Georgetown – Massive clean-up of city begins today

Massive clean-up of city begins today

AUGUST 25, 2012 | BY KNEWS | By Abena Rockcliffe

–    The public will see significant improvements within a week –Keith Burrowes 

Following numerous discrepancies unearthed at the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC), the Ministry of Local Government has mandated the Implementation Committee chaired by Keith Burrowes to adopt a “hands-on” authoritative role in the operations of the Council.

Speaking to Kaieteur News yesterday, Burrowes disclosed that the committee, working along with the M&CC, will be carrying out a massive clean-up exercise of the city.  The project is scheduled to start today and is expected to last one week.

Burrowes disclosed that the M&CC is incapable of fulfilling its mandate to keep the city clean, mainly because of the mismanagement of resources which led to the council being equipped with one tractor and a truck.  

Keith Burrowes

As a result, the implementation committee has arranged for the service of Puran Brothers and Cevons Waste Management. In addition, Burrowes said that he has solicited two trucks from other business entities to maintain the work that will be done over the next week.

“It will be a shame for us to go back to square one, so maintenance is absolutely necessary. Also, the city constabulary will be working during the project to ensure that citizens don’t litter as workers clean,” Burrowes stated.

He also indicated that “enforcement officers” will be on the ground to observe the proceedings and also look out for litterbugs.

Further, he said that the city will be equipped with surveillance cameras, and gear has been bought for the garbage collectors to clean the city. He also revealed that money has been sourced to pay staff and plans are in motion improve the cemetery. Kokers are also being evaluated.

In terms of administration, this newspaper understands that the committee has already deployed eight persons to begin work within the “critical” departments at the Council. A number of databases are being set up, including one to manage the collection of rates and taxes, as the Council looks to retrieve monies owed to the city.

Burrowes said that the implementation committee’s work would be completed by year end.

The City Council has always lamented that it is being “financially starved by the government” while the administration points to the council’s mismanagement of the limited resources of the city.

In March of this year, Burrowes tasked Ramon Gaskin with the responsibility of carrying out an investigation to ascertain whether those recommendations were implemented and how useful they were in the day-to-day operation of the M&CC.  Gaskin’s report was expanded. It revealed numerous discrepancies within the council.

It was noted that, “there is absolutely no interest or will on the part of the senior management of the Council to carry out the recommendations of the Burrowes Commission. It is not a priority; it never was and will never be.  Simply put, they are not interested. They never were, nor never will be.”

Burrowes told this publication that to date, the recommendations have not been implemented and issues of transparency, accountability and efficiency remain.

As such the Local Government Ministry has empowered the implementation committee to put into practice the recommendations (over 40) of the Commission of Inquiry. Burrowes said that had these recommendations been implemented initially, many of the discrepancies that exist at present could have been avoided or at least minimized.

Burrowes also asserted that the M&CC does not have the administrative and technical expertise within the staff complement to ensure transparency, accountability and adequate management practices within its operation.  He disclosed that the M&CC and Local Government Ministry, in recognition of the need for critical support in the form of personnel with the necessary administrative and technical skills to address the shortcomings of the M&CC, had agreed to send key personnel to the Council.

In mid-2008, based on issues raised in the Auditor General’s Report 2008, a Commission of Inquiry into the operation of M&CC was recommended. Burrowes was appointed Chairman.  The inquiry and its findings were concluded in July 2009.

The report revealed that a comprehensive investigation was conducted in “attempting” to understand the systems and procedures instituted in M&CC, and the extent to which those systems were beneficially or otherwise observed.

The Commission further explored the perceptible deviation, not only from statutory procedures and systems, but from established best practices, particularly in those departments responsible for service delivery.

The evidence revealed substantial performance gaps in such key areas as the treasurer’s department and the engineer’s department and to a smaller extent all other departments with the exception of the public health department.

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  • Deen  On 08/26/2012 at 12:47 am

    It’s about time!!!
    If Keith Burrowes working with the MCC can give the city a much needed facelift with a massive cleanup and maintain a clean city, what a breath of fresh air that would be. Hopefully, with concerted efforts and strict garbage control measures, there will be less litter and Georgetown can someday reclaim its title as “the Garden City.” Sanitation and “enforcement officers” must issue tickets to all those who litter, dump and fail to keep their properties clean. It is critical that market places, restaurants and public environment should be monitored for sanitation and cleanliness at all times.
    The next critical issue that must be addressed promptly is the incidence of crimes in Georgetown. Law and order need to be restored. Get the criminals off the streets and make the city safe for law abiding citizens and tourists.

  • George Bowen  On 08/26/2012 at 2:14 am

    I couldn’t have said it any better, Dean! It’s been slow coming!

