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Monday, April 21, 2014


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$20 vat included

Issue No. 021

See story on pages 2

A scene depicting Jesus being led away by Roman soldiers during the St Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church Stations of the Cross event last Friday

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Fresh calls for Rosignol railway vendors to move into market


Brazilian Army to build Police to Berbicians: “Don’t move around with plenty cash” multi-purpose Page 3

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court in Berbice

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By Shiran Ramnaught


MonDAY, April 21, 2014

egion Six Probation and Social Services Officer Desmond Nelson said the rise in the number of teenagers consuming alcohol in the district and, by extension, the rest of Guyana is worrying. The Organisation of American States (OAS) and the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) in its 2010 Report on Student Drug Use stated that alcohol consumption was prevalent among 36.9 per cent of the Guyanese youth population, with 51 per cent of teenagers between the ages of 15 and 16 consuming alcohol. The statistical data also indicated that alcohol consumption was prevalent among 55.9 per cent of those 17 years and older. The situation might have worsened since that report. Speaking with Berbice Times recently, the Region Six Probation Officer said it is time the Health and Human Services Ministries implement stricter measures to curb the high rate of alcohol consumption by

teenagers in Region Six. According to him, businesses continue to sell alcoholic beverages to children under the age of 18 years although the law stipulates that only persons above the age of 18 are allowed to purchase alcohol. The authorities, he emphasised, must take legal action against defaulters who are bent on selling alcoholic beverages to teens. “Business owners, because of their greed for money, tend to overlook this aspect of the law and the offence if they are caught… we find teenagers going into these liquor stores and purchasing these alcohol beverages without any fear of repercussions,” he further explained. Unlike other illegal substances such as marijuana and cocaine, Nelson said, alcohol is “easily accessible”. He added that teenagers, in particular boys, are using that fact to their advantage. “Alcohol consumption and addiction are linked to many harmful consequences for the individual drinker, the drinker’s immediate environment, and society as a whole,” the Probation

Officer explained, adding that high levels of alcohol consumption are often linked to traffic accidents, workplace-related problems, and domestic violence. Based on these consequences, he urged that sellers of alcoholic beverages make a conscious decision to aid in this fight. “Harbouring underage persons in a bar is an offence and the police need to engage in a campaign in carrying out raids on these liquor bars, because this is a serious issue,” he stated.


Nelson is also of the opinion that people use, and become addicted to, alcohol because of peer pressure, curiosity, the desire to be relaxed and reduce stress, and also to cope with sadness, unhappiness, rejection, or low self-esteem. Though difficult to overcome, alcohol addiction can be addressed if addicts seek health. Nelson reiterated that it contributes to violence, fatal accidents, suicide, altercations, crime and all forms of abuse. “There is always a way out of every situation, this can be done

Probation Officer Desmond Nelson

through counselling and other forms of assistance… regarding Government interventions: as much as it [alcohol] contributes to our economy, we need stronger penalties and laws when dealing with this issue.” A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Member of Parliament Volda Lawrence, during the recently-concluded budget debate, also admonished the

Government to monitor and curb the high intake of alcohol. In 2009, the PanAmerican Health Organisation (PAHO) identified alcohol as Guyana’s number one drug problem, stating that the consumption rates by teenagers, in particular young girls, are increasing, giving rise to serious social problems. Studies have also indicated

that the consumption of alcohol affects one’s judgment, mood, reaction time, physical coordination, and concentration. It often leads to inappropriate sexual behaviour – hence unwanted pregnancies. Despite all these negative impacts, alcohol remains easily accessible in Guyana, Lawrence complained to the House, noting that alcohol continues to get cheaper as vendors operate outside and above the laws of Guyana. “I am concerned, like several members of the teaching profession, of the high rate of consumption by our children and women. The easy access with which our children acquire this drink is worrying and ought to be a concern to us, the legislators, and the Government,” she added. According to the Labour, Human Services and Social Security Ministry, in 2013, there was a 114 per cent increase in the number of reports made against children who appeared before Probation Officers, were sent to the New Opportunity Corp, and are under supervision or on parole.


n Wednesday and Thursday, 112 pupils from Cropper Primary School in Berbice wrote the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) Examination along with 15,388 other students across Guyana. Dubbed one of the best primary schools in Berbice, Cropper Primary is aiming for the stars, anticipating that come June, when the results are announced, it will be among the top schools in the country. In an interview with the Berbice Times, Headteacher Coreen Cum-Rose expressed optimism that the school will gain more than 90 per cent passes in the subjects tested – Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, and English Language. With a student population of more than 630, the school has been consistently producing top students in Berbice. In 2013, the school recorded an impressive 86 per cent pass rate, with 123 students writing the NGSA exam. From that batch, Cropper Primary produced the top two students for Region Six, with the top student featuring in the top 10 for the entire country. Cum-Rose credited the school’s success to the dedication displayed by both teachers and students. “One of the things I noticed when I got started was the dedication of the teachers to their jobs; they always had the children’s best interest at heart and would go beyond the call of duty to ensure they are well prepared for their examinations.”

