Kaieteur News – Last Wednesday afternoon, I saw the British High Commissioner on the soon-to-be completed seawall esplanade at the band-stand. It is the Eve Leary seawall beautification project of the First Lady that begins from the band-stand and continues westward to the Kingston seawall.
I was with my dog and when I saw the High Commissioner, my heart dropped. She was with a young lady who was walking a dog. I am assuming that was her daughter, and also a gentleman that I am assuming again was her husband. I was scared Guyana will get another unnecessary negative mark because of how that section of the Eve Leary seawall is kept.
On that very afternoon that the High Commissioner was there, a homeless man moved one of the garbage bins and put it in the middle of the esplanade. The High Commissioner and her family obviously had to see it. This place is a tourist attraction and has been like that for over a century.
What the First Lady is doing is phenomenal. With the current economic upswing with the oil economy, this site is packed every day with foreigners. But the place is dirty and there is no law and order. In contrast, there is the Promenade Garden, the Botanic Gardens and the National Park. A jogger in the National Park is protected by a school of security personnel, two of which ride around the park until visitors leave. You dare not park erratically; a security rank will be in your face immediately.
Both gardens in Georgetown have security manning the sites. You are not allowed parking in certain sections of the Botanic Gardens. Once you do, a guard comes up and tells you to move. The band-stand ambience is far more populated on each day than the Botanic Gardens and Promenade Garden yet the Eve Leary seawall has no law and order and the place is dirtier that the dumping site at Haags Bosch.
Each afternoon, there are far more than a hundred persons that use that place. The numbers increase in the afternoon on Fridays and Saturdays. On Sunday, the liming mood takes in hundreds. The First Lady’s enhancement has superbly expanded the aesthetics of the area but this is Guyana where mental irrationality is perennial as the grass.
Homeless persons dominate the landscape of the site. They expose themselves in full view of tourists. I have seen this three times the past two months. They molest tourists. I saw this last week. One of them asked a Latin gentleman with his girlfriend for money after they stopped to buy two beers. When the man refused, he “cussed” down the gentleman. This was in full view of onlookers.
They mess the place with a huge amount of stink old clothes. They dwell right there. That is their home. They are sleeping on the newly installed benches on the esplanade. At the moment, one of them tied up a dirty hammock on one of the almond trees and is sleeping in it. This is right outside the CID head office. They constantly move the very dirty blue garbage bins and scatter them all over the place.
Two years ago, I had an interesting confrontation with one of these homeless guys. He mocked my dog as I was about to park. My dog was looking out the window and he came up. When the dog barked at him, he got very aggressive. I came out of the car and told him he if he thinks he is mad, he was about to see who is madder. From that day, he never troubled my dog again.
Loud music with nasty lyrics is heard. Surely, people have a right to make a living and play their music but not with such runaway decibels. Last Thursday evening, I approached one of the vendors and asked him to change the dancehall tune he was playing and loudly too. The lyrics were crudely vulgar. This was in front of many families who had small children with them.
There is no law and order at the bandstand site. People can just do their own thing invading the privacy of others and damaging the ears of others. The solution is extremely simple. Have two uniformed police ranks with bicycles riding up and down to ensure that people respect each other.
East of the CID, the seawall road has now become impassable when the afternoon comes. Revelers park wherever they want. This is at a place where you can touch the Atlantic Ocean with your fingers. But this is also Guyana where rationality departed long before the Roman Empire was dissolved.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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