Dear Editor,Some urgent intervention is needed to remedy the plight of workers at the Lethem Town Council.The structure in place at the Lethem Town Council is incapable of processing positive inputs to strengthen the weakened administrative system that was created in recent times.The Lethem Town Council is operating on a shoe string basis, under financial strains and handicapped in its human resource capacity.The interests of the workers are seriously neglected and compromised in the area of occupational safety and health, which contributes to counter-productive services to the citizenry of the Lethem municipality. Inappropriate and random decisions made frequently by the Town Clerk are allowed and puts the workforce in an awkward position to function effectively, where the fear of expressing one-self is evident.Not so long ago, I have noticed workers from the Lethem Town Council, working tirelessly in the baking sun; putting in place booths and structures for security, etc, in preparation for the recent Lethem Town Week Celebration 2018.Editor, I am privy to some information emanating from the labour force, of the Lethem Town Council, where workers are not being paid for their long hours of overtime, despite of many promises made by the Town Clerk.The Lethem Town Week celebration has now become the biggest and longest event in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), without the input of the labour force from these workers, the Lethem Town Week celebrations could not have materialised.This unjust treatment meted out to the workers of the Lethem Town Council is unacceptable and must not be allowed to go un-noticed for the second-time round.This situation warrants the attention of the relevant authorities, more so, Local Government Elections will be in less than two weeks’ time; as this issue appears to be self-inflicting, for one reason or the other.If the Lethem Town Council does so jeopardise its workers welfare, then by definition it’s no longer providing a service; thus, losing its legitimacy and defeating its purpose and motto “Working Together Harmoniously To Promote Equality And Transparency For The Benefit And Well Being Of All”.These workers deserve a handsome reward for their hard work.Sincerely,Concerned citizen ofLethem
The body of a young miner was in the wee hours of Monday morning found in the vicinity of Dagagoo Shop, Mahdia, Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) with suspected stab wound and marks of violence.Dead is Romel Daniels, 25, of Campbelltown, Mahdia.According to reports, Police in the area responded to a report of a body on the roadway. Upon arrival the Police found Daniels with a single stab wound to his abdomen and other marks of violence about his body.Upon the discovery, homicide detectives and crime scene officials visited the scene and collected several pieces of evidence. They also questioned several persons in respect of the stabbing incident. The body was taken to the Mahdia Mortuary, awaiting post mortem.The police are continuing their investigations into the murder and are pleading with possible eyewitnesses to come forward. They have not established a motive nor has anyone been arrested yet.
The Public Infrastructure Ministry recently held a blood drive and mini health fair, which saw the donationMinister within the Public Infrastructure Ministry Annette Ferguson interacts with a member of staff during the recent blood driveof approximately 30 units of blood.This exercise was a collaborative effort with the Public Health Ministry’s National Blood Transfusion Services (NTBS).At this time of the year, the Blood Bank is short of all blood types, particularly O-Negative and O-Positive, and with this in mind the Public Infrastructure Ministry thought it fit to play its part by encouraging staff members to donate blood.The health fair also saw services, such as glucose, eye, blood pressure, and HIV testing, as well as, mental health and dental screenings being offered.Minister within the Public Infrastructure Ministry, Annette Ferguson, was present during the activity and stressed the importance of maintaining one’s health and its link to productivity. She further urged those in attendance to conduct more regular health check-ups and emphasised that “prevention is always better than cure”.
BY SHEMUEL FANFAIRAn international audit on aviation is expected to be conducted into the operations of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCCA). Soon to be appointed Director General, Egbert Field, made this revelation at the welcoming ceremony of the inaugural flight of Fly AllWays airline at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport on Tuesday.His comments came on the heels that most air carriers operating out of Guyana are unable to land at airports in North America due to the lack of international Category One aviation status. On this note, Field told reporters that immediately upon him taking office, one of the priorities will be to raise the country’s level of compliance in line with the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).“No airline that is registered and based in Guyana has the ability to go to airports North America because we are in Category Two,” he noted.It was explained that ICAO representatives will soon be in Guyana to carry out an assessment after which it is hoped that the country can move from a Category Two status to Category One.“After the audit, depending on our level of compliance, we may have some corrective actions to do but I can see us moving toward Category One [which] we will gain from the FAA (Federal Aviation Authority)… gaining Category One will allow airlines starting up and basing themselves in Guyana will have the opportunity to fly to North America,” the new GCAA Director noted.With his 40 years of experience in the aviation sector, including some 30 years as a Guyana Airways pilot and later a stint in Jamaica’s Aviation Authority, Field posited that this has made him suitable to lead the country’s aviation sector.“I’m a retired Colonel, also a captain… with over 30 years experience flying – over 18,000 hours, I know what I can do for this industry and we may have a return to Guyana Airways in the future,” Field expressed.The retired military officer shared the view that Guyana achieving the improved aviation status is especially timely since he believes that air traffic will increase once the oil sector takes off.Established in March 2002, The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority is guided by Civil Aviation Act (2000) which governs navigation, licensing and security regulations for air transport services in Guyana.