Good teacher-student relationship

There is a very good teacher-student relationship at the primary institution, which has contributed to students’ willingness to participate in class activities. “We try to build a relationship with our students, we talk to them, let them know their potential and our expectation of them, we then let their parents know of these expectations,” the Headteacher explained. Cropper Primary School currently has 24 teachers and one Peace Corps volunteer who teach the four core subjects: Mathematics, Science, English and Social Studies along with a foreign language – Spanish or French, at the various levels starting from Grade One.

Grade Six students preparing for the National Grade Six Assessment

The primary school has incorporated a range of extracurricular activities into its curriculum. These activities include debates, sports, and spelling bee competitions. The school is the current Spelling Bee champion for Region Six, having defeated all the other schools in the region at the competition held last February. Reyah Khemraj emerged victorious this year, while in 2011 Renee Bisnauth, also of Cropper Primary, won the competition. She represented Guyana in St Kitts and Nevis at the regional competition. Of course, it is not always smooth sailing, as Cropper Primary School is faced with the problem of truancy. Cum-Rose explained that children are kept away from school for no valid reason. According to her, parental negligence is one of the main contributing factors to truancy. The attendance rate usually drops tremendously after the end-of-term examinations are completed. Cum-Rose stressed that parents should ensure that their children attend school whenever school is in session. The catchment area of the primary school, which is located in Albion, spans Chesney to Nigg on the Corentyne. Cropper’s goal is to ensure that trained teachers equip children with the requisite knowledge and skills needed to excel at the secondary level.

MonDAY, April 14, 2014


By Andrew Carmichael


he livelihoods of some Canje River residents have been disrupted as a result of farmers trying to take advantage of the recent boom in the rice industry by cultivating more land. And although the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region Six has told the farmers to desist from cultivating the lands, they have not been heeding the warnings, Regional Chairman David Armogan said. Those farmers who started cultivating rice beyond Manarabisi in the Black Bush Polder have been indiscriminately releasing the toxic water from their rice fields into the Canje River, causing great inconvenience for the more than 40 residents who dwell in that community. Many of them have fallen ill, while five have died over the past year after developing conditions that were not known to those residents and whose names were not disclosed by doctors. One resident, Alfred Shultz, who lives at Bamboo, explained to Berbice Times that when the rice farmers release the water back into the river, residents are unable to drink it. “We use the water in the river for all domestic purposes. So when they start letting out the water, I have to travel about three miles up the river to get fresh water and it is not

Region Six Chairman David Armogan

me alone…” He said the cost for gasoline for his boat is very high and travelling that distance daily has taken a toll on him financially. Health hazard Additionally, fish have disappeared from that section of the river. “They have all moved. That is a pending health hazard for us. Something is going to happen to us some time shortly… It is happening because in our area people always suffering from diarrhoea, skin rashes, and all those things. Some people getting ill and we don’t know why… we depend on the river for our fishes where some of us get a livelihood.” “We don’t have a problem with the farmers cultivating rice there, our problem is the releasing of the contaminated water into

the Canje River. What they need to do is to put a pump there and take in as much water as they want and when they are ready to release it, sent it into the sea or somewhere else… not into the Canje River because it is disrupting our lives.” Shultz said he had raised the issue with Armogan who said on several occasions the farmers were approached and asked to desist from cultivating those lands. He noted that the pesticides and insecticides that the farmers use have contaminated the water. At a recent RDC meeting, the matter was raised, and the Chairman noted that the farmers cannot be allowed to disrupt the lives of the people who have resided in the area all their lives. While residents have benefited from the farming activity, they are calling on authorities to come to their rescue. The oldest resident is 80-year-old Kenneth Hinds who lives closest to the farming activity, he was recently admitted to the New Amsterdam Hospital with an ailment which doctors could not diagnose. Reports are that over the past six months, he has been ailing. This publication understands that he is one of the few who have no boat and as a result, are forced to use the contaminated river water. Residents of Canje River are complaining about the polluted water

