Lack of furniture, leaking roofs exposed at Linden schools

first_imgA recent visit by regional officials to numerous schools in Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) has unearthed several pertinent issues which need to be resolved. The group of officials consisting Regional Chairman Renis Morian; Regional Vice Chairman Elroy Adolph; Regional Education Officer Marcia Paddy-Andrews; Councillor, Dr Gregory Harris; and Regional Education Committee Chairman Denise Belgrave, visited St Aidan’s and Christiansburg Primary and Harmony Secondary schools where the issues were highlighted.The wood which was placed to secure a classroom wall at the Christiansburg Primary SchoolAt Harmony Secondary, located at Wismar, Linden, the officials were met with issues ranging from the lack of basic furniture, leaking roofs and electrical issues (exposed electrical wires). There were also classrooms without electricity supply. It was also noted that the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) would be reviewing contracts at the school due to several issues with contractors.Other issues which were brought to the fore during the visit were the need for desks and benches. It was also noted that the school’s Home Economics laboratory is in dire need of sewing machines, since the sewing machines have malfunctioned. There were also gas cylinders which need to be refilled.Over at the Christiansburg Primary and St Aidan’s Primary School, which are housed together in the same building, different issues were highlighted. At St Aidan’s Primary, a cleaner complained about the situation regarding improper drainage system of the washrooms.“I could get infection at any time in that building. It’s not healthy,” the cleaner pointed out to officials. Furthermore, a teacher attached to the Christiansburg Primary school highlighted that the wall in her classroom is shaking and is presently being supported by a piece of wood which had been strategically placed by handymen. The teacher further voiced her opinion regarding the presence of dilapidated furniture in the classroom as well as dysfunctional door and cupboard locks. She noted that as a result of this issue, her classroom was ransacked. During the visit, the Regional Chairman further sought to provide encouragement to students to work hard and stay in school. The RDC also pledged to provide first aid kits to the schools and presented several school bags to students during the visit. (Utamu Belle)last_img read more

Jagdeo says Govt on uncertain path towards creating sound policy

first_imgDeveloping a new green strategyGuyana is far from producing cheap, clean energy and developing a sound green strategy that will foster economic growth and development while ensuring that the country’s natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which the well-being of Guyanese rest.This was the firm view expressed by Opposition Leader and General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Bharrat Jagdeo at a press conference held at his Church Street, Georgetown office on Thursday. Jagdeo claimed that Government has lost their way in creating a sound green strategy.He described the direction in which the Government has taken as one that is meander and does not have any clear objective and guidance. Rather, the Administration is being blown into directions that are unnecessary, which he believes will not yield any good result for the country.The PPP General Secretary did not fail to mention the opportunity the current Government lost out on in going forward with the Amaila Falls Hydroelectricity Project which started under the PPP and would have assisted in a large way to produce clean and cheap energy to a large section of Guyana.“The Amaila Falls, they’ve gone quiet on that so hydro power is dead under this Government… Cheap energy, it seems will be out of the window so people’s electricity bills will keep mounting or not be reduced and the business community will not have the required boost through a cheaper energy.”Meanwhile, commenting on recent reports that Government is now seeking assistance from the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) to provide solar panels to the hinterland region, Jagdeo said he does not support such a move as the Government seems uncertain or ignorant to several issues.According to the former Guyanese Head of State, the former PPP Government had left US$180 million through the Norwegian arrangement for this same project. He said US$17 million of that money was set aside as part of a project this year to do hinterland telecommunications.“That has not moved and we need to go and ask GGGI to tell us how to do this? We don’t need to do that or to ask them to help secure financing for these projects when we have money that the PPP left to the GRIF (Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund) that we haven’t even implemented as yet to many of these projects,” he said during the press conference lamenting that Government has indeed lost their way.Jagdeo said he has learnt that Government plans to also approach GGGI to look at a project for utility scale solar and to look at solar panels in the hinterland and to secure climate financing.“This shows how our Government has lost its way in relation to the climate change and the green sector. I was the President of the first assembly of the Global Green Growth Institute and I was part of the think tank before that… I know the purpose of the establishment of this organisation and to ask it to help you…”Again, Jagdeo reminded that 6000 plus solar panels were bought for various hinterland communities, which the current Government kept it in Georgetown. He also recalled that the PPP had initiated another project for 100 villages within the hinterland which would have made them beneficiaries of commercial scale solar panels. “We have prepared the villages already; we had gone out to procure the panels. Up to now that has not been implemented,” Jagdeo lamented.According to Jagdeo, at every available opportunity, President David Granger talks up his Government’s intention to develop huge wind farms, solar farms and hydropower plants; however, he hardly ventured into pointedly speaking about how he intends to attain those targets.Previously, the President had also pronounced that the Norway Funds will now be utilised for more strategic projects such as reforestation in mined-out areas, generation of energy apart from hydropower, coastal zone management and tackling the impacts of El Niño.But in light of certain actions taken by the current Administration, the former President believes that their promises are merely rhetoric for support of a green economy.Jagdeo has received many accolades and sat in high positions on various climate change related organisations. He is recognised as a global leader on climate change and climate finance.last_img read more

