July 23, 2021

Georgetown, Guyana

For Immediate Release to All Media

ALLIANCE FOR CHANGE PRESS STATEMENTS

FROM JULY 23, 2021 VIRTUAL PRESS CONFERENCE

WASTE DISPOSAL CHALLENGES IN REGION 6 –

Khemraj Ramjattan, M.P., Leader, Alliance For Change

The Alliance For Change, AFC, after having heard a number of complaints from its Region 6 supporters concerning the dysfunctional waste disposal arrangements, wishes to urge the PPP government to ensure that the RDC’s and NDC’s within that Region identify waste disposal sites. These sites must be identified in accord with the

standards of the Environment Protection Agency (EPA).

From all appearances, businesses and consumers are not reducing the consumption of single use plastics; and, they both have been indiscipline in their garbage disposal methods. This has resulted in ugly, unhealthy, and hazardous dumping locations in the Region.

The AFC stresses the need to grant an increased subvention to NDC’s countrywide specifically for garbage disposal. There may be the need for consideration of each household paying a minimal fee, after consultation with the NDCs, of $2,500 per year so that the necessary finances are procured to offset costs for this purpose. This was a proposal offered by some residents. The NDC can provide these garbage disposal services or can contract it out to private firms to so do.

The education of the citizenry on the need to be sanitary through activities at the the RDC and NDC level will certainly assist in instilling a more disciplined approach by one and all to realise environmentally friendly spaces.

FLOOD RELIEF EFFORTS – Devin Sears, M.P.

The Alliance for Change recognizes and is closely monitoring the flood situation across Guyana, and even at this time, as we muster strength to overcome our losses, regroup and rebuild, the AFC empathizes with those who are severely affected.

The Alliance for Change makes it emphatically clear that it is disappointed in the government’s handling of this disaster, one of the worst in our country’s history. Taking note of the displacement of families, the death of thousands of livestock, and the drowning of farms, to name a few, there are clearly no structural plans to deliver relief and humanitarian aid.

Over the last few months, we have observed the selective distribution of hampers in the name of political allegiance to the PPP supporters, while others bare the wrath of hunger and discomfort.

One of the hardest hit regions by these floods is Upper Demerara/Berbice, which is still grappling with more than 10 ft of flood water; more specifically, Kwakwani, Hururu, Rockstone, and now recovering Moritaro, Malali, River’s View and Lower Kara. The residents lack access to purified water, are faced with rationed electricity (if any at all), limited groceries, failing nutrition, no access to proper sanitation facilities, and possibly face an outbreak of water-borne diseases.

With the limited resources and network, the Alliance for Change to date has delivered relief to residents in Regions 3, 4, 5, and 10; this role out exercise will continue until lives are returned to a level of normalcy. I must inform you that, through our membership and network, we are able to supply Kwakwani and now Aorima every weekend with freshly baked bread and supplements for the children, and will be working closely with the residents to construct water purification hubs, one of which will commence over this weekend.

These efforts even stretch further, with the setting up of Region # 10 disaster relief group made up of key stakeholders; who are able to navigate and fill gaps where the PPP continues to fail, but more help is needed and we are counting on you donors to step up and contribute to these efforts.

The Alliance for Change reminds the PPP regime that, though installed, it must be a government for all and we would like answers to the following on behalf of Guyanese:

  • When will the 10 billion Guyana flood relief, approved by parliament be disbursed, if it has not begun?
  • What structural plan is in place to ensure equitable distribution and transparency.
  • Give practical and justifiable reasons for the refusal of aid from CARICOM sister Trinidad and Tobago, knowing it was much needed.

· We ask the government to give an account for all donations and monetary aid given.

As Guyanese, we have always been a resilient people. We are overcomers and we will overcome these tragic times. We ask Guyanese, corporate entities and donors, to give what they have to support those in need. God bless Guyana.

The PPP regime’s COVID-19 patchwork policy is a catalogue of contradictions

Sherod Duncan, Member of Parliament, A.F.C

The PPP regime are boastful that they have purchased the most vaccines among CARICOM nations, if so, however, one has to add the caveat ‘some have not been WHO approved’ like SPUTNIK V and when we include shady characters, over pricing and very poor delivery, it leaves much to be desired.

We note the severe scrutiny of SPUTNIK V, regarding in particular the procurement of the vaccine, not only by the APNU+AFC, but by the Norwegian publication VG. In their article "Sputnik for Sale", they turned the spotlight on Sheik Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum’s dealings. More recently, The Moscow Times, “A Royal Mark Up: How an Emirati Sheikh Resells Millions of Russian Vaccines to the Developing World”, again raised the issue of the Sheik’s questionable involvement, and the lengthy delays in delivery even though the cost via the Sheik’s dealings is way above market prices. As a matter of fact, The Moscow Times noted that Guyana paid the highest price among nations dealing with the mercurial middleman.

We note as well that due to the delays the PPP regime moved past the Shiek to deal directly with the Russian authorities recently, as the PPP regime was running out of time to deliver the second dose of SPUTNIK-V. Many questions on the procurement of the vaccine have still gone unanswered by the PPP regime. Suffice to say, as a Party we have heard and noted the voice of renown activist Eusi Kwayana recently in the press, in which he stated very strongly that the PPP initially said al-Maktoum was interested in investments locally only, but that he and the PPP regime "desired to deceive" the people of Guyana. We cannot help but agree!

We are concerned not only about every Guyanese having access to vaccines, but the quality of the vaccines and the arrangement which facilitates same are equally important to us. We note that a batch of Moderna vaccines came to Guyana recently and were given to a select few and Minister of Health Frank Anthony remains opposed to disclosing who was the generous benefactor. So much for the much-promised transparency and accountability.

It is issues like these which help to produce vaccine hesitancy. The regime wants trust in a system which every day becomes more and more opaque.

We have noted statements attributed to Minister of Labour Joe Hamilton that it remains illegal for employers to mandate workers must take the vaccines. This seems to jar with the Private Sector Commission’s recent statement that ‘Employees of businesses must be vaccinated’, if the Guyana Chronicle is to be believed these days. But overnight, we even saw the head of the PPPs regime, Irfaan Ali, stating that "You have to get tough" regarding persons not taking the vaccines. Exactly what this means has been elusive. This statement is as nebulous as the regime’s policy on COVID-19.

Additionally, we witnessed the Chief of Staff, Godfrey Bess defend the Guyana Defence Force’s new direction of compulsory vaccination; again, this is in spite of what the regime articulates as the law.

Finally, the Minister of Education recently said the reopening of school will be dictated by the Ministry of Health, and one would assume based on the status of COVID-19’s spread or the curtailing of this most deadly virus. But as we have seen, no sooner this was done, Irfaan Ali overruled it, saying, ‘No second guessing, schools are reopening’. We have to assume the regime knows more about abating of spread of the virus than the daily deaths and additional confirmed positive cases reveal, and certainly they know more about the spread of the Alpha and Delta variants than they are letting on, as so much of their management of COVID-19 remains shrouded in secrecy!

We continue to say that Guyanese must take their health into their own hands, get all the facts and then make informed decisions.

END.