Vendors blocking the pavement

The garbage pile up at the Railway Embankment market is cause for concern


uthorities in Region Five have failed to remove vendors from the ‘Rosignol Train Line Market’ where they have been illegally vending. This is according to Region Five Vice Chairman Rion Peters. The Vice Chairman made the comments as he was addressing residents of that community and police officials on the issue. Deputy Commander of B Division, Senior Superintendent of Police Stephen Mansell expressed concern over the traffic hazard that the vendors pose to road users. “Apart from that, there are also health issues that arise as a result of those vendors.” The indiscriminate dumping of refuse along the railway in the vicinity of the market by both vendors and other business persons in Rosignol has created a permanent stench in the area. Residents had raised concerns over the inconvenience being caused by the vendors extending

their trade onto the pavement, making it difficult to use the pavement freely. According to Peters, “They are breaking the law…” He noted that in the past, efforts were made at all levels to have the vendors removed. Some vendors say they were given permission by former Minister within the Local Government Ministry, Clinton Collymore to ply their trade there. Another vendor claimed that current Local Government Minister Norman Whitaker gave them permission to vend along the Rosignol Railway Embankment. However, Peters said he was unaware of the former Local Government Minister giving permission for the vendors to utilise the Railway Embankment. Peters said the vendors are not the only ones to blame for the situation. “If there are no buyers, there will be no sellers,” he told the meeting. He pointed out that a new market was con-

structed nearby at Rosignol, but the vendors refuse to utilise it. In response, some vendors argued that they do not have stalls in the new market and they have to make a living. Peters, however, said most of the vendors at the illegal market have stalls in the new market. Vendors also said that the local Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) collected money from them to clean the area, but later refunded the money. “It is wrong for them to collect your money to provide a service and not deliver it,” Peters said. The vendors left the meeting and no decision was taken on the way forward. On several occasions, former Regional Chairman Harrynarine Baldeo had voiced his disgust over the illegal vending at the Rosignol Railway Embankment and had caused the vendors to be evicted and their stalls demolished.


MonDAY, April 21, 2014

Simply the



amballas Rum Shop in Ankerville, Port Mourant was something of a landmark. It was a place where people could go and ask for a quart of rum and not pay until they got money at the end of the month. Mr Ramballas was one of the people that donated generously to the creation of what is now called JC Chandisingh Secondary School. It was then an exceptional school controlled by Mr Joseph Chamberlain Chandisingh and Mr Haroon Samad. Professor Daizal Samad One of the products of that school was Peter Pitamber. Entrepreneurship in his veins, this Berbician opened a restaurant and bar in Brampton, Ontario. It was called Calypso Hut. The place is quite deceptive. It is large, with a general floor and three raised stages. There is also an outside patio for the spring, summer, and fall. I will explain why it is deceptive. Years ago, I was taken there by Mr Steven Senwasane, one of the best people I know. I call him, respectfully, “Sensei”. The man is a Tae Kwon Do expert. Soft of speech, kind of heart, gentle as a Guyana breeze. He could break your neck, but would prefer to shake your hand. The Sensei took me to Peter’s Calypso Hut. At times, we were joined by others: Mr Harri Bridgemohan, Mr Mark Guay, Mr Steven Latcha, and Damien Samad, my son! There were many others. It was there that I met too many Guyanese to count, most of them Berbicians. And every single one of them knew of the progress we made on Cheddi Jagan’s University, what they named Berbice Campus. I blushed at the compliments, and spoke of the work that still must be done! There were many offers of scholarships, each offer as sincere as if made under oath. Offers for poor but bright Berbicians. I tried to expand it to all Guyanese, but Berbicians can be very hard-headed. There were some that attached their scholarship offers to skin colour, but I would have none of that horrible talk. Berbicians are not that stubborn after all. Scrape the skin, and just beneath one finds decency! Large as it was, I did not have an idea of how large Calypso Hut was. The last time I was there, Peter invited me to walk into their kitchens under the guidance of his sous chef. It was then that I knew how complex these things were. Some seven kitchens covering a large ground floor and an upper floor. Enormous industrial sized freezers and too many eight-burner stoves to count. The kitchen area was as large as the “guest” areas! Seafood was kept separate from chicken, which was kept separate from beef, separate from pork. Vegetables in different freezers in different locations. Peter was the biggest supporter of cricket and the Corentyne High School in Toronto that I know! He would never refer to the school by its current name. Above all, Peter Pitamber was a strong supporter of the PPP/C, raising much money. In our last conversation, Peter described the PPP/C as useless. The other parties were described in much less complimentary terms. But notably there was no bad word against Bharrat Jagdeo. Peter, his wife, and their sweet child Jerry died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Berbice lost much then. I will return to Toronto soon. With Mr Steven Senwasane (Ooh, Sensei!), I shall raise a glass for Peter and his son and his wife.

