Opinion: The future of Guyana – By Denis Solomon

Opinion: The future of Guyana

– By Denis Solomon

At the outset of this short essay, please allow me to declare that I am without any Guyanese political affiliation. I am looking at the future of Guyana with the welcome input of oil revenues. I will state that I have an open mind with no prejudice.

Already there is a suggestion of an interior highway to Brazil. This could provide future illegal immigrants with a ready-made transit route. Before anyone seeks to point out the language difficulty, future immigrants would face, I would ask them to look at the USA-Mexican border forty/fifty years ago and consider present day occurrences.               

Now, British truck drivers in Calais, France describe problems with foreign stowaways and the Greeks add their vexed voices to the difficulties they have experienced as personally expressed to me. Taken together, a reasonable conclusion can be reached. It is that immigrants choose a destination, get there and expect to be fed, clothed and housed with no respect for the immigration procedures of the host country. Also, they would expect a translator to be on hand.

A constructive suggestion to the Guyana Government would be to seek out Guyanese (living abroad) with distinguished careers and notable achievements to sit on an Advisory Board (free from local political interference) to produce a report containing an informed decision on any envisaged capital projects. Of necessity, these meetings would have to be held at an overseas venue (outside of the West Indies).

On any immediate short list should be:-

(1) The introduction of local clinics with opticians, dentists and medical doctors to offer help to any resident Guyanese citizen.

(2) A guaranteed supply of drinkable water from domestic taps and ensuring that fresh milk is sold locally.

(3) The setting up of a Coast Guard flotilla equipped with the latest in drone technology.

(4) Examining the construction of wind farms entirely made of local wood to provide energy for flood prevention pumps. It should be recalled that the earliest aeroplanes had wooden propellers.

(5) The setting up of solar panel ‘farms’ to harness the energy of the sun and a government sponsored programme for local residents to install roof top solar panels.

(6) The encouragement to bring back a fleet of seaplanes to provide solid interior air links. Watching the old Grumman Goose landing and taking off in the Demerara River delighted me as a boy. The new Widgetworks Airfish 8 (see video) is a futuristic propeller driven one. A temporary docking station may be easily set up anywhere using a small number of floating polymer pontoons.

(7) Examining whether Chinese and Indian loggers should be allowed to continue to exploit the country’s green resources. The United Nations will verify the important contribution being made by our trees and forests to the air quality of our planet

(8) Consideration as to whether a deep water port is really necessary. Does Guyana really need to host large Chinese container ships offloading and flooding the country with their cheap exports? Who would that benefit?

(9) The restoration of civic pride in Georgetown. On a recent visit, I was appalled to see an unattended horse grazing on high uncut grass outside the perimeter fence of Brickdam Cathedral, where I had served as an altar boy for many years.

(10) Extensive road repairs.

(11) The restoration of now old landmark buildings like the Astor cinema.

(12) Developing a civic system of neighbourhood community organisers allied with regular rubbish pickups and personal incentives to insure that neighbourhoods are tidied up, kept clean and litter free.

(13) Examine the Singapore model of infra-structure development to learn what can be achieved, even though starting out with very little.

(14) Gifting a Kindle tablet to all secondary school children. A recent social studies experiment in Kenya produced impressive results in literacy improvement that no expert thought possible or predicted.

(15) A gun and knife amnesty allied with sentences for the convicted to be served under military discipline in the Interior of the country. Visitors should be made welcome with a guarantee of personal safety and not lawlessness; otherwise they will not come.

I feel that Guyana now has even more potential now than it had in the early years following independence. Everything grows without the need for herbicides and pesticides and so-called ‘organic farming’ has developed into a billion dollar industry. Being driven from CJIA, I could not help but notice the good quality fruit (especially pineapples) that were being held aloft by roadside vendors. Could the setting up of Cooperatives with foreign sales using the internet help? No foreign government should be allowed to purchase or lease parcels of farmland.

I have had the good fortune of living in many different countries and cities and have seen at firsthand how the world turns and how it should not turn. Guyana will never become an Indian or African state. World-wide current and past events provide shattering examples of what have happened in mixed populations when one ethnic group decides that it is superior and seeks to enforce that misguided concept. A Government of National Unity must demonstrate that it is serving and respecting all people, regardless of creed, colour or religion. There is no alternative.

In summary, I am sure that some of the items listed above are already under consideration or some tasks already underway. It is now more than fifty years post independence. The baton has been passed to a new generation of Guyanese. A brighter future lies ahead. There can be no excuses for delay. Things need to be done. Get going and do them as well as you can. Wrap your arms around your country in a collective warm embrace and bring it to its feet.

God bless!


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  • Leslie Chin  On November 21, 2018 at 4:32 am

    I agree with Denis Solomon. about forming an Advisory Council of expatriate Guyanese to advise the Guyana Government on any subject matter.. I had previously posted a similar article about tapping into the Guyanese Diaspora (please see above link). I am willing to collaborate with anyone with similar ideas.

    Leslie Chin (lschin@rogers.com)

  • walter  On November 21, 2018 at 11:31 am

    Maybe the “net” might be too large, maybe it might be considered “outsiders” claiming to know what is better for Guyanese, or, maybe it might be better to start with a poll of the Guyanese there, today. Little I know personally, #15 Safety rides high up in day to day living, or at least a perception of safety.

  • Cyril Persaud  On November 22, 2018 at 12:36 am

    Pipe dreams – Utopian –

  • Trevor  On November 25, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    We didn’t get a drop of oil money yet, but TPTB are planning to build mega high rises that would make the current Marriott Hotel look like a grain of rice.

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