Hindus for Selfless Service hosts first Hanuman Yatra

first_img…in commemoration of Hanuman JayantiIn observance of the auspicious occasion of Hanuman Jayanti, celebrated on Friday, the Hindus for Selfless Service (HSS) organization hosted the first Hanuman Yatra procession on the West Coast of Demerara.Hanuman Jayanti celebrates the birth of Hanuman, revered as one of the greatest warriors and the greatest devotee of Lord Rama.A section of the processionWith Hanuman’s motto, “I will not rest until Ram’s work is done,” HSS organized the Hanuman Jayanti Yatra for the very first time in Guyana. The procession began at Hague and proceeded west, and at Tuschen and proceeded east, the groups converging at the Nirvana Centre at Meten-Meer-Zorg for a cultural programme. As the Yatra proceeded, led by vehicles playing Hanuman Bhajans and the Hanuman Chalisa, devotees, both young and elderly, came out in large numbers and showed great enthusiasm throughout the event. They were dressed mostly in red traditional Indian garments. Some walked, others rode their bicycles or drove vehicles, all chanting and singing along to the Hanuman Chalisa as they waved their red flags and showed great strength and unity. As devotees from the different villages joined in the procession, a Hanuman flag was planted. This added to the splendour of the event, which kept getting better.At the Nirvana Centre, the groups were welcomed with tassa drumming with great pomp and gaiety. As is customary, tilak was applied to the foreheads and raksha sutra tied to all attendees.The cultural programme featured ISKCON, many local singers and dancers, and a danda (stick fighting) demonstration by sevaks. A chanting from the Ramcharitmanas of a chaupi (verse) from the Sundar Kand Chapter which is dedicated to Hanuman was read by Pt. Charranlall Nandalall on behalf of the West Demerara Pandits’ Organization.Mentore of HSS-Guyana, Ravi Dev, who contextualized the actions of Hanuman in Guyana today, delivered the main message. He said that, like Hanuman who had forgotten his pedigree, Guyanese Hindus need to be reminded about the greatness of their religious heritage. Just as how Sita Mata was abducted and had to be rescued before Ram Rajya could be established, in a similar fashion, he said, much of Indian culture has been abducted over the past 180 years, and needs to be rescued for the community to move forward.Hanuman bhajans were sung lustily, and Hare Krishna chants kept the crowd enthralled in an atmosphere of delirious joy.last_img read more

Guyana increases judicial pressure on Venezuela

first_imgGuyana, on March 29, 2018, filed an application with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Venezuela – requesting, among many things, that Venezuela refrain from threatening or using force against any person and/or company licensed by Guyana or engage in economic or commercial activity in Guyanese territory.“Venezuela shall refrain from threatening or using force against any person and/or company licensed by Guyana or engage in economic or commercial activity in Guyanese territory as determined by the1899 Award and 1905 Agreement, or in any maritime areas appurtenant to such territory over which Guyana has sovereignty or exercises sovereign rights, and shall not interfere with any Guyanese or Guyanese authorised activities in thoseThe International Court of Justiceareas,” a release by the principal judicial organ of the United Nations said.Moreover, in its application, Guyana requested the court “to confirm the legal validity and binding effect of the Award Regarding the Boundary between the Colony of British Guiana and theUnited States of Venezuela.”“The applicant claims that the 1899 Award was “a full, perfect, and final settlement” of all questions relating to determining the boundary line between the colony of British Guiana and Venezuela.Guyana affirms that, between November 1900 and June 1904, a joint Anglo-Venezuelan Boundary Commission “identified, demarcated and permanently fixed the boundary established by the Award” before the signing of a Joint Declaration by the Commissioners on 10 January 1905 (referred to by Guyana as the “1905 Agreement”).”Guyana contends that in 1962, for the first time, Venezuela contested the Award as “arbitrary” and “null and void” and according to them, this led to the signing of the Agreement to resolve the controversy between Venezuela and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland over the frontier between Venezuela and British Guiana at Geneva on 17 February 1966, which “provided for recourse to a series of dispute settlement mechanisms to finally resolve the controversy”.The applicant [Guyana] further submits that the Geneva Agreement authorised the United NationsSecretary General to decide which appropriate dispute resolution mechanism to adopt for the peaceful settlement of the controversy, in accordance with Article 33 of the United Nations Charter.As such, the applicant requests that the Court adjudge and declare that “the 1899 Award is valid and binding upon Guyana and Venezuela, and the boundary established by that Award and the 1905Agreement is valid and binding upon Guyana and Venezuela”; “Guyana enjoys full sovereignty over the territory between the Essequibo River and the boundary established by the 1899 Award and the 1905 Agreement, and Venezuela enjoys full sovereignty over the territory west of that boundary; Guyana and Venezuela are under an obligation to fully respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in accordance with the boundary established by the 1899 Award and the 1905 Agreement”; “Venezuela shall immediately withdraw from and cease its occupation of the eastern half of the Island of Ankoko, and each and every other territory which is recognised as Guyana’s sovereign territory in accordance with the 1899 Award and 1905 Agreement,” and “Venezuela is internationally responsible for violations of Guyana’s sovereignty and sovereign rights, and for all injuries suffered by Guyana as a consequence.”last_img read more