By Nafeeza Yahya


he quiet, adjoining communities of Tain and Clifton are attracting much attention because of their rapid pace of development. These two villages fall under the Port Mourant /Johns Neighbourhood Democratic Council, located some 15 miles from New Amsterdam. In these communities, you can find possibly anything, with one of them – Tain offering educational facilities from nursery to tertiary level, being home to the University of Guyana Berbice Campus, opened in November 2000, which offers diploma programmes and more recently, degree programmes. Nand Persaud International Communication (NPIC) which provides jobs for over 300 Berbicians is located beside the University. The Denmor Garment Factory is another employment hub, providing jobs for more than 100 persons. Ali’s Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Guyana Business School are also located within the community.


Simply put, the joint Tain/ Clifton community is the second largest source of employment in Berbice outside of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo). You can also find supermarkets, general stores, bars, a disco, a pool shop, lumberyards, mechanic shops, auto and spare parts dealers, meat outlets, a popular food court, groceries, Chinese restaurant, hotel, gas stations, barbershops, doctor’s office, Internet café, gym, furniture store and many more. The only major business entity not available in Tain/Clifton is a bank. The community has a population of about 5000

reflection in the water, it is a sight to behold. People would come from all over just to get a snapshot of the scene. There are also four churches in the community where in addition to the traditional Sunday mass, many families would occupy themselves in Bible studies and prayer sessions in the afternoon. There are no mosques in Tain; however, the Muslim community worships at the two mosques located in neighbouring Port Mourant. Most residents are employed by GuySuCo, but many are also nurses, teachers, cash crop farmers, fishermen, and carpenters.


When Berbice Times visited the community, Mustapha Ali ,popularly known as “Uncle Ali”, was busy in his halaal food court snackette, tending to the needs of his customers. Uncle Ali is a philanthropist and a former councillor of the Johns/ Port Mourant NDC as well as the Imam of the Port Mourant Jama Masjid. He sat down with this publication and reminisced on the old days when he first moved to the community. “In 1974, when I came to the community, was just developing, this section on the northern side, there were a few houses, but, on the opposite side, there were no houses, just cane and rice fields. But looking at it today, it would be impossible to tell that the entire block that now houses NPIC, UGBC and ABC was a rice field, from those three main entities the rest of the buildings started to spring up around them. With the distribution of house lots, the houses have moved further inland on both sides to cater for the many families that have now settled. Even with migration, the community is still growing

A section of Tain

Mourant Market and then here. We get up as early as 4 am and start preparation. Apart from the meals, the snackette serves a variety of various snacks and delicacies; on Fridays, you can get various sweetmeats such as “mohambug”, Raham etc,” Uncle Ali said. In referencing the challenges facing the adjoined communities, he said: ...”we need lots of training for the youths, that is one thing that is lacking, there


A baby being taken on an afternoon ride in Tain

Sattie Chatrika plying her trade

residents. The first persons to settle the area were indentured labourers from India. As such, there is a strong Hindu population who frequent the mandir in Tain and those located a stone’s throw away in Miss Phoebe Port Mourant. The mandirs are very popular for their Diwali lightup. The diyas are placed in the drainage canals and with the Ali’s Broadcasting Corporation

as more and more people are settling in.” Economically, the community is a powerhouse second to only Rose Hall in the Lower Corentyne district. “When I first moved here, we started a grocery shop; however, we saw the need for a halaal food place, hence the opening of the food and snackette. It was first at the Port

Chatrika used to vend at the Port Mourant Market, but quit after it didn’t work out. She started making snacks and selling them and she realised that she was happy, so she stuck with it. When this publication visited, she was busily attending to a young customer who came to buy plantain chips and corn. The eight-year-old girl, who gave her name as Priya, said she comes to “Auntie Sattie” every afternoon to buy corn. Chatrika described the village as quiet and the people friendly. Her friends flocked the stand for the regular afternoon gaff and snack.

was a period of time when the incidence of drugs and alcohol had taken a toll on our youths, but is not rampant as years ago due to the vigilance of the police and community policing groups. We recognise we need to bring the youth together to get them involved in meaningful activities, if not, we will lose them. The idleness will take them over thus the need for training programmes and recreation activities. “I currently have an active scouts group in Tain, we hold activities at the Tain ball field and utilise the President Youth’s Choice Building. There are currently 80 members ranging from ages nine to 16.” Sattie Chatrika, who has a stall at the head of Martin Peter Street, said she has been living in the community for over 40 years and growing up there was fun.

