November 10, 2006
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Citizens and others in the capital city who had all but given up hope about reversing the trip down to the pits into which Georgetown has been surely headed, would be taking heart again at the promises of getting it back on track and to becoming a place of which all can be proud.
President Bharrat Jagdeo was not mincing words Wednesday as he took pride in what the new stadium at Providence, East Bank Demerara, could do for the image of the country.
It’s a showpiece and it would be an insult to the generosity of the Indian Government, which has extended such extensive support for the project, if the stadium were to be like an oasis in a desert, for Cricket World Cup 2007 and beyond.
“I am giving notice; I don’t want to sound acrimonious or to sound harsh, but we have to clean up and this is not just a short-term thing for World Cup cricket - it is going to last beyond that and I have already given clear instructions,” Mr. Jagdeo said, after the dedication of the stadium Wednesday.
Clearly taking stock and looking ahead, he told reporters that the beautification campaign has been stepped-up.
“We all want to see a clean place and a beautiful environment,” the President noted, pointing out that this will be the first impression on the minds of tourists and others when they visit Guyana.
He assured that even “the little issues”, such as animals on the roadways, will be aggressively tackled because “these little things matter”.
Indeed. Little things and bigger things, like getting vagrants off the streets and from lurking almost all over the city.
And those empty lots left neglected by owners – another issue the President touched on Wednesday.
It’s not going to be easy and the special task force assembled under the direction of Cabinet to head and oversee the massive clean-up and beautification of Georgetown and its environs will have its job cut out.
Perhaps stock would have to be taken of why the much-touted `Nice Up Guyana’ campaign, launched with much fanfare several years ago, did not materialise into much.
A prime objective of that campaign was to beautify the East Bank Demerara corridor from the airport to the city.
While there were some improvements, not much was done to give a favourable first impression to visitors arriving at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and heading into the city – especially in stark daylight.
A welcome coincidence with the clean-up thrust announced by the President this week, was the news yesterday that the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) will today launch its ‘Paint Up Guyana’ campaign to be held in association with all the major manufacturers and distributors of paint in Guyana.
More efforts like these would bolster the optimistic plans being unveiled by the government to make Georgetown and its environs a much better place for all.