WATER MORE THAN CORN FLOUR                   02 02 2012


It takes a very un-common wisdom, foresight and an appetite for coexistence to manage the land of many waters, Guyana.  The name and meaning suggests in its portfolio and trajectory that the administration has to be up to speed and do not feel surprised and overwhelmed when a lil-bit-a-rain falls.

The Jagdeo/Ramotar government have not been learning from the pain and suffering of the people, especially in the barrios where their supporters live.  The bottom houses, even though extravagant, are not big enough to store the tons of cash crops that had to be reaped prematurely because of the leaking skies.  Worse, they cannot find willing hands to harvest the eschallots, bora, baigon, callaloo et al that support lifestyles in the Cane Grove/Mahaica delta. 

As a new president, Ramotar should have been out there with a banana leaf over his head rather than sipping a chemical cocktail hoping for a better outcome.  The environment and needs of the people does not seem to inform the decisions of the duo; bullying and handing out laptops and lexwees is a band aid for the suffering and sufferers.  But I should know better.
The Mahaica people did not support their homeboy Roseann and he could be twice as willful and malicious as they are, all other things being equal.

Jagdeo made it a point of duty to put wheels on his heels and poor President Ramotar is operating by remote control.  He lacks the will, the courage to be a retail politician and give wholesale support.  He needs a will to work, to think, to act, share and care.  But the Guyanese people have bounced back from worse than this; the duo are making themselves worse off by withholding their resources, real and perceived.

Port Mourant and scores of other ethnic enclaves on the Corentyne, are under water.  I never knew that the community that Cheddie Jagan cultivated, courted and controlled could be immersed in water.  The people in Region Six are hitting themselves over the head for barking up the wrong tree. They  were caught with their drawers and pants down because they were assured by the PPP of prosperity, privileges and provisions.  Something went wrong along the way.  The people who have been living wrong are questioning the efficacy and sincerity of the duo custodians.  Talk half. Leff half.
Water in they kerreh; water more than corn flour.

Durban Street which links downtown Georgetown with residential communities like Wortmanville, Lodge, the Ruimveldlts,  Durban Backlands and areas around the cultural center have taken on an outlook all of their own.  Water and debris punctuated by carcasses of domesticated and farm animals, plastic bags, disposable napkins and just stuff. It is embarrassing.  My friend Chin, who had a rum shop in Alberttown, lost his son to leptospirosis…the first casualty of the flood.

North, South, East West, East La Penitence (including Festival City) and the home of Mayor Hamilton Green, had been declared the official barometer for floods.   Again, the politicians need a trowel to spread civility and not be driven by what ails them.  When the ego is foremost, failure is in tandem.  In other words where the mind goes the behind goes.

When Durban Street floods, then Georgetown is submerged, according to the spit press.  A new generation of water taxis (horizontal fridges), have been ferrying people in several urban and rural communities.  Snakes, rats, toads, alligators and other reptilian animals are now a student’s companion.  School age boys have been tracking them down and playing roadside soccer in knee high water.

New Amsterdam residents especially, recall the immediate firing of ‘Mr Potsalt’ by the PPP regional authorities some years ago.  Information received suggests that one of the Bynoes, a very prominent family in the area had a bhagwat…a bash for his birthday.  Potsalt, on his way to work as an irrigation technician the evening in question, stopped in to get a plate and perhaps a slight beer.  Posalt became engrossed, enveloped and consumed over and above normal levels of everything.  By the time he emerged to take care of the koker, water was up to his waist.  He and all almost turned to water.  They fired him that Sunday morning.

This week after seeing and experiencing a flood of similar magnitude, Potsalt is saying:   “Dem fire me fuh da lil bit water, now water more than corn flour; why dem na fire God too?”

The scarcity of chicken, beef, fish and pork is forcing some residents and farmers to throw up their hands in despair.  One chicken farmer at Melanie Damishana on the East Coast is reported to have ejected his wife from the master bedroom and installed baby chicks so as to brood them for market in 6 to 8 weeks.

North American, Caribbean and other persons coming to Guyana via Timehri, especially those travelling to regions five West Berbice and six East Berbice are being urged to use speedboats that ply between Garden of Eden and Mahaicony.  It costs about G2,000 towels per person and an additional towel for each suitcase.  Water more than corn flour.

Burials too are being affected.  One woman who took her husband home last weekend to be buried at La Repentir next to his mom, was shunted to Linden.
The wife declined and brought the corpse back to New Jersey and buried him in the Linden cemetery located in a suburb near Elizabeth/Newark in New Jersey.  She subsequently discovered that they were putting her husband vertically at the Linden NJ cemetery even though she paid for a horizontal grave.  The technique is that “the family has to request a horizontal funeralisation; you ask you get it; you don’t ask, you don’t get it.  Get it?” said the funeral director.

To further illustrate this marketing ploy let us say you go to Mc Donalds to buy a flask of juice or milk shake.  There are four sizes:  extra large (supersize), large, medium and small.  The cashier charges you for the supersize and unless you the customer is specific and say supersize, he/she would give you any other size except the one you paid for.  It is called focused marketing.

The same thing too if you buy a car, you pay up front for one year’s servicing but unless you ask for the pin number and certificate, the dealers will not honor that agreement even though you paid.  Water more than corn flour.

President Ramotar has to strip off the khaki-bow tie and hop in a moving freezer and go visit his ppeps in all the coastal regions.  East Berbice is reeling.  Molson Creek, the place where ferries depart for Nickerie, has seen increased flow of traders and illegal importation of food.
While some are suffering, others are making money at black market prices.  I suppose that is the ways of the world.  Water more than corn flour.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by francis Jackson on February 3, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Your article above grabbed my attention. I grabbed a cup of tea and continue to read until finished. Well written, continue writing, we can all learn something.


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