In another section of the village, former teacher and part-time taxi driver, Anthony Jeenarine said the community is not the same as before, explaining that Tain was much more beautiful, but now many people take things for granted and they don’t keep their surroundings clean and don’t take pride in their village. He noted that years ago the community was close-knitted, but this generation of residents prefer to keep to themselves. He added that there are many properties in the village that are vacant due to migration, while some are occupied by family members. He stated that this serves as an advantage, because it allows for more persons coming in from various backgrounds and ethnicities thus creating a multicultural community. Jeenarine voiced his concerns over the raising number of school dropouts and urged the authorities to ensure that youths stay in school or get them involved in activities that will keep their minds away from negativity. Another resident, Udit Singh, a cash crop farmer, was attending to his kitchen garden when this publication visited, he said he had been planting cash crops for over 20 years and farming is his only source of income. Udit would ride a bicycle and sell his produce in the villages, and sometimes would take it to the Port Mourant or Rose Hall Market. Seeram Persaud, a shop owner on the southern side of Tain, was busy attending to customers in his shop when Berbice Times; he said that he was always busy. Persaud acquired a house lot some 15 years ago and built a comfortable place for himself and family. He added when he moved to the area, there were just three houses in the street, and now the street is filled with fancy houses and his business is flourishing – he expanded recently. He happily said Tain is a great place to live as everything you are looking for is a stone’s throw away.

MonDAY, April 21, 2014


he heart of Christianity is to ‘love thy neighbour’ and millions do really live that out.” This was the assertion of Prime Minister David Cameroon, of England, in his Easter message. And for the most part he is correct. Christians do live out their virtues, merits which were imparted to us by the origin of our Faith: Christ Jesus. According to the IRO, this Lenten season “reminds us of our early beginnings. It was the death and resurrection of Christ that gave birth to our religion. It was the sacrificial, unselfish giving of Himself which occasioned our existence. So this weekend, in particular, we pause to reflect and in some ways, relive those events of some 2000 years ago.” The organisation said during this Lenten season, “we actively remind ourselves of who we are, where we came from and where we plan to go. We redirect the minds from the hustle and bustle and with deep contrition and humility we say our heartfelt thank yous to God, the Creator of this world. We thank Him for all that He has done to reconcile humanity to Him and we thank Him for His promise of assuring us that we will live with Him one day and there find complete rest. The Inter Religious Organisation wishes the citizens of Guyana a happy, safe and Spirit filled Easter.”

GAWU seeks modern-day messiahs

The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) transmits its highest esteem and regards to the local Christian Community at this time of the commemoration of the Faith’s enduring pillar of belief. And it said that in the same manner Jesus came as a messiah of hope, the country’s national leaders must become practical modern-day messiahs. In its Easter message, the union said the Christian observance of Easter – in original essence, the festival to celebrate resurrection – envelopes even Guyanese non-Christians. This is because there are elements of Easter – as for Christmas – which all members of humanity feel free to embrace. GAWU said while Easter


he recent $10 million robbery of a Corentyne businessman in front of a commercial bank has caused several business persons to call on the police to be more vigilant in areas where large monetary transactions take place. According to some Corentyne residents, had more security arrangements been put in place to transport the volume of cash in question, the incident could have been avoided. Sections of the business community blame the police for not having a patrol in the area. B Division Commander, Assistant Police Commissioner Brian Joseph recently met separately with the three chambers of commerce in Berbice – Upper Corentyne, Central Corentyne and Berbice Chamber of Commerce and Development Association – to discuss strategies of crime fighting and concerns of the business community.

On each occasion, the Commander w a r n e d the business persons not to move around with large sums of money and if they had bank deposits to make, he urged them not to develop a routine. On April 9, Corentyne businessman Ramlingum Mangalee was robbed of two deposit bags containing $10 million, as he was about to exit his minivan in the vicinity of Republic Bank in Rose Hall Town. The businessman said the money was his sales for the previous day.

commemorates the most significant sacrifice which true Christians know to be the bulwark of their religion, all of humanity can find hope in the Resurrection of the Crucified Christ whatever the perception of that event is cast in. For whether physical death; whether constant fear of conflict, disease, crime or poverty it is, for mankind, equally important that there comes resurrection, some resurgence of rescue from hostile, life-threatening and hopeless situations. The Spirit of Humankind which makes eventual effort and triumph is the very bedrock of human existence. Easter for Guyanese provides ample time for reflection. Some Christians end their Lenten 40-day fasting and abstinence to find renewed strength of character. Others mourn the death of the Saviour then rejoice and celebrate His Rising. All Guyanese share the promise of his going to prepare a better place. GAWU enjoins all Guyanese to join the Christian celebration of hope based on sacrifice. “As we share cross buns, the joys of symbolic kite flying, and other responsible revelry, let us all direct our national leaders to be practical modern-day messiahs to lead us into Guyana’s Promised Land wherein its resources are distributed evenly.”

