Diplomats launch community cleanup challenge

Diplomats launch community cleanup challenge

Monday, 04 June 2012 17:57


Picture: A hobbled US Ambassador Brent Hardt times out to chat with a resident in Tucville.

Diplomatic service in Guyana went grassroots in every sense of the word on Monday with the envoys from the ABC countries and the EU launching a cleanup challenge for the Lodge and Tucville wards of Georgetown.

The “Guyana Shines” initiative is the brainchild of US Ambassador Brent Hardt who said the ultimate goal of the project was to ensure a cleaner Georgetown and a more “environmentally pristine” Guyana.  

“And the best means to achieve this, beyond education, is to foster greater community involvement and civic pride. We will be working together with the communities of Lodge and Tucville with the common goal of cleaning up the environment in their respective neighbourhoods.

They will be together in action but they will also be competing against each other for the honour of cleanest community,” Hardt told his fellow diplomats and NGO representatives gathered for the launch at the National Gymnasium.

He noted that the challenge is the second phase of the Guyana Shines project with the first being launched last month at the St. Margaret’s Primary School. Hardt said the officials from the embassy and high commissions have visited 14 schools in Georgetown to help educate primary school students about the harmful effects of littering and to care for their environment.


Picture:  EU Ambassador Robert Kopecky and his expecting wife Eliska pitch in.

Also speaking at Monday’s event was Deputy Mayor of Georgetown Patricia Chase-Greene who said the City Council was pleased with the ambassador’s initiative given the costly exercise of garbage disposal for which the City Council is poorly-resourced.

“We are so happy that we can be a part of this initiative because there are so many illegal dumps in the city. As I drove along the way coming just now I was ashamed as a citizen of this country to see people just walking out with old beds, old furniture and just dumping carelessly and expecting someone else to come from behind to clear it,” she said.

According to the city official, she hopes that the initiative could be maintained.

“I know we can achieve this effort of having Georgetown returned to its former glory if we all put some hands and head together and make this thing happen.”

Following the launch the diplomats splitted up and went to the two communities to start the cleaning themselves with assistance from residents.

The challenge runs from June 4 to June 18 and the communities will be evaluated by a team of judges to determine the winner. Whichever one is adjudged the winner will receive an undisclosed prize.

They will be judged on four criteria: how the communities look before and after the challenge; how many community members helped (a roster will be kept for that purpose); how the communities will continue to promote environmental awareness going forward; and how they propose to keep their environs clean.

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  • Cyril Balkaran  On 06/05/2012 at 11:35 am

    What a beautiful day it has become for the World’s leading democratic nation to let its Diplomat lead an “Prestine Georgetown initiative.” I guess the next move by example if for the 65 Parliamentarians to get off their butts and follow suit as the great American Ambassador has now been put on the records as helping to clean up the very environment in which he lives. I am not appauled by his actions as the many eyesores and stench he has to endure to and from his office must be a nightmare. There is no need to re-implement the wheel, this time let us see Mr. Granger, Mr Nagamootoo and others don their new environment suits and start the National Cleanup Drive. They did not remember that their cuts of $50 billion would have had such far reaching effects. What about the Mayor, I guess Hamilton Green will follow suit as the City is his domain.
    I wonder if the US ambassador had invited him to join this “Prestine Drive since only in April of 2012 Georgetown celebrated its 200th Birthday as a City! Come on you Political and power wielding First citizens, lets emulate the great son of America. After all we too are semi Americans as more than 500,000 of us work, live and pay taxes to the US government! Clean up the place in a national drive, call out the Military, Police,the NGO’s and CBO”s who could not care two hoots about Georgetown and its Cleanliness. Remember the Biblical saying “Cleanliness is next to Godliness. God Bless the Ambassador and God Bless America.!

  • Cyril Balkaran  On 06/05/2012 at 12:05 pm

    I almost omitted to thank the EU Diplomats also for joining this Georgetown Pristine Drive” The Deputy Mayor spoke of the problems the City Corporation is experiencing with respect to Garbage disposals and the numerous illegal dumping sites in and around the City. Now madam deputy the following questions must be answered.
    *The Public Health Department is the agency to address these issues.
    *the city must have an Environment Division where trained Litter wardens sit.Their job is to police the city and environs and give out tickets to the dumpers operating outside of the regulated dump sites.
    *In event you dont have one you can set up a Litter Warden Program and train 100 such persons with minimal literacy qualifications to become the Litter Wardens of the City.
    *I am sure the EU Ambassador will be able to fund such a program that can become sustainable over the next 3 to 5 years.
    *The Business people who generate garbage of a different kind can be charged an Annual Garbage Levy to service this area.
    *The Environment is now subject to International Green Standards and are being watched by specific UN agencies, so you too Madam Mayor Deputy can assist in the Educational Reform Plan for this shameful disposal of garbage, household and otherwise.The people who put them where they are must be fined for not being civil and the Society must cooperate with you to make this plan both sustainable and a big Success. What about the other Cities. I guess they will follow suit. Have a happy day and God’s Blessings for keeping a Clean Scene!

  • Lynette Andrews-Baker  On 06/05/2012 at 8:36 pm

    Thank you Ambassador, Brent Hardt, and also his wife for leading the way in showing native-born Guyanese that some things can be achieved without a lot of money, but sweat without tears. May be the Major of Georgetown will show his support by donning his office attire for some outdoor clothing and pitch in too. Followed by the members of Parliament who also could do with some exercise. Sweating is good as it relieves stress, clears your head and tones up the muscles.
    May be general interest could be aroused if incentives such money prizes or a shopping trip to the USA for the cleanest neighborhood. It could also be an annual event and called “Neighborhood Clean up Day.”
    To ensure that this initiative is kept going I would like to suggest that receptacles be placed at strategic corners so that residents can deposit hand debris in them rather than on the streets and neighborhood.

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