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|Saturday, 09 June 2012 23:51|
Negligent koker operator still on the job
--awaiting disciplinary action
--residents hoping for compensation
KINGSTON, Georgetown residents have collectively lost millions of dollars in personal and other effects, and their homes are still in a state of confusion three days after the recent flooding occasioned by the negligence of a drunken koker attendant. Residents, in pondering their next move, are hoping for possible compensation, although many of them are not too optimistic in this regard, since the man is employed by the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC)which has, over the last few years in particular, been consistently crying “broke”, declaring itself cash strapped.
The Guyana Chronicle has been reliably informed that the errant koker attendant is still on the job awaiting sanctions that will be recommended. The matter is reportedly being investigated by the personnel department and training committee of City Hall, which are expected to compile and submit their reports to the Council, which will then deliberate on the possible sanctions. Word is that the Committee has already begun taking statements from several persons involved in the matter.
Last Thursday morning, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Colin Coral, indicated that that ministry had investigated the matter, and was proceeding to dispatch a letter recommending immediate dismissal for the errant sluice operator. Efforts to contact Croal yesterday were futile, because he is not presently in the jurisdiction.
This publication sought to confirm whether that letter of dismissal was dispatched to City Hall.
On Thursday also, PS Croal had indicated that that ministry would be exploring other possible criminal negligence charges which could be brought against the sluice operator.
One resident, Jimmy Mc Donald, is nursing a swollen foot as a result of the water and subsequent heat from a bus engine which he usually drives to provide for his family. Speaking with the Chronicle, he related that after spending close to 24 hours in the water cleaning and trying to save household items from further water damage, he resorted to his normal routine of driving a route 45 minibus. The day after that experience, he awoke to severe pain in his left foot. At first he thought it to be a cold, but later realized that the foot was swollen. He said he was unable to seek medical attention, since he was unable to walk.
McDonald said his foot is presently unable to take the weight of his body; thus he has to sit most of the time, and he struggles to make it to the washroom.
In addition to the pain in his left foot, McDonald said, he is faced with the added stress of wondering who, if anyone at all, would compensate him for his losses. The flood has forced him to discard two fans, a computer monitor, and other items. One of his television sets is also on the verge of being out of order, since it is now experiencing electrical problems.
The family is hoping that the weather improves substantially over the next few days, to save them from discarding even more house hold articles. Mc Donald pointed to his chair sets, rugs, fridge, beds and kitchen appliances that were all affected by the flood water. He said some of those items need to be placed in the sun if they are to be saved.
Further up the street, another woman expressed frustration at the whole situation. She commented that she was totally confused, and was not finding the strength to start the cleaning process, adding that she did not know where to start. The woman, a pensioner, said she has been living in the area for more than twenty years, and this is the first time that flood waters have entered her home.
She explained that her home was spared the ravages of the 2005 flood, which saw Guyana being declared a state of emergency.
In a brief look around the woman’s home, almost everything was stacked on each other, as carpets and other floor mats were removed to facilitate the sweeping out of water. This publication advised the woman to put on some sort of footwear, as she was walking around barefooted on the damp concrete house.
Just next door where a shop is located, the proprietress was determined not to allow the tragedy to cause her to lose any more revenue. Her place of business was opened, and loyal customers could be seen making purchases as some sat and discussed the whole issue.
Behind the counter, the woman was busy supervising two electricians whom she had hired to check on two freezers and one refrigerator which she had in the shop, and which came into contact with the flood waters. While the woman had other damaged items, the three items listed above were valued at almost Cdn$900 estimated, for the three items listed above.
In a visit further down the street behind an alleyway, two housewives, despite refusing to give their names, wasted no time in making their discomfiture known. They lamented that every time it rained considerably, her house is placed in a situation where she has to be counting her losses. She explained that this is so because she is renting the apartment, and making renovations and other adjustments to the place is not something that her land lord would allow her to do easily. She added that she has her land and place to live, but the passage of the transport for the property is what is preventing her from moving to that location.
The woman pointed the Chronicle to items where were either damaged or affected by the water. In almost all the affected houses, the residents claimed that they had to either throw away rugs or place them in the sun, this woman was no different. Also damaged were her daughter’s school books and other learning materials.
The plight of her neighbour, who lives just next door to her, was identical. The women are now hoping they can have their homes back in order at the fastest possible time, so as to ensure that their children are comfortable. One other woman said that she was forced to send her three-year-old daughter to spend some time with another relative to avoid her getting any sickness.
Affected in last Wednesday’s flood were several business and government agencies, including Digicel, GECOM, the ministries of Public Works, Local Government and the Office of the Prime Minister, among other places.
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