According to Assistant Commissioner Joseph, persons transporting large sums of money have the responsibility of ensuring their own safety and the safety of the valuables they are transporting. Joseph had suggested the hiring of security personnel to transport large sums of money. One private securi-



uccessful people know exactly what they want and are aware of their most valuable resources and know how to use them effectively to get the results they want in life, whereas as others remain stagnant, because of the opposite reason. Not everyone is aware of what their most valuable resources are and, even if they know, they do not know how to use them to improve their life. Is it true that “the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer”? It is very crucial that people are able to determine what the highest leverage activities in their life are. Narine Dat Sookram However, there is a vast difference between being efficient and being effective. Basically, effectiveness is more like doing the right job rather than just doing the job right in as little time as possible. When people have control of their most valuable resource – time that is, it is obviously much easier to be doing the right job and using your energy most effectively. And because time is a finite resource, you really can never get it back, and we have no clue how much of it we have left, once it’s spent. Get control of time This means it is something you should get control of without any hesitation. Most will agree that the quality of our life depends on time. In other words, time can be wasted on someone else’s plan for you versus your own. Do you ever realise that successful people leverage their time and energy to do the most effective things in life that help them reach their goals in a timely manner? For example, if there are things that need to be done in the day that are of low priority, they will not waste any time on it, but rather hire someone else to get the work done. A simple way to put it is successful people understand the value of buying time, while others only understand the concept of selling it. That’s something to think about! In many cases, many people rely on a day job that is not part of their plan and does not really move them forward toward their goals. In cases like this, people should consider using their free time and extra money to find or create a way to generate income that they can actually control. The truth is when you really think about it, there is no shortage of money in the world, but a shortage of successful people who think about it correctly. We all know that money is being moved from one hand to the next. The key is to figure out how to get it moved into yours rather than someone else’s on an ongoing basis, while maintaining control of your time and energy.

ty company that offers armed escort services said the cost to transport between $1 and $6 million in cash in and around New Amsterdam is $4000, while if the service is required on the Corentyne, the cost is $5000. Asked to comment on the issue, some people say the police should not be blamed while others say that the police should be

patrolling more often. The Commander recently told reporters that the division was being affected by a huge shortage of staff. According to him, the division needs 505 ranks, but only has 274 – a shortage of 231 ranks. “The current establishment is in place since 1977 and from then to now, there have been seen a number of new legislation, which require additional staffing.

For example: the Drug Act, Piracy Act, Trafficking In Persons and the Domestic Violence Acts just to name a few. There have also been new police stations, outposts, and the increase in the volume of traffic over the years,” Commander Joseph said. Meanwhile, police have placed one man before the court for the April 9 robbery.


MonDAY, April 21, 2014

Agriculture Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy looks on as a lead researcher, David Fredricks commences harvesting the potatoes


Garlic grown at NAREI

griculture Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy last Tuesday witnessed the harvesting of the first batch of English potatoes from the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) nursery demonstration plot, Mon Repos. The entity, in keeping with its plan to diversify the sector as part of its work programme, embarked on the planting of a number of nontraditional crops in demonstration plots. Among the non-traditional crops currently grown are garlic, carrot, turmeric, ginger, chick peas, and English potatoes. “This is a good day for us in agriculture. Gone are the days when we import such produce when in fact we have enough land space, experienced and qualified persons and the will power to ensure that such things become a reality,” Minister Ramsammy said. The demonstration plots of potatoes were harvested at 42 days by Dr Ramsammy

and one of the lead researchers at the institute, David Fredricks. The Agriculture Minister, while underscoring the importance of agriculture to Guyana, noted that the Ministry, through NAREI, will continue to work on such projects, all with the aim of ensuing that the country’s import bill is significantly reduced. “Such interventions by Government are to ensure that we not only reduce our import bill, but also increase our export bill… I am proud of my dedicated staff at NAREI and encourage them to continue the good work the institute has already commenced and this will go a far way,” Dr Ramsammy said. Meanwhile, NAREI Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Oudho Homenauth reiterated his agency’s commitment to ensuring that nontraditional crops which are adaptable to the soil type and climatic conditions of Guyana are introduced.

