Tony Vieira's Comments
18 October 2017

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Infrastructure Failure
(Aired 25 July 2006)

   A few days ago my friend Stanley Ming gave me a disk with some photographs on it, now like me Stanley Ming is essentially a businessman, so it is very doubtful that he, like me, would ever accept political office but he is and has been giving of his enormous experience and knowledge to help develop Guyana. We are a lot alike, Stanley and I, we both do not think that the PPP have done a proper job of running this country, in fact we both believe that our economy is close to, if not, already collapsed ant that we are as the World Bank described us last year, a failed state. In my other commentary this week according to credible polls 65% of you agree.

   We are also victims of massive PPP victimisation, in Ming's case he is the local agent for Mitsubishi motor vehicles and it is an unwritten law in this country that any returning Guyanese intending to bring back a vehicle is told, in advance, by the people who handle these matters that if they are bringing back a Mitsubishi car, pickup or van or truck they are out of luck since it will not be allowed in duty free. Of course no government department will buy anything that Ming sells and it is also possible that the PPP uses its political influence to prevent supporters from buying Ming's Products and Services. So there is a deliberate policy to systematically pauperise Ming just as there is one to pauperise me, the removal of the lottery draw from VCT to NCN in October this year is an example, the government coerced and threatened Canadian Bank Note that if they did not agree to take the draw away from me and give it to NCN, their contract to conduct the National Lottery in Guyana will not be renewed, the PPP made substantial concessions to Canadian Bank Note to do this draw at NCN just to get at me ladies and gentlemen, imagine denying the consolidated fund of money just to victimise and spite me. But that's OK, because I don't think that the PPP will be around for long. I'll be here when we place them in front of the courts for the massive corruption and misdemeanours in public office they have been guilty of.

   But how can the Canadian High Commission stand by and allow a Canadian Company to be pressured in this fashion by a third world country, simply to victimise me for telling you the truth. Where is the Canadian Government's commitment to free speech?  But all of this will be handled properly at the right time in a court.

   There is another thing that Ming and I have in common; we both sustain deadly blows to our businesses as reprisals for our political views and actions, there is a big difference between not getting a chance to get your piece of the national pie compared to a deliberate, systematic destruction of your business, but the people for whom we are fighting really do not help us. I guess that you feel that we can protect ourselves; nothing can be further from the truth, when a government decides to victimise anyone and when they can twist the rule of law itself to do it, they can destroy you, I don't care who you are or how incompetent they are, they can destroy you and this PPP government is destroying Ming and they are destroying me. So we are forced to ask the question why are we doing it?  It is a question we both need an answer to, and we need an answer not only from the local people we speak up for, but the International Community as well since they are lending massive amounts of money to a government which is too busy victimising me and Ming and a few others and looting the national treasury to fill their pockets, and are not doing what they were elected to do, which is to run your affairs efficiently and honestly and to protect you.

   So now we come back to the disk that Ming gave me it contained photographs which Stanley took from an aeroplane and from the ground along the coast from Onverwagt to Parika. Since I live in Region 3 I will deal it first, from these pictures which were taken from an aeroplane it shows many areas where the sea defences are failing in a big way, what is hilarious is that when Jagdeo was abusing the consolidated fund by using state money to campaign in the guise of a cabinet outreach two weeks before he declared an election, while he was speaking to the residents in region 3 what you are seeing was going on behind him a few rods to the north of where he stood, these pictures disclose that the sea defences have completely failed in several areas and have left huge gouges in the coast where the sea walls have collapsed and new dams have been erected leaving the old sea defences out to sea  just like the PPP, and only a few trees and a piece of high ground is separating the residents from the Atlantic Ocean, these weaknesses can give way at any moment, these pictures of the Vreed en Hoop to Parika area are absolutely frightening, you can clearly see that the battle with the ocean is being lost and the ocean is eroding the shoreline that exists now. You can also see that most of these areas are heavily populated and the property of the residents are under threat, I suppose that if you are living along the West Demerara coast you will recognise your houses in the background. The oceans are rising because of global warming how long will this incompetence keep the ocean out of your backyards?

    Some of the pictures show that the rip rap fixes are also failing and are over topping in many areas, It is a very sobering thought, the incompetence of this government is only now really coming to light, of course we knew that they were messing up the economy of the place, we could see that from tangible things everywhere around us, no jobs, poor salaries, poor economy I listed some of them last night for you, but here is what is going on in places where we do not see daily.

   The next group of pictures are from Buxton if you look carefully you will see that all of the sea wall concrete show extreme signs of stress, there are fractures everywhere and one picture shows the complete destruction of the sea wall.

   Now tell me after wasting our resources over the past 14 years where is this poor nation going to get the money to repair these massive failures? It will cost billions; and it has to be done properly whatever repairs you see going on in this picture seem to me to be woefully inadequate given the pounding of the Ocean waves on these sea defences. This other picture also from Buxton shows a completely collapsed sea wall. These are very recent pictures as far as my information goes so this is the situation today.

   Look at this picture from Good Hope, the old sea wall is some distance out to sea completely reclaimed by the ocean actually it would be funny if the ultimate consequences were not so tragic, in the next picture take a good look at where this old koker is now located, its out to sea, telling me that the drainage and irrigation board and the PPP are losing the battle with the ocean. And it was bound to happen, their corruption, incompetence and inexperience guaranteed it and we were bound to pay the price sometime. Now if the old koker is out to sea, has it been replaced? Or is drainage non existent there now and has to be routed to overload some other existing structure. This picture is also from Good Hope shows what is causing all of the problems, it is silted up and useless outfall channels like this which cannot drain the water from inside which cause flooding.

    Now we come to my favourite pictures at the Onverwagt pumps which relieves the MMA during flood, look at the size of the original pumps, there Are 4 of them, none are working and when earlier this year the Mahaicony area was flooded after only moderate rainfall; what we have in this country which impersonates a Drainage & Irrigation Board put these two pathetic little pumps to replace the 4 monster pumps that the original design called for, but look closely at the condition of the 4 big pumps, they are completely rusted and useless. Also look at these two kokers at Onverwagt, now ladies and gentlemen I ask you, we designed a system with 4 monster pumps and in the process these two kokers became useless and were abandoned, now however, since the pumps are no longer functional, shouldn't these two structures be renovated to help relieve the high water at Mahaicony after only a moderate rainfall as happened earlier this year. I am not just talking and making wild accusations, I am presenting you with facts and evidence which suggests that the entire coast is crumbling, it is a situation which is fraught with grave danger to those poor people living along the costal plain especially in the Demerara, West Berbice and Essequibo counties and this government is doing nothing to protect you from the disasters that can result from this criminal negligence. They are too preoccupied victimising me and Ming and anyone who speak out against them.