Sugar industry assets were left to rot, punts missing

Dear Editor,

Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to visit the Skeldon, Rose Hall and Enmore estates as efforts are being made to resuscitate operations there. I had heard from others of the sad realities they met when they opened the estates gates and were able to walk around. I told myself maybe the situation wasn’t as bad. But as I set foot on those estates for the first time since their closure at the end of 2017, I recognised the situation was worse than what was described to me.

As I walked through the compounds of those estates I could not help but feel overwhelmed by sadness and then anger as I looked around and recognised the damage that was inflicted on these estates. I saw at Skeldon, for instance, very expensive pieces of machines left in the elements to rot and to be taken over by vegetation. I doubt that those machines can ever be fixed even by some of GuySuCo’s skilled artisans who can do wonders. At Enmore I saw with my own eyes, how equipment was apparently chopped up and stripped away and seemingly carted off. I learnt at Enmore that several pieces of equipment cannot be accounted for as it appears to have vanished.

I learnt too that at Enmore despite extensive checks hundreds of steel punts have disappeared. As I walked through those estates, I wondered what really transpired and how could millions, if not billions, of the Guyanese peoples assets just disappear. I wondered whether they were sold off and if the monies can be accounted for? As I walked through those estates I felt the pain that people faced was extended to the assets they cared for and kept working despite adversity. As I walked through the closed estates, I saw former staff compounds which were once teeming with life reduced to deserted wastelands. I saw beacons of hope reduced to machine graveyards. It was an awakening call for me.

Never have I ever in my many years in the sugar industry seen assets, owned by the people of our great nation, treated with such disdain, disregard and disrespect. Clearly those who superintended over the state of affairs must be made to answer. They cannot be allowed to remain in their cushy jobs with fat perks. They have violated the trust of the Guyanese people as they stripped fully functional estates of many assets. Clearly, those who played a leading role must be called to book. I have heard the President himself saying public officials must answer, and I believe those who led NICIL-SPU are responsible  and must give account of their actions and if guilty of any wrongdoing must face the consequences. However, as despondent as I was when I visited the estates, my hopes are buoyed. I have confidence in the workers and the managers appointed to reopen the closed estates. I have seen in the past how our collective efforts have led us out of the darkest tunnels and have seen now the commitment to right the wrongs. I am confident that we, once more, we will overcome the obstacles more imbued to become stronger and better.

Yours faithfully,

Seepaul Narine, M.P.

General Secretary

GAWU

Oil funds will remain untouched until reforms are ...
Oil sector a welcome addition to Guyana’s economy ...
>

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://guyanapassion.com/

Guyana Diaspora Online Forum

We have a large database of Guyanese worldwide.  Most of our readers are in the USA, Canada, and the UK.  Our Blog and Newsletter  would not only carry  articles and videos on Guyana, but also other articles on a wide range of subjects that may be of interest to our readers in over 200 countries, many of them non-Guyanese  We hope that you like our selections.

It is estimated that over one million Guyanese, when counting their dependents, live outside of Guyana.  This exceeds the population of Guyana, which is now about 750,000.  Many left early in the 50’s and 60’s while others went with the next wave in the 70’s and 80’s.  The latest wave left over the last 20 years. This outflow of Guyanese, therefore, covers some three generations. This outflow still continues today, where over 80 % of U.G. graduates now leave after graduating.  We hope this changes, and soon.

Guyanese, like most others, try to keep their culture and pass it on to their children and grandchildren.  The problem has been that many Guyanese have not looked back, or if they did it was only fleetingly.  This means that the younger generations and those who left at an early age know very little about Guyana since many have not visited the country.  Also, if they do get information about Guyana, it is usually negative and thus the cycle of non-interest is cultivated.

This Guyana Diaspora Online Forum , along with its monthly newsletter, aims at bringing Guyanese together to support positive news, increase travel and tourism in Guyana and, in general, foster the birth of a new Guyana, which has already begun notwithstanding the negative news that grabs the headlines.  As the editor and manager of the publication, I am committed to delivering Blog entries and Newsletters that are politically balanced, and focused on the positive ideas we wish to share and foster among Guyanese.

Go to top