MoPI’s Task Force working with stakeholders to remove street dwellers

DPI, GUYANA, Friday, March 23, 2018

The Ministry of Public Infrastructure (M0PI), through its National Task Force Secretariat, is working to reduce the number of street dwellers in Georgetown.

In a recent interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Head of the Secretariat, Sewnauth Punalall said the effort is a collaborative one with the Ministry of Social Protection that focuses not only on improving the city’s aesthetic. It will also ensure these persons are housed in a clean and safe environment.

Head of the National task Force, MOPI, Sewnauth Punalall.

“In terms of transportation, we would like to see the free flow of traffic because many of them (street dwellers) use the road in such a way it disrupts traffic and sometimes when we clear the drains they would throw litter in, clogging them. In that regard, we are concerned about their humane removal into an institution where they can be better-taken care of.”

He disclosed that in 2017, the Secretariat and other stakeholders embarked on a pilot project which resulted in 20 persons, from various locations across Georgetown, being screened and removed from the streets.

The results from the exercise showed that most street dwellers are genuinely homeless; others are stricken with contagious diseases and have no family members to care for them; while some are alleged offenders camouflaged as homeless persons.

The Ministry’s National Task Force Secretariat attends to issues related to drainage, national transportation, solid waste management and the removal of derelict vehicles. The Secretariat is part of a National Task Force committee, which comprises representatives from the Task Force of various ministries.

The Secretariat projects are funded by the ministry’s budget.

A street dweller.

 

By: Ranetta La Fleur

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