Put Guyana 1st, focus on removal of this Govt

first_imgDear Editor,Some people seem to feel that running a Government is a sole proprietor business – a one-man business – but this is so far from the truth.It is a known fact that a Party goes into an election with a manifesto which sells the party to the electorate. If the party wins, then it is a team effort comprised of persons who should have the ability to deliver on those promises. In addition, there are many advisors who are strategically appointed to assist these persons. The presidential elect not only gives guidance but takes guidance.In Guyana, the coalition and the new kids on the block with their handful of supporters, some claiming to be disgruntled PPP members and supporters, are hammering away at the election of Mr Irfaan Ali as the PPP’s presidential candidate, making their repetitive rounds of personal attacks while claiming that he is “Jagdeo’s third term”.Bharrat Jagdeo has always been the focus of attack in and out of Office; his salary, his pension, his “mansion” as is claimed. Yet even the Prime Minister is now earning more than him and living the “Cadillac” lifestyle. This Government utilised great efforts and massive financial resources to ensure that he does not get a third term as President since they are mortally afraid of his sharp intellect and his topnotch statesmanship. The decision of the Caribbean Court of Justice did not deter or daunt his spirit. It must be recalled by Guyanese that after the PPP’s defeat by a one-seat majority he rose from the ashes like the proverbial Phoenix and began a political crusade that was unrelenting in exposing the corruption and thievery of the coalition. His weekly press conferences were just as eagerly looked forward to as “Days of Our Lives”!Eventually, he strategised and orchestrated the downfall of the APNU/AFC Government; something which hardly anyone had believed would have been possible. Jagdeo’s relentless pursuit bore fruit and gave hope to the hopeless in this country which had begun to fall into the abyss of social and economic degradation. But while he did the Herculean task, some were waiting like the hyenas to partake from the kill of the lion. A few of these were in the media headlines for all the wrong reasons! Now he is being vilified once again by those heartless opportunists who never even bat an eyelid for their country. But I know that it will never derail his focus of ensuring the good life for his people!As I recall, when Donald Ramotar became the presidential candidate twice for the PPP, there were no cries, wails and gnashing of teeth. He was not seen as the surrogate or puppet of Jagdeo. He was acceptable because they knew that they could outmanoeuvre him at any time. In fact, they dubbed him the “Lame Duck”! The then Opposition took full advantage of this and Nagamootoo tabled a no-confidence motion which saw his Government’s downfall. Ramotar was the “perfect” opponent and now the coalition wants another one. However, when one listened to the debates and presentations of Irfaan Ali, it is evident that he has what it takes to not only run this country but to destroy the corruption posse and thwart the efforts of the APNU/AFC to bring down his Government if needs be. He has that charisma, courage and competence and enough has been said about his achievements as a Minister. Let them call it what they want but Irfaan Ali is no Donald Ramotar and will never be an easy walkover!Finally, as a member of the PPP, I am in total agreement with the election of any presidential candidate since I have full confidence in the ability of my Party to choose the best candidate. The Central Committee has 35 potential candidates from which one must be chosen. When I was with the Alliance for Change I had no problem with either Trotman or Ramjattan being the presidential candidate. When I joined the PPP, I had no problem with Ramotar being the presidential candidate twice and today I have no problem with Irfaan Ali being the presidential candidate. Let us put Guyana first and focus on the removal of this Government. God Bless our presidential candidate and God Bless Guyana!Yours sincerely,Haseef YusufRDC CouncillorRegion Sixlast_img read more

‘Collecting Water is Often a Colossal Waste of Time for Women’ – UNICEF

first_imgUNICEF says the 200 million hours women and girls spend every day; collecting water is a colossal waste of their valuable time. As World Water Week gets underway in Stockholm and experts gather to try to improve the world’s access to water, the UN children’s agency stressed that the opportunity cost of lack of access to water disproportionately falls on women, according to a press release.“Just imagine: 200 million hours is 8.3 million days, or over 22,800 years,” said UNICEF’s global head of water, sanitation and hygiene Sanjay Wijesekera. “It would be as if a woman started with her empty bucket in the Stone Age and didn’t arrive home with water until 2016. Think how much the world has advanced in that time. Think how much women could have achieved in that time.“When water is not on premises and needs to be collected, it’s our women and girls who are mostly paying with their time and lost opportunities,” he added.The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal for water and sanitation, Goal 6, calls for universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water by 2030. The first step is providing everyone with a basic service within a 30-minute round trip, and the long term goal is to ensure everyone has safe water available at home. However, UN estimates are that in sub-Saharan Africa, for example, for 29 per cent of the population (37 per cent in rural areas and 14 per cent in urban areas), improved drinking water sources are 30 minutes or more away.In sub-Saharan Africa, one round-trip to collect water is 33 minutes on average in rural areas and 25 minutes in urban areas. In Asia, the numbers are 21 minutes and 19 minutes respectively. However for particular countries the figures may be higher. A single trip takes longer than an hour in Mauritania, Somalia, Tunisia and Yemen. When water is not piped to the home the burden of fetching it falls disproportionately on women and children, especially girls. A study of 24 sub-Saharan countries revealed that when the collection time is more than 30 minutes, an estimated 3.36 million children and 13.54 million adult females were responsible for water collection. In Malawi, the UN estimates that women who collected water spent 54 minutes on average, while men spent only 6 minutes. In Guinea and the United Republic of Tanzania average collection times for women were 20 minutes, double that of men. For women, the opportunity costs of collecting water are high, with far reaching effects. It considerably shortens the time they have available to spend with their families, on child care, other household tasks, or even in leisure activities. For both boys and girls, water collection can take time away from their education and sometimes even prevent their attending school altogether. Collection of water can affect the health of the whole family, and particularly of children. When water is not available at home, even if it is collected from a safe source, the fact that it has to be transported and stored increases the risk that it is faecally contaminated by the time it is drunk. This in turn increases the risk of diarrheal disease, which is the fourth leading cause of death among children under 5, and a leading cause of chronic malnutrition, or stunting, which affects 159 million children worldwide. More than 300,000 children under 5 die annually from diarrhoeal diseases due to poor sanitation, poor hygiene, or unsafe drinking water – over 800 per day.“No matter where you look, access to clean drinking water makes a difference in the lives of people,” said Wijesekera. “The needs are clear; the goals are clear. Women and children should not have to spend so much of their time for this basic human right.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more