According to Dr Homenauth, researchers encountered a number of difficulties in the initial phase such as pest attacks. “During extensive research, we found that growing the potatoes under shaded cultivation instead of in the open has also helped in this regard… to date, we have mastered our soil type and managed pest attack to a significant level,” the NAREI CEO said. While NAREI has been progressing well with respect to research, Dr Homenauth noted that much more can be done; however, the challenge presently is access to state-ofthe-art planting materials which will be more feasible. These are currently being procured through assistance from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).


Such initiatives were embarked upon by farmers in Regions Seven and Eight; however, a number of factors, including the high cost to transport the commodities, brought an end to the venture. The research division of the agency is being manned by 23 researchers. The aim of NAREI is to reduce imports by 50 per cent within the next year. As such, the agency is open to working with farmers countrywide and to lending assistance through expertise sharing where necessary. A decade ago, crops, such as broccoli and cauliflower which were known to have special dietary factors, were imported and only made available in supermarkets. However, today, such crops are grown locally. (Agriculture Ministry)


t Just four years old the D–FAME Dance Group is becoming a household name in the Ancient County with people demanding to see more of its hidden talents. D-FAME; For All Musical Entertainment does not limit itself to one type of dance. The group was formed back in 2010 in Fyrish Corentyne when a group of young men were asked to perform for a birthday celebration. One of the members Devindra Sewnauth recalled that Aubrey Higgins;,a skilled dancer in the village, was approached to be the choreographer. “He accepted and we were trained, it was that moment we realised we connected really well.” According to him, the performance was “epic”. One appearance at a birthday party has led to many performances across Berbice and the response has been even more overwhelming. However as the group broaden its territory, its members are of the opinion that more can be done by the Culture, Youth and Sport Ministry to promote dancing in Berbice and by extension, the rest of Guyana. “We don’t have the push we need. In 2014, we are planning to focus more on upgrading our dance styles but there are constraints that slow us down such as a facility to practice; currently,

we practice at home”. It was further explained that there are setbacks due to the lack of space, which is critical in dancing. In Fyrish there is no facility designated for dancing or similar activities. It is their hope that the Culture Ministry can step up to the challenge and provide a facility for dancing and other cultural activities in Fyrish. Aubrey Higgins who has b e e n dancing for a number of years, s a i d schools in the region would a s k

Group members of D–FAME D-FAME to train students for the annual Mashramani competition and other social events. “We perform with international artiste Terry Gajraj show, we also did live performance on live television.” He added the group is more than dancing as it spreads a positive mes-

sage through this medium. “We don’t do street dancing we do break dance, dancehall, soca and Latin. We try to mix things up, we get the inspiration from each other, we try within ourselves to create different dance moves putting together from various beats in music and we try to strive for success in all that we do.” The group believes that regional competitions should be held so that groups can continue doing what they love and at the same time become more involved and motivated. “Once there was the Feel The Beat Competition and that was it, in Berbice we don’t have anything going, most events are subjected to Georgetown. We have a lotta talent in this county but not the facility nor push.” The members include Devindra Sewnauth, Aubrey Higgins, Brandon Shivpaul, Junior Kapul and Lamar Trinidad. However, the group does not have a leader, as a members collaborate as a unit to bring new ideas to the floor. “We have been together for almost four years; we have competed and are still going strong: we have this understanding that allows us to perform and entertain. We are very proud of all our members and we are committed to dancing and positive changes .We are embracing this talent and see how far it takes us,” Higgins said. The group looks up to the Jabbawockeez Dance Group as their mentor, the Jabbawockeez is an eight- member all-male hiphop dance crew best known for being the winners of the first season of America’s Best dance crew. Like the Jabbawockeez, D-FAME also performs with masks as they say the mask is their signature.

MonDAY, April 21, 2014

he St Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church of Port Mourant on Good Friday hosted its first ever public Stations of the Cross event. The event comprised 30 actors and was proceeded along the public road from the Church at Portugese Quarter to Rose Hall Town and back into the churchyard where a symbolic crucifixion of Jesus took place. The drama was watched by a massive gathering. The Stations of the Cross began as the practice


of pious pilgrims to Jerusalem who would retrace the final journey of Jesus Christ to Calvary. Later, for the many who wanted to pass along the same route, but could not make the trip to Jerusalem, a practice developed that eventually took the form of the 14 stations. Similarly, the 150 Hail Marys that were recited for the rosary were an adaptation of the medieval monastic practice of reciting the 150 psalms in the Psalter.