Science students from the University of Guyana (UG) and Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, United States (US) were exposed to a unique opportunity to learn about enhancing capacities to support the oil and gas sector.The participating students outside of the University of Guyana’s compoundThis exercise was funded by a grant from the ExxonMobil through President Barrack Obama’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas Programme. In mid-July, UG students travelled to Lubbock to attend classes at the university and conduct experiments in state-of-the-art laboratories.The students gained a general understanding of the petroleum exploration process, introductory knowledge of the value chain associated with exploration and production of hydrocarbons. They also gained experience with Petrel software suite and utility in viewing seismic and petrophysical data.Outside of class, they visited the picturesque Caprock Canyons State Park to witness firsthand some of the sedimentary wonders that fascinate geologists today.Meanwhile, from July 24 to August 3, Texas Tech students travelled to Guyana where they were joined by their UG classmates to listen directly to the Natural Resources Minister on the steps Guyana is taking to ensure that the country is prepared for the production of petroleum that is set to begin in the next five years.ExxonMobil geologist, Richard McKenzie also spoke to the group and expressed the corporation’s delight in sponsoring such a worthwhile experience for the students. He encouraged students to continue their studies in the sciences and to be a part of making a positive difference in their countries – both in Guyana and the United States.Students travelled to Linden to see the bauxite mining areas and were briefed by the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) Chief Executive Officer on the history of bauxite in Guyana. Texas Tech students and faculty also went to Kaieteur Falls to experience the power and majesty of one of Guyana’s most impressive natural wonders.US Ambassador Perry Holloway expressed his strong support for the programme and confirmed to Texas Tech Professors Gad Perry and Dustin Sweet, as well as UG Professor Calvin Bernard, the willingness of the US Government to help Guyana transition into an oil-producing nation.The goal of 100,000 Strong in the Americas Programme – President Obama’s signature education initiative in the Western Hemisphere – is to increase the number of US students studying in the Western Hemisphere to 100,000 and the number of Western Hemisphere students studying in the United States to 100,000 by the year 2020. The initiative is aimed at enhancing hemispheric competitiveness, increasing prosperity, and preparing a more globally competent workforce.
Poultry meat and egg production is expected to increase in Regions Seven (Cuyni-Mazaruni) and Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) through the Guyana Livestock Development Authority’s (GLDA) “Black Giant Poultry” initiative.According to the Government Information News Agency (GINA) on Saturday, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the GLDA, Dr Dwight Walrond explained that the purpose of the Black Giant Poultry is to foster growth in egg and poultry meat production in the hinterland communities “as a means of mitigating the difficulties associated with access to poultry as a source of protein” by utilising a resilient species of poultry known as the “Black Giant” in the outlying areas.“Because of the logistics in moving feedstuff into the hinterland areas, we thought it best to have a breed that is adaptable to thosePoultryconditions. The Black Giant can scavenge well in the yard system so we don’t need these commercial feeds for those birds and when we look at the amount of eggs they produce per year and the amount of meat from each bird, we think that that is the ideal bird to assist our hinterland communities,” Dr Walrond related to GINA.Dr Walrond also stated that this strategy will be implemented in other hinterland and coastland regions, utilising the authority’s resources in the future.“We would have to work with Deep South, South Rupununi and if you know how these communities operate, we have a lot of village flocks, school flocks, women’s group and working with each one of them and supplying breeding stock to each one would be key,” Dr Walrond explained.It was also highlighted that facilitation is being made to guarantee that an adequate number of birds will be available for distribution to the communities.A major role will also be played by GLDA’s hatchery in Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara, in allowing the availability of hatchlings for the initiative.The GLDA official sees this project as a fruitful one in the future, “and I know, not only the hinterland communities will grab hold of that, but also some of the coastal communities because if you look at the cost of Creole eggs that’s a thriving business. On the coast now we have some farmers doing Creole eggs only,” Dr Walrond added.In accordance with the Ministry of Finance’s mid-year economic report, the country’s livestock industry grew by 0.8 per cent for the first half of 2016 compared to the corresponding period in 2015.The Black Giant Poultry initiative is expected to lead to greater productivity of chickens among livestock farmers, improve biosafety in the industry, as well as reduce the cost of protein sources for consumers in the hinterland.