Vendor charged for damaging reputed wife’s windows

first_imgA vendor who reportedly damaged windows on his reputed wife’s premises after she locked him out over fear for her life was on Wednesday placed before Magistrate Fabayo Azore.Anthony Marshall, 33, of Lot 145 Fifth Street, Alberttown, Georgetown, denied that on July 21, 2018, he unlawfully damaged one grill valued $10,000, four louvre frames valued $6,500, and four louvre panes valued $2,246, property of Diana Huxford. He is also accused of threatening the woman’s life on the same day, thereby breaching an order to keep the peace.The father of one is reportedly in the habit of misbehaving, which prompted the virtual complainant (VC) to disclose to the court, “I am afraid for my life with this man.”Huxford further revealed that she would be taking out a restraining order on the defendant, who remained quiet.Marshall was placed on $25,000 bail. The case will continue on August 3, 2018.last_img read more

Clifford Krauss is not the problem

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 read more

Feasibility study for Region 7 hydropower projects

first_imgThe Public Infrastructure Ministry will be conducting a feasibility study for the construction of hydropower projects at Phillipai and Pariuma in the Upper Mazaruni, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).This was announced by Regional Chairman Gordon Bradford, who said that the Region was anticipating the implementation of the projects which would not only generate low-cost energy, but would be a major economic boost to the two villages and surrounding areas.In addition to providing hydroelectricity, Bradford said that the projects would haveRegional Chairman Gordon Bradfordspin-off benefits, including agro-processing.“We are happy that the Ministry has sought to do the feasibility study in the two areas, to harness rapids to produce cheap energy, green and clean energy … Our vision is to ensure food security and we want to encourage agro-processing, but in order to do this, we need cheap electricity,” the Chairman is quoted by the Department of Public information (DPI) as saying.Bradford explained that Upper Mazaruni villages have swathes of fertile land, for instance, in Pariuma, where citrus fruits, plantains and other produce are grown in abundance. However, every year, these areas experience major flooding. Bradford said once the projects were fully onstream, the regional administration would be assisting the villages to can the crops grown.Additionally, a $794.5 million (US$3.8 million) 1.5-megawatt solar farm, with storage, is being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for Bartica in Region Seven. The project will commence sometime this year and will last for 18 months.Also, a one-megawatt hydro project will be constructed upstream Bartica at a cost of US$5.2 million. The funding is being sourced from the Guyana REDD Investment Fund, and the project is expected to last for two and a half years. Currently, technical assessments and other studies are being conducted.last_img read more

