Dear Editor,Burnham told us that the word Mashramani was coined from an Amerindian term meaning “play after work”; but, in essence, what is there to play? What is there to celebrate? When a sizable section of our working people are out of a job and nothing by way of an income to finance their families, the question needs to be asked again: What is there to celebrate? This is the stark reality of a Guyanese existence.Soon after taking office, over 2000 Amerindian brothers and sisters was fired. Those of our original Guyanese brethren were dismissed for no apparent reason, the only sensible reason was that they were hired during the PPP/C time in office, and as such were branded party supporters. You are speaking of ordinary people who were eking out a living just like anybody else, with no political strings attached. And even if they had political lineage, aren’t they entitled to have one?Soon after, the Government began the dismantling of the sugar industry, closing four estates and firing near 7,000 workers, with the excuse again that the industry was a drain on the public purse.So where was the drain on the public purse when you could have bloated the same system with more individuals than their former employer? Again, this is the good life that the PNC-led coalition wants us to believe in.Further to our discussion is the fact that when news came to us that Government is mulling the idea of the reopening of the sugar estates and the rehiring of the dismissed workers, this came to us as good news. However, we are now of the understanding that this is not so, only two of the four estates would be reopening, and a handful of workers rehired. This Government has done it again — using taxpayers’ money to first rehabilitate those two estates, then practically giving them away.Finally, ours is a miserable existence in this part of the globe fashioned and left for dead under a vindictive, spiteful and uncaring regime.So, during this period of so-called celebration, our country is mourning; mourning that we are ever so divided and pauperized by an evil regime. In reality, there is nothing to celebrate.Respectfully,Neil Adams
Work on the office to house the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) at Onverwagt, West Coast Berbice in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) which began last year, has been completed.The NDIA office, which is situated alongside the Headquarters of the Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary-Agricultural Development Authority (MMA/ADA), will seek to upgrade the drainage system and make better provisions for drought in the Region.The soon-to-be commissioned Region Five office of the NDIAActing NDIA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dave Hicks said recently, “The NDIA knows that farmers anywhere, who have a 50 per cent fear of losing their crops or livestock to floods or drought, will not bother to farm. So the NDIA in Region Five, in particular, will work and support the agencies in doing whatever is necessary to boost farmers’ confidence in the D&I system and have them feel encouraged to cultivate and even expand their production of crops and livestock within the Region.”According to Hicks, all that is required to get the office up and running is the installation of connections for electricity to the building.The office will be manned by a senior engineer of the NDIA assisted by ancillary staff and he will support the MMA/ADA; the Regional Democratic Council and the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) in the Region to implement and monitor projects aimed at increasing the discharge capacity of rain-flood waters and the provision of irrigation for agricultural purposes during El Niño (drought) weather conditions.NDIA projects for 2018Among the projects the Region Five NDIA office will spearhead and support in 2018 are the upgrading of resuscitated sea sluices along the West Berbice Coast; the establishment of additional sluices and the provision of another electrical pump for drainage of West Berbice at Trafalgar. The NDIA will also look to increase the hydraulic efficiency of the tertiary and secondary drainage systems in Region Five with the provision of nine excavators. These machines will be at the disposal of the Regional Administration for routine remedial and emergency works along the Region Five coast.The NDIA’s office will also seek to boost the efficiency of drainage in the riverine areas. Projects to be undertaken in this area this year will include extending the polder behind Pine Ground to Gordon Table along the right bank of the Mahaicony River to protect cultivation plots from water coming in from the backlands; and installing a dual purpose pump at Mora Point, Mahaicony River, to provide either drainage or irrigation when necessary. The pump is to be acquired from India. Other projects include infrastructural upgrades for replenishment of the Abary Conservancy with water from the Berbice River and the drawing down of water from the upper reaches of the Mahaica River at Kuliserabo to supply the Perth/Biaboo Main Canal for the benefit of low-risk rice production aback Mahaicony.The NDIA will also fund the replacement of tail regulators for all the high-level irrigation canals within the MMA/ADA project area in West Berbice. This is to ensure better management of irrigation water supplies and less stress on the drainage system from free-flowing water into canals without tail gates.Hicks said the NDIA was assisting the MMA/ADA since that agency did not have the financial resources at the moment.
Shillong, Jul 6 (PTI) Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma today said the four-month-old Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government is “stable” and rubbished media reports of coalition partner People’s Democratic Front (PDF) pulling out of the alliance.The MDA comprises the National People’s Party (NPP) with 19 MLAs, the United Democratic Party (UDP) with 7 MLAs, the PDF with 4 MLAs, the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) and the BJP with 2 MLAs each, the NCP with 1 MLA and two Independents MLAs in the House of 60.”The government is stable. I had a talk with them (PDF MLAs) and there is no question of their withdrawal,” the chief minister said on the sideline of a programmehere.He said all MDA partners were “committed” to completing the five-year term.Sangma’s statement came in the wake of media reports of PDF chief P N Syiem, who is also the chief executive member of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), reportedly threatening to pull out of the MDA.The chief minister said the PDF might have some issues within the party with regard to the coalition politics in the KHADC.He, however, added that the issues of the district council might not necessarily affect the alliance government, and cited the example of how the coalition partner UDP is supporting the Congress in the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council.PDF MLA and Meghalaya Sports Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh told PTI, “We are moving ahead with the policies and programmes of the government and we are not withdrawing support.”advertisementHe said it was childish on the part of Syiem to make such alleged statements without first consulting the MLAs concerned.Currently, the strength of the Meghalaya Assembly stands at 58 after Congress MLA Martin M Danggo and NPP MLA Agatha K Sangma resigned.Danggo resigned as he will join the ruling NPP while Agatha resigned to make way for Conrad Sangma to get elected to the state Assembly.Conrad Sangma is currently the Lok Sabha MP from Tura. PTI JOP RG IJTIJT