$150M cemetery restoration project ongoing
DPI, GUYANA, Wednesday, January 3, 2018
In what could be called an ongoing project, the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) of Georgetown has commenced a $150M restoration exercise of the Le Repentir Cemetery.
The project which commenced late last year is part of a wider strategy to sustainably restore the city of Georgetown.
Speaking to the Department of Public Information (DPI) today, Town Clerk, Royston King explained that the Council is taking an aggressive approach to ensure the thorough restoration of the area.
“We have hired under the emergency clause of the Act, a contractor with the human competencies and technological capability to clear the cemetery and help us restore it.”
The restoration work includes the removal of overgrown bushes and using an “environmentally friendly chemical” to help with the overgrowth and hanging trees. The contractor is also clearing and weeding all canals and waterways in the cemetery.
It is the first time that the Council has hired a contractor to assist with the upkeep of the cemetery. King said previously, persons hired by the Council would simply weed, leaving the Council with the added responsibility of finding more money to have the cemetery cleaned again.
According to King, the new arrangement with the contractor will not only help to secure the integrity of the cemetery but will also help to Council to save money. The contractor will work along with the Council’s technical team to ensure a robust maintenance program, which will be ongoing over a three-month period.
“We started late last year, and these works will continue until maybe two or three months because there are a number of things we have to do within the cemetery and we are very happy about the support from citizens and stakeholders,” he told DPI.
Support has been flowing in from especially religious groups, including Catholics and Muslims that have burial spaces in the cemetery.
The Town Clerk disclosed that the Council last year, spent in excess of $80M, while $60M was expended the previous year on the cemetery.
The Council is also hoping that later this year it could galvanize the support of family members of persons buried in the cemetery, to have them be part of a massive clean-up campaign.
“We are asking that when it is announced that those who are concerned that they will cooperate because we need to paint the tombs, we need to have the cemetery looking like a real cemetery… it is really important that we take some time and remember our loved ones and take some time to make this area one that we can be proud of.”
This project runs in excess of $150M, and according to the Town Clerk, much more still needs to be done. In fact, King told DPI that the Council plans to restore the gates and fences of the cemetery and plans are also in the pipeline to construct another crematorium. The development of roads in the cemetery is part of the current work package.
Royston King used the opportunity to call on citizens to pay up their rates to assist in the restoration process.
By: Alexis Rodney
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