No compensation for festive season

first_imgWCD flooding Villagers on the West Coast of Demerara who were affected by mass flooding back in March were expecting to be compensated for their losses for the festive season but this never materialised despite Government’s promises.After confirmation by the regional officials that no assistance was given thus far, Guyana Times spoke to some of the affected persons and moreover those who suffered.Karamchand Singh, whose fence was destroyed by the breach, explained that he was unable to repair the structure due to other losses he suffered when his livestock died in the water during that same period.With constraints to produce an income, he was unable to fix any structures on his property which were damaged. Voicing his concerns along with other persons, he explained that Central Government has made no effort to engage the residents after the flooding.“The only thing we hearing is that they have to do an assessment and they repairing the seawall. We though we getting this help for the Christmas but like we might never get anything. A lot of us had plenty losses during that time and some people still yet to return to where they used to live,” a distraught Singh related.Two houses away from him, a widow with three children explained that her one-flat house was completely inundated during the flooding, and she was left to discard most of the items in her house.“My children clothes and everything get damage. I had to stay by my sister not too far from here till the water go away and by then, the stove and everything damage… We thought we getting something from the Government to help out we but nothing.”Minister of State Joseph Harmon had informed Guyana Times some time ago that his last visit to the area surfaced discussions about the compensations and it was agreed that the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) of Tuschen-Uitvlugt would make a ‘proper assessment’ of the damages that were cause.However, the Minister of State posited that no response was generated from the NDC and related that he is awaiting that assessment before a decision is taken on the allocation of monies to the hundreds of affected residents.Harmon was quoted as saying, “I haven’t heard back from the CDC or from the NDC Chairman. So I think that is where it is. Once that is done, then we can make a decision where that is concerned.”However, the Tuschen-Uitvlugt NDC Chairman, Vishal Ambedkar told Guyana Times when contacted that the CDC was engaged in separate consultations with a few residents, the Council is unclear as to whether their calculations were ‘comprehensive’ and all the factors surrounding the damages were considered.Since March of this year, waves from the Atlantic Ocean which were generated during a spring tide battered the seawall, leaving several villages completely inundated by the floodwaters. At that time, the waves pummelled 20 feet over the structure.last_img read more

Essequibo residents rap Govt on failed employment promises

first_imgResidents of Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) have expressed frustration over failed promises by the coalition Government with regards to employment for persons residing on the Essequibo Coast.The residents related that the unemployment rate in the region is very high and this was one of the major issues that were raised with the Government during its recent outreach in the region.They are contending that they are being misled by Government officials into believing that they will be hired by Government agencies. They were reportedly asked to submit applications but when they call to check on the status of same, there is no record of it being handed in.The frustrated residents expressed dissatisfaction at the manner in which they are being treated by the Administration.They believe that Government outreaches are a “sham” which seeks to fool members of the public in an effort to buy votes for the upcoming elections.One of the residents who spoke to this newspaper said that his daughter applied for a job at a Government agency and when she called to follow up on the application weeks after, she was told that there is no record of her application.“My daughter applied at a popular Government agency for a job and they promise us that they will call and so on for interview, but nothing. I know if you’re not qualified they won’t hire you I understand that but the worrisome part is that when we called, there is no record of any application for her or anybody else that applied from here, this led me to believe they are fooling people and maybe they throwing away these applications soon as they leave here. They feel people stupid,” he argued.Furthermore, over the weekend, workers from the National Data Management Unit were in the region, this time, accepting applications for employment with that agency. This action has prompted residents to believe that the Government is “putting on a show”.“This Government is all about a show. They eye pass people. They wasting taxpayers’ money having these people coming here for days doing nothing. Just coming here trying to fool people here. They ain’t got one vote to get from over here…watch and see. We already figure them out,” Jai told this publication.The Cabinet was greeted by hundreds of disgruntled citizens who lined the streets of Anna Regina, Essequibo Coast, during its outreach to the region.Regional Chairman Devanand Ramdatt was also on the protest line after the Regional Executive Officer (REO) reportedly denied him a fuel allowance to attend the activity.The majority of the residents questioned the timing of the outreach, pointing out that after four years in office, this is the first time such a large ministerial delegation has visited the region to offer support.They believe Government is merely campaigning, in light of the No-confidence Motion against it and the likelihood of early elections. One rice farmer said rice is the breadbasket of the region and although many calls were made for Government to intervene to save the industry from collapsing, nothing has been done.Also at the protest were over 30 trench cleaners who were not paid for over three months. Similar to the other outreaches so far, residents flocked the booths dealing with housing issues also.Scores of persons said they left the outreach very disappointed since their housing issues could not have been fully dealt with despite waiting long hours to have their issues addressed.This led some persons to question why the Government is inviting persons to the Cabinet outreaches when they cannot address their issues.last_img read more

Mechanic’s vehicle broken into, $800,000 in valuables missing

first_imgThe owner of Khan’s Auto Service and Repair Centre is now counting his losses after suspected bandits broke into his vehicle in the wee hours of Sunday morning at Foulis, on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD).The car with the shattered pieces of glassBased on reports received, the incident occurred between 01:45h and 02:30h. The motorcar was reportedly parked in front of the owner’s property.It is believed that bandits gained entry by smashing one of the windows and carting off with items which were in the vehicle at that time.This publication understands that over $800,000 in valuables were stolen. Some of the items include a laptop bag containing stamps, billing books, receipts and business documents.A haversack containing jumpsuits, the company’s shirts and a number of tools were also taken.The owners are pleading with persons to report any suspicious activities whereby persons might be selling the stolen items. They can use contact numbers 612-7444 or 658-4756.last_img read more