There is a garbage crisis in the city…once again. Garbage is piling up throughout the city because the City Council has not been collecting garbage as per schedule for some weeks now.
We are told that all of the City garbage trucks went down at the same time. Does City Hall not find it strange that all of the trucks which were being used to collect garbage went down at the same time?
The President should launch a Commission of Inquiry into the circumstances which led to all of the garbage trucks being immobilised at the same time. The public needs answers to this mystery.
The public also needs assistance with getting the garbage being removed from the city. It is piling up and it is presenting a health hazard because persons are leaving their bins and bags with refuse outside of their yards since they have no idea on which days the service will be resumed.
The cats and dogs are having a feast. They are raiding the bins and spewing the garbage all over.
Years ago, it was convenient to place the blame at the feet of the PPPC. The excuse then was that the PPPC government was strangling City Hall.
Well, the PPPC is no longer in power. City Hall, we are told has greater autonomy. They have a sympathetic government which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars providing services, such as road repairs and cleaning up the wards of the city, which ought to have been done by City Hall.
Despite this, Georgetown has returned to its sordid state. Last Mother’s Day, the tears returned when persons turned up at the city’s cemetery and were greeted with a mini-jungle. They could not get anywhere near where their mother’s tombs were.
They had to take back home the costly floral arrangements that they had bought to place on their mothers’ tombs.
There is a total lack of information as to how the present garbage crisis is going to be resolved. City Hall itself does not seem to appreciate the importance of at least communicating with the public as to when the garbage will be collected in many wards.
At the minimum, collection points should be identified where those persons can take their garbage. But even this is not happening.
In the meantime, the public is told that talks will begin with private garbage contractors to resume their service. We are even told that these contractors should not expect as a good terms as they used to enjoy.
In any talks, however, City Hall will be negotiating from a position of weaknesses. City Hall owes the private contractors hundreds of millions of dollars. Those contractors are not going to go back to collecting garbage unless guarantees are made about the arrears they are owed.
The City Council therefore is not able to negotiate from a position of strength. It is doing so from a position of weakness and in the face of a crisis, so it cannot drive hard bargain.
The tragedy of Guyana though is that parties which dominate the very Council which has brought the city back again to a state of crisis in terms of the collection of garbage, is going to be reelected next year when local government elections are held. There is not going to be a protest vote next year.
The very forces which were responsible for the parking meters contract, if they run again with their parties’ approval, will win again by a landslide.
Yet independent parties that are trying to gain a foothold in the Council are going to be routed once again. And in many respects, that is far more tragic than the present pile up garbage because the same forces which have failed the people will gain the support of the people in the next local government elections.
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