their ancestral lands. I told him to call back. He just did. He is upset that one month after his son was admitted by UG to read for a degree in Geography, they wrote to say the programme will no longer be offered.
He asked me to write about it. I told him I will after he sends a strong letter to UG and threatens legal action and consults a lawyer, because UG signed a contract with his son which they allegedly broke by not offering Geography anymore. Do you think he will? I doubt it. He wanted me to fight his battle. Well I have played my part. I am writing about it here. Will he play his part?
The Guyanese people are just living a self-destructive life. They have accepted to live in filth and therefore they must pay the consequences. If Chikungunya is the chichipate they must swallow because of their incredible self-destructive cowardice, then they deserve it. What will it take this nation to reject a government that is building a Marriott Hotel with taxpayers’ money running into billions and cannot clean the alleyways and drains which can easily be described as mountains of miasma waiting to infect you with Chikungunya?
Visit Georgetown, day or night, and you will see people eating in alfresco fashion at the most posh fast-food restaurant and the stink gutter overflowing with filth is right in front of their faces. Fancy women with fancy money go into the most expensive boutique buying a designer T-shirt for $15,000 and right next to the building is an ocean of smelly garbage. The rich and well-to-do enjoy a superb existence living life right next to Chikungunya. These are people who refuse to raise their voices against an impending health disaster. So there are times you think Kellawan Lall was right.
Visit the Kaieteur News or the Stabroek News and the gutter in front of these two media houses are overflowing with silt that hasn’t been removed for decades. Go to Austin’s Bookstore (the only one in Guyana so you don’t have a choice) and the alleyway next to it is like a jungle. The mosquito carrying the Chikungunya is probably living there by the millions.
Visit the Kitty Police Station and the gutter next to the station has overflowing sewage for over ten years now. The sewage runs onto a bridge in front of a DVD store that is highly patronized. Police personnel and patrons at that store will be hard-hit by Chikungunya.
In Guyana sewage, garbage, silt, and overgrown weeds meet in a deadly confluence that is going to create a pandemic. And we are staring it in the face.
Chikungunya is child’s play to what will follow. Nothing moves the zombies of Guyana. I guess zombies cannot be moved. We see the warning signs all over the world (Ebola is on the rampage) but we are too self-destructive to open our mouths. Mark Benschop and I spent three days and three nights in the lock-ups denouncing the threat to thousands of people from the fumes that came out of the garbage dumped in Le Repentir cemetery.
My wife and daughter constantly ask me where were the people whose lives we were fighting for. Lall’s reasoning was wrong, but some nations don’t deserve to live.
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