  • Cyril Balkaran  On 08/26/2012 at 3:06 am

    If the proposals are not yet in then there should be a program of sustained training of an adequate amount of litter wardenswho can be precepted to identify and charge persons for illegal dumping and littering. These litter wardens will be able to identify the illegal dumping sites around the City and be able to charge the offenders on the spot.
    The idea of separation of domestic garbage into recycables is long overdue. The recycling of Bottles is done in Trinidad and that of Plastics in Barbados. These items are separated and collected as special trips are needed for the collection, storage and trans shipment out of the country.
    This recycling process can help to keep the city cleaner if any of the agencies of
    The Corporation or Government can enter into an entrepreneurship with the interested Non Governmental Organization. Recycling of Organic Wastes also has a role in the system and with these agencies in action Georgetown will once more become a beautiful garden city !

  • ndtewarie  On 08/26/2012 at 12:05 pm

    Breathes there a man with soul so dead
    When despite all being all the time said
    Let’s stop being idiots or even a clown
    Bring back our Garden city Georgetown

  • wycs  On 08/27/2012 at 9:54 pm

    The only thing left to be done now is sack the Mayor.

  • wycs  On 08/27/2012 at 9:57 pm


    It is not only Georgetown is tainted with Criminals, it is the entire Guyana.

  • Brenthley Y. Babb  On 08/28/2012 at 3:00 pm

    The authorities has to work on an incentive plan that involves the business and residents in an around Georgetown because as tired as it sounds, the Government alone cannot succeed in maintaining a healthy community. Although the government are responsible for ombudsman services, any such plan has to to be sold to the public in order to make them partners. Furthermore, they should begin to put in place studies in enviroment and waste management services so that can attract young people to pursue as careers.

  • Rita Boston-Denny  On 08/29/2012 at 1:13 am

    That is wonderful,glad to read about the clean up.Keep it up.

  • Cyril Balkaran  On 08/30/2012 at 10:40 am

    All is well that ends well. Do hope that this long overdue City Cleanup will become Sustainable in the long run. Remember that the city observed its 200th birthday in July 2012. It took the Ambassador of the USA to start the clean up Initiative in the said month. Lets congratulate all those responsible for this great initiative. Keep a clean scene. Cleanliness is next to Godliness! We all may or may not need to be reminded of this salient fact as we go about our daily duties in Goergetown, the Capital Garden City of the Caribbean!

  • Lynette Andrews Baker  On 08/30/2012 at 7:56 pm

    This is a herculean task ahead, and one which was long overdue, but we must be thankful for small mercies and it is a beginning. I would like to suggest that success of this venture could only be achieved and maintained if the communities/citizens at large are involved from the outset. Everyone should take responsibility for ensuring that their surroundings are free of debri and our open spaces are not being used for commercial purposes. Perhaps an incentive in the form of designating an Annual Clean up day with prizes and other attractions for the best kept districts/neighborhoods. A starting point to this could be the formation of Neighborhood Community Associations with a President and officers who will have regular monthly or quarterly meetings and who will ensure that their neighborhoods are kept in pristine condition. Good luck Mr. Burroughs and please keep the overseas diaspora informed as work progresses so that we can critique the effort and also give our accolades.

  • Baba-Pear-Sun  On 09/01/2012 at 11:08 pm

    My Thoughts are, garbage in garbage out, you are what you eat. There is a big disconnect, from TOP to bottom. How can we say we “Love” Gd and don’t show no concern for Mother Earth, that provide us with all of our needs daily. Clean water, Coconut water, Clean Air, Trees/Greens,Fruits, Sun/Chlorophyll, Blood, Minerals/ Bones, Joints, electrolytes. I was in Guyana Aug 2008, returned Aug 2012, in four[4]years de Garbage all over town, was not a good thing to look at everyday, the sadness I felt inside, is I must do better where ever I lay my head.
    There is so much GARBAGE piling up in other countries, people have to be more proactive in taking care of themselves and Families and Mother Earth, de people are the Government. People have to eat and produce more locally grown food. Producing and importing foods that are not environmentally and metabolically safe for People and Mother Earth. Is a waste of time, money, effort and resource, even de Government can’t afford it; no[VAT]tax collection. Rain don’t fall on one man zinc top only.

  • francis jackson  On 09/02/2012 at 8:11 pm

    Massive clean up of the city today August 25 the headline article states – does this mean a mandatory clean up (all the times)? or only August 25. Waiting a response. This initiative is a good start, let us see what happens. Essequibo and Berbice, any clean up?

  • Cyril Balkaran  On 09/03/2012 at 8:14 am

    I have visited the Essequibo in September of 2011 and was happy to note the Cleanliness of the place. I want to implore that whatever mechanisms they use to maintain that lack of Garbage on the streets be continued. Its beautiful to live in an environment that lacks rodents, flies and other insects, vermins and other entities that accumulate wherever there is an abundance of garbage. Our Civic responsibility must be at all times in the forefront of things. Perhaps others can profit from the success of the Essequibo Region Garbage Disposal Systems. All that is needed is Dialogue!

  • Tara  On 09/04/2012 at 7:58 pm

    Constructive criticism works. We all made a difference in this “clean-up” venture. Even though many of us are physically removed from this overwhelming rubble, we cared enough to highlight its elimination from what we knew as the Garden City.

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