Central Demerara Lions Club in collaboration with Central Georgetown Rotary Club and Humanitarian Assistance Programme (HAP) jointly donated over million in medical supplies, footwear and clothing to residents of Kuru Kururu, on the Soesdyke/Linden Highway.Over 250 residents benefited from this medical outreach and warmly welcomed the initiative.The recipient of the wheelchair along with members of the medical outreachGuyana Times was told that eye screening was conducted on 110 persons that enabled 80 residents to be in receipt of eye glasses. A large quantity of clothing and over 250 pairs of footwear were donated to the people of Kuru Kururu.In addition, medical check-ups were done on the residents and medical care was given to over 200 residents.Over 250 residents received dental services, which included extraction and filling. Upon the group’s learning of a resident’s medical condition that required a wheel chair, such was donated to the elderly man.A medical bus was used to facilitate the dental services that featured a long line of persons waiting to access the service.The medical outreach featured a number of members from each of the charity groups. President Dwarka Singh from the Central Demerara Lions Club expressed gratitude of being able to undergo such a massive project and pledges to continue the work of charity. President Rajesh Seebaran of Central Georgetown Rotary Club and Mr Stephen of HAP, Director from the USA echoed similar sentiments.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) says it will be deploying a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to West Africa to coordinate the U.S. Government’s response to the Ebola outbreak.The outbreak has so far sickened more than 1,600 people, and nearly 900 have died from the disease.The team, according to a U.S Embassy statement issued yesterday in Monrovia, will comprise staff from Agency’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, who will be overseeing critical areas of the response.The response will include planning, operations, logistics in coordination with other federal agencies, among them the U.S. Departments of Defense and Health and Human Services.Members of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will also serve on the DART to lead on public health and medical response activities, the statement has confirmed.USAID has also announced an additional US$5 million in assistance to help ramp up the international community’s Ebola response efforts.Specifically, the statement said, the funding will go toward the expansion of Ebola outbreak programs, which the Agency is already supporting in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.Accordingly, these programs help trace people who may be infected with the disease, as well as provide health clinics and households with hygiene kits, soap, bleach, gloves, masks, and other supplies to help prevent the spread of disease.USAID is also supporting outreach campaigns to provide information on Ebola and its symptoms to the general public and health workers in affected countries that may not be familiar with the disease.The statement said that these messages are being conveyed through radio, text messages, and through local media.In addition to the new funding, USAID has provided US$2.1 million to the United Nations (UN), World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Educational Fund (UNICEF) for the deployment of more than 30 technical experts, and other Ebola response efforts.The USAID is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid in response to President Obama’s pledge in his last year’s State of the Union Address to “join with our allies to eradicate extreme poverty, and other diseases in the next two decades.”It has adopted as its mission statement “to partner to end extreme poverty and to promote resilient, democratic societies, while advancing the security and prosperity of the United States.President John F. Kennedy, in whose memory Liberia’s major referral hospital, the JFK Medical Center, is named, created USAID in 1961 by executive order to implement development assistance programs in the areas authorized by the Congress in the Foreign Assistance Act. America’s development assistance before 1961 was channeled through the International Cooperation Administration (ICA).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
In support of the fight against the deadly Ebola virus in the Mano River Union basin, the Government of the People’s Republic of China Monday, August 11, donated US$1.7 million worth of assorted anti-Ebola materials to help support the efforts of the Government and people of Liberia.Speaking Monday at the handing over ceremony held at the Roberts International Airport in Margibi County, the Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, Yue Zhang, said Liberia and China are one community and the government of China will continue to be a partner to Liberia.“The government of China is donating drugs, personal protective equipment, thermometer guns and sanitizers among others, to help support the Government of Liberia efforts in combating the deadly Ebola virus from Liberia.”According to the Ambassador, the Chinese government is providing US$5 million worth of assorted materials to the Mano River Union MRU nations of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, to help contain the epidemic.He further disclosed that, in addition to supporting the fight against the deadly Ebola virus, the Government of China is sending three health experts to help provide the basic expertise and the training of local health workers on the uses of the donated assorted materials.