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First Lady Mrs Arya Ali on Saturday honoured commitments made to local group Seawalls and Beyond to participate in one of its clean up exercise and to provide the group with much needed supplies to continue its work.
Ali commenced the exercise at the Seawall Bandstand where she was greeted by members of the local group and volunteers who had started cleaning some two hours earlier, a release from the Office of the First Lady said. Dwayne Hackett, the group’s coordinator, took the First Lady and City Engineer Walter Narine on a mini tour of the area, showing them the work that has been done and some of the challenges which will need to be addressed if the area is to be transformed into a tourist hub.
Among those challenges are: the occupation of the area by vagrants; improper lighting; unregulated vending; and the absence of washroom facilities and a fresh water source.
After completing their assessment, the group went back to cleaning, this time with the support of the First Lady, who later commented that her participation is a demonstration of her commitment to the restoration of the area.
She highlighted that these efforts complement her National Beautification Project which brings to the fore, scenic conservation, aimed at safeguarding the scenic qualities of Guyana’s roadways, urban spaces, and countryside.
One of the pillars of the National Beautification Project focuses on regulation and monitoring of any form of unlawful intrusion on the landscape or community appearance of public spaces. While the removal of waste at this time is being done by volunteers, the First Lady noted that maintenance will be important and so she has committed to engaging the relevant authorities to ensure that the area is properly maintained.
The First Lady has also indicated that part of her restoration plans for the Seawall will be the planting of trees along the coastline, and the reintroduction of the creative arts at the famous bandstand.
After cleaning, the First Lady made a donation of cleaning and other supplies, which she was able to mobilize through the private sector. Some of the supplies included pitchforks, spades, buckets, and brooms. It was a commitment she had made to members of Seawalls and Beyond, earlier in the week, after the group submitted a list of items it was in need of.
The items were donated by National Hardware, Gaffoors, Caribbean International Distributors Inc. (CIDI) and Cellphone Shack.