$500M clean-up campaign…More equipment needed to complete work

- West Ruimveldt residents

While the authorities have noted progress made under the $500 million clean –up campaign, residents of West Ruimveldt, Georgetown say that there are insufficient tools to complete the job.

The clean-up exercise in progress at Gilhuys Square West Ruimveldt, Georgetown

Given the urgent need to restore cleanliness in the city, the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development mounted a massive clean-up exercise to the clearing of  drains, main canals, parapets, alleyways, cemeteries, and rehabilitate monuments, markets and other public spaces.
Last Wednesday, a community clean-up group from Gilhuys Square, West Ruimveldt, reported that they have experienced difficulty carrying out the work in their area because of a shortage of tools. Mark Anthony Forrester, a spokesperson for the community, said that at the commencement of the project, officials of the Local Government Ministry promised to supply the residents with necessary tools to clear the area.
He said the Ministry has since donated a few cutlasses, long boots, buckets, and a wheelbarrow, but there is still need for additional equipment.
“We are trying to work with the tools that are currently available to us. Some people have been using their personal equipment to do the job but getting some of the work done is difficult without the right tools. We need additional cutlasses, wheelbarrows and a bobcat to complete this exercise.”
He noted, however, that the community group has completed a significant amount of work with the equipment made available to them.  He said that the group has since cleared the drains, parapets and alleyways from Vlissengen Road to the West Ruimveldt playfield.
“I have about thirty-five persons working with me, both males and females from the community. We are getting a stipend from the Ministry, but we are not doing it for the money, it is our community and we want to make sure that we do our best,” he added.
Forrester said the group has approximately ten days to complete Phase One of the project. “We have a lot more work to do and we want to begin Phase Two of the project.  The residents need more long boots, rakes, hoes, wheelbarrows and a Bobcat to complete it,” Forrester reiterated.
He said that the community has already seen the results of work.  “Ever since we cleared drains the area isn’t flooding as quickly as it would usually do.”
The man said that several attempts were made to contact the Ministry for further assistance. “We have been calling on them for the longest time but nobody has responded to us. We need the assistance which they promised as soon as possible.”
The residents of West Ruimveldt are voicing their dissatisfaction in light of reports of progress under the $500 million “Clean-Up My Country” Programme.
The Ministry of Local Government has since conducted a series of consultations under the initiative, which commenced several weeks ago.
Community work has begun in Albouystown, West Ruimveldt and Le Repentir Cemetery. Last week, alleyways and parapets in Albouystown were sanitized. In West Ruimveldt, parapets were cleared and drains within the neighborhood were de-silted. The work also included de-silting of the Sussex Street, Princes Street, Church Street, Downer and Lamaha Street canals.
At the beginning of the exercise, Community groups from around Georgetown presented proposals to the Clean-Up My Country Program Committee, outlining the areas that need to be addressed and the required budget for the communities’ sanitation.
To date, nine groups, including Albouystown, West Ruimveldt, Campbellville, Lodge, East Ruimveldt, South Ruimveldt, La Penitence, Alberttown and North Ruimveldt have submitted proposals after consultations were held in the communities.