“They are coming to help the health workers in Liberia, because some of the products are made in China and so, they need to advise the health practitioners on how to use those things as well as other necessary support that will kick the epidemic from Liberia,” Mr. Zhang said. The Chinese Ambassador said, the drugs provided to the Government of Liberia to combat the deadly Ebola virus will help to suppress the epidemic and those affected by the virus. “The equipment donated to Liberia is valued US$1.7 million in addition to donation we provided to the fight against the deadly Ebola virus,” the Ambassador disclosed. “The Government of China also provided a special cargo jet to deliver these assorted materials to the three countries and on time.”Asked whether the Chinese government had plans to evacuate its citizens from Liberia due to the epidemic, Amb. Zhang said his government is not advising its citizens to leave Liberia, rather he urged them to follow the advice given by Liberian health authorities, including hand-washing, avoidance of bodily contact and reporting of suspected cases, among others, for the safety of those in Liberia.According to the ambassador, China and Liberia, as well as the rest of Africa are one common community with the mind of holding each other, especially during such an emergency, adding that in 2010, the African countries were equally there for China.Receiving the assorted materials among others on behalf of the Government of Liberia, acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sylvester Grigsby, expressed thanks and appreciation to the Government of the People’s Republic of China, describing it as timely in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus.Mr. Grigsby said the assorted materials donated will help the government contain the epidemic in Liberia and ensure that more lives can be saved in the process.“This will enhance the government’s efforts in supporting the fight against the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia. We are very happy as it will help us reach the various counties and fight the virus.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
To ensure organizational efficiency and effectiveness, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has endorsed the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) Board’s approved Sustainability Action Plan (SAP) aimed at ensuring the viability of the entity so that it continues to pursue its mission to develop Liberia’s hydrocarbon resources.She said the board’s action plan calls for drastic steps to control costs and put NOCAL on a more viable financial footing, adding that these would include significant staff cuts, a reconstitution of the board and retirement and replacement of the senior executive leadership.Madam Sirleaf made this announcement during a press conference held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, held in Monrovia Tuesday.“I have mandated these steps because they are necessary to ensure that NOCAL can perform its duty to manage and develop Liberia’s oil resources, and to rectify recent mistakes in its performance,” she said.She recalled that the caliber of companies that were attracted to Liberia’s acreage to pursue exploration activities was also high, with major exploration deals struck between NOCAL and the world’s top oil companies, Chevron and Exxon Mobil, as well as the largest signature bonus of US$50 million ever for a “Frontier” country such as Liberia.President Sirleaf underscored that the execution of the production sharing contracts (PSCs) with these super major and other reputable international oil companies also resulted in significant interest in Liberia’s hydrocarbon sector with record licensing of seismic data and related revenue. She also noted that during this period, average revenue generated was US$30.5 million, compared to average annual revenue of US$4.5 million in prior years.This, according to her, translated into US$10.6 million annual payments to the Government’s Consolidated Fund.The average annual revenue for the sale of seismic data/component for the period 2010–2013, was US$15.6 million; a 300 % increase when compared to annual seismic revenue generated for earlier periods, she indicated.Madam Sirleaf also said that it was regrettable, commencing in the fourth quarter of 2013, NOCAL’s revenue for seismic data sale began a precipitous decline, during which total seismic revenue fell by 29 percent from the prior fiscal year and was compounded by the Ebola virus disease of 2014 that led to a reduction in investor interest across all economic sectors for the impacted West African region.“There is no doubt that the current oil price collapse and other external factors, including our recent Ebola challenge contributed to the current financial crisis that the company is facing,” She noted.She further intimated that despite the obvious decline in revenue that began in late 2013, NOCAL continued hiring staff at an alarming rate with exorbitant benefits resulting in the current wage bill of over US$7 million per annum.”She however emphasized that the alarming situation at NOCAL prompted her action to instruct NOCAL’s Board of Directors to take immediate action to ensure that the institution is restructured as well as to ensure most prudent handling of the country’s financial resources taking into account the Board’s Sustainability Action Plan.Meanwhile, President Sirleaf said the administrative actions became prudently compelling and a few members of the board will continue until an interim board is reconstituted.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)