Jun 11, 2021 Letters
In your edition dated June 9, 2021, you published an article “Govt. to seek supplementary $10B to aid in flood relief efforts” on page 18. While it is laudable to know that the present government seeks to fix the multitude of problems caused by the flood, there are serious concerns as it relates to asking the Guyanese people to take on the burden of another loan amounting to $10B. I gather the good Doctor VP, as an economist, has a good sense of opportunity costs rather than refereeing blame games.
The good Doctor VP cited a 2005 report put out by the Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean. That report can be accessed here doing a simple search (https://www.cepal.org/en/publications/). There are several questions that need to be answered, based on that report. I would like to ask the good Doctor VP the following questions:
To what extent is the success of the “implementation of the Mahaica-Mahaicony-Abary water conservancy system and related embankments, discharge channels and control structures?” To what extent did anyone attempt to “identify suitable engineering personnel who could be sent to undertake postgraduate level training in hydraulics and hydrology at a top-level tertiary institution” or any institution sans correspondence courses? To what extent was there “raising of wellheads and critical electrical equipment, and the construction of bunds around the affected well sites?” To what extent was there the “Refurbishment of the Shelter Belt Water Treatment Plant (WTP) which “provides the majority of Georgetown’s water supply?” To what extent was there the “Installation of a trunk main at Turkeyen” which is “intended to significantly improve the level of service at Sophia, through the delivery of 200 litres/second from the Turkeyen well?” As noted in the report, this installation would “directly benefit up to 20,000 inhabitants of the area.”
Further, to what extent was there the “Installation of a sludge pre-treatment facility at Tucville” and “that the collected sewage should now be rerouted and pumped directly (along with septage received at Tucville) to the existing Georgetown Sewage Pumping Ring Main?” To what extent was there the purchase of mobile chlorination units as well as the “purchase of two water bowsers to facilitate the safe supply of temporary water to communities where the distribution service may be out of order?” Has the Government successfully constructed “over 25 new schools and rehabilitate an additional 50” since this report was published? If so, what are the names and locations? To what extent is there an “automatic national response mechanism” or “is there a disaster management plan?” The penultimate question is, do you believe that Guyana should have a non-partisan office of disaster preparedness and mitigation? My final question is, Why should poor people continue to be the debtors for poor leadership? Looking forward to your answers. To be fair, please note that you have an open book option. It’s up to you.
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