Escrito por Jeanna Pearson
Martes, 20 de agosto 2013 21:48
EL hachazo brutal de las Cataratas Proyecto Hidroeléctrico Amaila (AFHP) en el Parlamento por el principal partido de la oposición, una Asociación para la Unidad Nacional (APNU) se centra en una "ambición de paralizar" la estrategia de desarrollo del actual gobierno, dice el presidente de la Comisión Nacional Fundación para el Desarrollo amerindia, Simon Ashton.
Simon estaba en el momento de hablar en una conferencia de prensa de ayer en el Ministerio de Asuntos Amerindios sala de juntas.
La negativa de la oposición principal de responder a los llamamientos del presidente Donald Ramotar para aprobar el proyecto había causado el desarrollador del proyecto hidroeléctrico, Sithe Global de sacar.
Completion of the AFHP has been threatened after Sithe Global withdrew from the project, stating that national consensus was required for a project of this magnitude.
Amendments to the Hydroelectric Act and an increase in the debt ceiling on external loans, both critical to the hydropower project, were not supported by APNU although both the People’s Progressive Party/Civic and the Alliance For Change voted in favour of the bill.
Simon expressed frustration on behalf of the indigenous people of Guyana, accusing the main opposition party of demonstrating their power in parliament as a ‘power house’, labelling their agenda as a camouflage to ‘grabbing the seat of the government’ and ruining Guyana’s chances of generating hydroelectricity.
He further noted that Opposition Leader, David Granger in continuing to dismiss the project has placed himself in a position where he was not demonstrating national leadership in the interest of the people.
Simon posited that the notion that Guyana’s politicians had matured enough to capitalize on opportunities that would inevitability enhance Guyana was “shattered” and the yoke of underdevelopment has been laid on the shoulders of the people. “The new flower of Guyanese children and youths working together in pursuit of their goals and ambition are withered even before it took root,” he stated.
“The axing of the Amaila Hydro Project is another milestone in our failure to politically mesh our ideas and support a national project designed to propel our economic growth and put Guyana on par with other developed countries,” he asserted, chiding the opposition for crippling the project.
The refusal by the main opposition to answer the appeals of President Donald Ramotar to approve the project had caused the developer of the hydro project, Sithe Global to pull out.
If the bill had been approved by the three political parties in the National Assembly, Simon said, Guyana would have gained the opportunity for cheaper energy distribution. The project would have also generated a more environmental friendly energy supply to people and in turn reduce the use of fossil fuel.
Simon recalled that in 1973, then Prime Minster Forbes Burnham announced his administration’s intention to develop hydroelectricity. This massive hydropower complex would have been developed in the Upper Mazaruni River. There were consultations and surveys conducted during that time and the results were riveting. The survey had discovered that Guyana’s total hydroelectric potential was about 7,000 MW spread over a number of sites. And over 4,000 residents in that area were asked to resettle and they had approved.
Meanwhile, Granger has stated that his party is not against the development of hydro-electricity in Guyana but needed the security that it would be economically beneficial to the people.
However, President of the Amerindian Action Movement of Guyana, Peter Persaud stated that the opposition party displayed a “lack of political maturity” and were shamed by their uncouth unpatriotic action to axe the project in Parliament. “With all the credible and transparent information provided to APNU and with meetings after meetings held with the government and Sithe Global, APNU still decided to deliberately avoid parliamentary consensus and voted against the Amaila Falls Hydro Project in the National Assembly,” he charged, positing that the opposition’s back was against the wall and “with shame they are bringing up excuses” for their action of “saying no to Guyana’s continued development.”
Persaud accused the main opposition of withholding their consensus because “they failed miserably” with their administration’s hydroelectricity project in the 1970s. “The failed PNC’s hydropower project cost of US$300 million has placed Guyana in debt of US$2 billion which is still being repaid by taxpayers,” he stated, adding that the project had flopped because of poor planning.
He charged that it was surprising that information provided by analysts who were unqualified to preside over the project had also contributed to the death of the project. He reiterated Simon’s words, stating that had the project been completed Guyana would have benefited from cheap and reliable clean power and positioning Guyana “on the threshold of economic growth and expansion.”
Disappointed with APNU
He stated that Guyana’s indigenous people were disappointed with APNU’s decision to vote against the bill. “They are disappointed with APNU’s irresponsible behaviour, moreso, the Kaburi community which is closest to the Amaila Falls Project because they will not have access to the benefits for community development,” he said, adding that St Cuthbert’s Mission, Great Falls, Chinapau, Micobie, Campbelltown and Rockstone villages would have also benefitted.
Chairman of the National Toshao Council, Derrick John, stated that these communities would have benefited from employment and development in the villages and also a boost in the transportation system in the interior. “We are more than disappointed. We can see that it is crippling the development of Guyana…here is a plan that was shattered,” he said, adding that the “curtain had come down” for the development of the indigenous people. John has called on the political parties to be ‘mature’ and put aside ‘petty politics’ and work toward progression of the nation and the people.
When the media asked why the group did not speak out before on the Amaila issue, Simon asserted that there were hopes that the parties would have come to a consensus in parliament. “It would have been premature to speak then,” he said.