Officials of BBCI and the children who received kites during the Easter programme


Bibi F. Alli, Administrative Assistant, BBCI, handing over the blender to a representative of the Guardian Angels Roman Catholic Church

he Berbice Bridge Company Inc (BBCI) held its annual Easter programme last week during which it distributed kites to over 30 children. The programme included opening remarks by the Chief Executive Officer, Omadat Samaroo, who emphasised the

significance of Easter. At the end of the programme, the BBCI handed out kites and snacks and sweets to all of the children. Meanwhile, the Bridge Company also donated a blender to the Guardian Angels Roman Catholic Church to go towards the church’s annual Labour Day

raffle. The blender is the second prize for the raffle and was handed over on April 16, 2014 to the church. The company said it was a privilege to have the opportunity to make a donation towards the church, noting that it decided to come on board

mainly due to the fact that the proceeds from the raffle will go towards structural improvement of the church. In the past the company said it has sponsored many events that benefited the communities both on the eastern and western sides of the Berbice River Bridge.



MonDAY, April 21, 2014

he Brazilian Army is soon to provide the labour and materials for the construction of an indoor multipurpose court in Berbice. Berbice Times understands that the facility is expected to be constructed at Albion. News of the proposed plan comes in the wake of concerns by officials of the volleyball fraternity over the lack of indoor facilities for volleyball in Berbice. Berbice Volleyball Association (BVA) President Gregory Rambarran told this publication that the lack of such facilities is hampering the development of young talent. He said there are many talent-

ed volleyball players in Berbice and without indoor facilities, they will not be able to progress. The talented young players will not be able to develop further if they are not granted the opportunity to play the game indoor, Rambarran explained. Teams from Suriname and French Guiana have refused to play on outdoor courts when in Berbice. The only indoor facilities in Guyana are in Georgetown. Guyana is currently grouped with the rest of South America and has the weakest team. Berbice Times understands that officials from the BVA have held meetings with Director of Sport

Neil Kumar to discuss the construction of an indoor multi-purpose court. The officials also met with a high-level team from the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) to discuss the proposed plan. GuySuCo will be supplying the land for the project while the Brazilian Army will fund the project. The Brazilians will only build the court on Government land. The Brazilian Army is also looking at constructing a similar court at Camp Ayanganna. Over the past 10 years, Berbice has had the top volleyball team in Guyana and has produced most of the country’s national players.

Rose Hall IMC Chairman Bevon Sinclair


oor solid waste management by private contractors in Region Six has been a cause of concern for the Rose Hall Town Municipality, an issue linked to the indiscriminate dumping of garbage by businesspeople.

Indiscriminate dumping of garbage

Rose Hall Interim Management Committee (IMC) Chairman Bevon Sinclair made this disclosure during an exclusive interview with Berbice Times. He said major improvements from the private contractors are needed to tackle the full-blown garbage situation in the area. “The contractors need to put systems in place to ensure residents utilising their services are equipped with the necessary containers to dispose of their waste… at this moment, the contractors must come forward and inform the public that they are short on barrels,” he said. The IMC Chairman is contending that the poor services provided have led to the indiscriminate dumping of garbage, stating too that the garbage collectors need to be more consistent in the execution of their duties. “The private garbage contractors need to implement a programme where there is a daily collection of garbage.”

But while the private contractors might be experiencing difficulty, he said some businesspeople have also failed to pay the collection fee of $300. “Some very prominent business owners are culpable of this illegal act, as they hire junkies and donkey carts to dispose their solid waste, which they do – anywhere and everywhere,” Sinclair explained. As a result, a call is being made for residents and business owners to desist from the illegal practice and take responsibility for their environment. “I am appealing to residents and business owners to desist from this atrocious practice, especially into our waterways and drainage systems.” According to Sinclair, the private garbage collectors should also make provision for the pensioners, positing that due to their financial situation, the senior citizens cannot afford to pay the necessary fee of $300 per disposal.


ormer top Berbice cyclist Neil Reece has promised to rejoin the sport. The former Flying Ace Cycle Club (FACC) wheeler was one of six sports personalities chosen by Banks DIH Ltd to promote three of its non-alcoholic brands. The others are: Christine Sukhram (golf); Daniel Lopes (lawn tennis); Soroya Simmons (swimming); Ashley De Groot (squash); and Stefan Corlette (table tennis). Reece and Sukhram were selected to represent Tropical Mist Water, Simmons and Lopes I-CEE while De Groot and Corlette were selected to represent Malta Supreme. Reece, who has been out of the sport, said that

Cyclist Neil Reece

he had not given it up. According to his coach, Randolph Roberts, the cyclist took a break from the sport for personal reasons and will be back soon. Roberts is encouraging fans to support the athlete on his return, and revealed that Reece should be racing in May.

Berbice Times