first_imgDear Editor,Almost every person of Guyanese nationality welled up with fury at the ‘’alarming’’ description of Guyana by the American Clifford Krauss. Who is he to denounce a country he wasn’t born in?Well, like all outsiders, Mr Krauss sees Guyana as an underdeveloped, uncivilised and corrupt nation. He didn’t consider that Guyana’s geographic location renders it ‘’a watery wilderness.’’ He didn’t consider Guyana’s unfortunate political past. Why should he consider Guyana’s setbacks? These are matters of no importance to him. He sees Guyana exactly how most or all international people do.Do you think he cares that Guyana is a cook up rice and chicken curry nation? No, he doesn’t. His focus is on our political structure, our economic status, our Government policies and programmes, and our progressive ideas and plans for the future.Upon the release and circulation of Krauss’s article, almost every Guyanese became so distracted and offended by his representation of Guyana that they missed the underlying questions.Is Guyana equipped to manage oil opulence?Will the leaders mismanage the ‘’incoming wealth?’’Will corruption exacerbate?Will there be the creation of Swiss Bank accounts?Will criminal activities escalate?Will the money be squandered and stolen?Will the wealth be unequally distributed?Will the wealth be hoarded by only the powerful and influential?Will the political environment be facilitative of foreign investment?There are so many more questions arising when there is oil wealth on the horizon. Although these questions were not directly asked by Mr Clifford Krauss, his analysis of Guyana’s political, social and economic environments gave the implication that these are some of the questions to be asked.He wrote ‘’But there are obstacles. If history is any guide, countries that discover oil often waste their opportunity, as the resource blends seamlessly with corruption. Countries with weak political institutions like Guyana are especially vulnerable.’’ What untruth can be found in those statements?He then quoted Guyanese-born Finance professor Floyd Haynes, who is a consultant to the Business Ministry. Haynes said,’’ You have an alignment of money and power in the hands of the state, so the party in power controls the resources, and the money is usually squandered, misapplied or downright stolen.’’So really, what Krauss did was present a very objective and analytical article. So why the pettiness? Why the written attacks? What is the purpose of them? Does Guyana appear more couth to international spectators? This solves nothing.As a country of resilience, commentary like that of Krauss’s should elevate our nation to greater heights, to dream and do bigger things. Guyana’s been set back for too long; and yes, we’ve made tremendous progress as a nation, but we are still way behind. We who live here see it as nothing, because we are accustomed to it; but to those on the outside, it is something — something to not sit comfortably with.At this turning point in our country’s economic landscape, we have the opportunity to install the policies to facilitate growth in every sector; to suppress corruption, open our economy to rewarding investment deals, and to create the route to development for every citizen. The world is rapidly advancing, and Guyana needs to be included in the race. Guyana’s future can be gleaming with smart cities and automation. We need the environment to realise this.Mr Krauss’s dissection of Guyana appears negative, but the truth has been overlooked. Guyana has not experienced the wealth that is now imminent; and as history reveals, poor countries, having grasped and tasted the rewards of oil discovery, often become victims of the enricher.Another point to note is that with the rise of renewable energy and climate policy agreements, the oil industry can become a falling one. So, excitement is accompanied by contemplation.It is now left for Guyana to prove herself; to rise in her glory. She is poised to accelerate growth, but she has to be erudite in her executions. So, instead of expressing bitterness to Mr Krauss, thank him and prove him wrong, Guyana.Sincerely,Althea Hoodithlast_img

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first_imgThe Government of Liberia has reached an important milestone in the fight against Ebola with the opening of schools and putting in place protocols, amid a drastically reduced number of new cases  of Ebola Virus Disease in the country.Now that the worst is over, there is an urgent need to make up for a lost school year. The focus now in this post- Ebola recovery process is for schools to put in place conditions that are as safe as possible for children.School protocols should include safety measures, not only taking children’s temperatures when they arrive at their school campuses and making them wash their hands before entering classrooms.  They should, in addition, take into account children’s temperatures as they return to their respective communities, along with the distribution of Ebola preventive materials to use at home. The measures  should include classroom spacing, student-to-teacher  and health workers ratio.All schools should be equipped with adequate source of water supply and school children should have access to safe sanitary facilities, like urinals and toilets. In cases of detected elevated temperature among school children, schools should be mandated to provide temporary isolation space for suspected cases.Zoning of healthcare facilities by schools and health workers should be put into place to ensure adequate transportation of suspected cases to appropriate healthcare facilities. Contact tracing and follow-up visits to monitor children who may be absent from school for health reasons and medical clearance should be required from students who have been sick to return to school.Additional safety precautions at our schools would require psychosocial support as some children may not return to school and many who lost their parents and friends may find it difficult to cope with school work.Dealing with stigmatization of Ebola survivors and victims would be critical at this stage. The decision to expel students who deliberately flaunt protocols for safe school is harsh and should be amended (see page 8 of the protocols for details).In addressing the psychosocial needs of school children, Messengers of Peace (MOP)-Liberia, is committed, through its peace clubs and community education outreach campaigns/programmes, to work with the Liberian government, the private sector  and others. It is essential to educate our children about Ebola as a disease and it is equally important to educate them about its psychosocial impact to our stability as a nation. More than anything else in the school curriculum, our children must learn about the Ebola crisis and the period they had to stay away from learning.The private and not-for-profit  sections now have an important role to play in ensuring complete adherence to the protocols for safe school environment. Governments (local and national) should also focus more on providing essential services to poor community schools. The theme of the protocols for safe school environment in the Ebola outbreak in Liberia should be in the best interest of school children.We are only months away from when Liberia would be declared “Ebola-free.” Until then and with an end in sight, we need to redouble our collective efforts to stop and eradicate Ebola from our country. Support the “Ebola Educates” Campaign in kind through your stories or with your generous cash donation.Until next week when we come to you with another article on: “Ebola Educates-Community Protocols,” Peace First, Peace above all else, May Peace prevail on earth.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img

first_imgIt was the English philosopher Francis Bacon who, in one of his essays, penned, “What is truth, asked jesting Pilate, but would not wait for an answer.”That was one of the questions which the Roman Governor of Judaea, Pontius Pilate, asked Jesus during His trial just before His crucifixion. Jesus then spoke about truth, provoking Pilate’s famous question, “What is truth?”Jesus, we all know, was quite capable of answering that question. But was Pilate truly interested in an answer? No. He quickly ordered a pan of water and washed his hands, demonstrating—or so he thought—that he had nothing to do with what was to happen to the Lord of Life. But go read the Apostle’s Creed, which clearly states the historic, inescapable fact: “He (Jesus) suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.”That is exactly what would happen to Liberians were we to elect a man like the Rev. Kennedy Sandy president of this beleaguered republic—why?Because the man is not president yet; indeed far from it, yet he feels he can say anything to us, make all kinds of spurious and unsubstantiated promises and, to quote Bacon, “not wait,” in Sandy’s case, for a single question.In other words, if and when he is elected president—God help us!—the Rev. Mr. Sandy would say and do anything, and feel he owes us no answers, no explanations, no proofs and no substantiation.That was exactly what the reverend—reverend of what? we may ask—did two Fridays ago. He convened a program and announced his intention, for the second time, to seek the Liberian presidency.In an address to his partisans and the media, he outlined in insipid (bland, unexciting) fashion many of the country’s problems, which he promised to fix. And as though he felt and knew he was talking to a bunch of fools or foolish captives, he gave not a single explanation of how.Yes, Sandy probably forgot that he was addressing not simply his gullible partisans, but also the media, whose professional responsibility it is to ASK questions.Alas, neither the media nor anyone else in the audience was favored with such a privilege from the man who says he wants to be our “redeemer.”As one who calls himself “Reverend Sandy,” people are quick to ask what kind of theology did he study or learn, that allows him to be called “Reverend?” For as a spokesperson for the Christian ministry, like Peter, Paul and the four Gospel writers, and Jesus Himself, Kennedy should have known that theworld’s Redeemer, Jesus Christ, explained everything about His messianic mission. And not only that—Jesus also demonstrated, through His many miracles, HOW His disciples and every one of us, His followers, are to use power. Jesus, yes, was asked many questions by the Scribes and Pharisees, who were bitterly against Him, by ordinary people, like the rich young fool, as well as theprominent, like Nicodemus, who came to Jesus by night. And we all know Jesus’ own disciples asked Him many questions.We also know that the Master took time to answer each question. He often answered a question by posing to the asker another question, just to make the answer plain and simple for all to understand. Alas, the Rev. Mr. Sandy totally forgot—or did he ever learn—what Jesus had done in His three-year ministry—going about doing good, and even from age 12, “asking and answering questions.”What did Rev. Kennedy Sandy expect the media, whom he had invited to his program, to do? Only to listen, then go and regurgitate (vomit) his utterances to the Liberian public and the world? That would have been the height of media irresponsibility—failure to explain what Sandy really meant and, more important, HOW he would do the many things he had promised to do if elected president.The reverend abandoned the example of Jesus, and only spewed out a cacophony (loudness) of utterances and promises and, like Pilate, “would not wait” for a single question!No, the media were simply expected to ignore their professional duty to tell the people the true meaning of Sandy’s utterances and, more important, the HOW—how would he fix the nation’s agriculture, education, health, etc.The media’s only role, according to the Rev. Mr. Sandy, was to spew out to the Liberian public and the world what he had to say. Is this the Pontius Pilate who wants to be our President?Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img

first_imgMontserrado County District #9 now has something to be happy about after a US$19,800 market building was constructed and subsequently turned over to the market leadership of the district.The market was erected by Atty. Miller B. Catakaw, a prominent citizen in the district.Dedicating the building on December 30, Atty. Catakaw joyously told the gathering that for too long he has seen the marketers experience difficulty selling their produce during the rainy and dry seasons.He said it was time for them to leave the sun and rain for a modern market building.“For years you people have suffered selling on rainy and sunny days. You will no more experience those unfavorable conditions,” declared Atty. Catakaw, to a huge applause from the crowd.“This is the beginning of my development initiatives in the district and I am going to ensure that other communities in the district enjoy similar facilities,” he promised.Besides the market, Catakaw has undertaken several other development projects including the construction of an elementary school building, several bridges and toilets in District #9.Responding, Victoria Solee, superintendent of the market, lauded Atty. Catakaw for the new market building.“Since the establishment of this market in 1975, this is the first time for us to own a market building, “Madam Solee disclosed.“What you have done for us today we cannot pay you back; it is only our Almighty God that knows our heart who will reward you for taking us from under the sun and the rain, from which many of us have suffered serious sickness.”Solee called on marketers to ‘open their eyes’ in the coming 2017 presidential and legislative elections.“If you do not have eyes or ears it is time for you to have them. It is time for you to put people into office that are concerned about your wellbeing,” Solee said, and encouraged her market members to vote wisely.“It is time for us to vote wisely, it is time for you to explain to your children about what you have witnessed here today,” she added.The dedication ceremony was graced by many community residents most of whom were seeing a new market building in their community for the first time.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img

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