MANCHESTER, England (AP): Manchester City’s spine of goalkeeper Joe Hart, centre back Vincent Kompany, midfielder Yaya TourÈ and striker Sergio Aguero has anchored the team since 2011 in the most decorated period in its history. One by one, it is being dismantled by Pep Guardiola. Hart has been sent out on loan to Italy. The injury-hampered Kompany no longer appears first choice. Toure has been ostracised. And the seemingly unthinkable is happening: Aguero is coming under pressure for his place. Aguero started on the bench for the English Premier League game against Everton last Saturday after playing two matches for Argentina during the international break. More surprisingly, he stayed among the substitutes for the Champions League match at Barcelona on Wednesday, when Guardiola preferred to play midfielder Kevin De Bruyne up front. Aguero has been untouchable, a guaranteed starter since joining from Atletico Madrid in July 2011. Suddenly, possibly the most popular player among City fans – and a scorer of 102 league goals in his first five seasons at the club – is vulnerable and seemingly dispensable, even if he is likely to regain his place for the Premier League match against Southampton tomorrow. When asked if Aguero was being phased out, Guardiola said yesterday that the player’s future was at City. “When Sergio decides to leave Manchester City, it will be his decision,” Guardiola said. Then, echoing comments he made about Hart in August before allowing him to leave, Guardiola added: “I appreciate him (as) a football player. I appreciate (as) a man what he did here.” It’s not just the recent selection decisions that hint at a sense of unease between Guardiola and Aguero. Guardiola has said publicly on at least two occasions this season that he wants more from Aguero than just goals, just like he wanted more from Hart than simply making saves. After Aguero’s hat-trick in the Champions League win over Borussia Moenchengladbach, Guardiola said: “I cannot teach him (about his talent in the penalty box), but he has to know that behind, the rest of the team wants to help him, and that is what I want to convince him.” While on international duty with Argentina this month, Aguero was quoted as telling Argentine media that Guardiola “is very picky about everything, (and) it’s good. “The good thing is that I’m getting used to him and automatically going straight into pressing the centre backs.” Aguero, who is contracted to City until 2020, has 11 goals in 10 appearances this season, and 19 in his last 20 dating to last season. There are few better, attainable strikers around and it will be intriguing to see how the situation pans out, especially with Brazil forward Gabriel Jesus due to arrive in December to provide competition up front. Guardiola said on Friday that he had no regrets about his decision to drop Aguero for the Barcelona game, which City lost 4-0 after having goalkeeper Claudio Bravo red-carded. That made it four games without a win for Guardiola, and a failure to beat Southampton would equal the longest streak without a victory in his coaching career. In an answer that lasted more than 61/2 minutes yesterday, he defended his tactics at Camp Nou and praised the personality of his young players like John Stones and De Bruyne. Guardiola repeated he will not change his style. “I think about that, yes,” he said. “But after that, the solution is not better than what I believe, so I cannot. Do you know why as well? Because in seven years (at Barcelona and Bayern Munich), I won 21 titles. Ö So it’s three titles per year playing in that way. “No, no, I’m not going to change. First, it’s going to happen that (if) it’s not going well in the future, next season isn’t going well in that way, I will go home.”
The Communities Ministry on Friday organised a Sanitation Awareness Day programme at its Fort Street, Kingston office as part of a flagship community awareness programme to educate communities on the importance of good sanitation practices.Throughout the day, children of the employees were facilitated with sanitation sessions and discussions which demonstrated hand-washing techniques.Waste separation was also one of the areas of focus, mainly in terms of composting household waste materials.In this instance, they were briefed on the ways a compost tumbler can be utilised to store and reused biodegradable waste items which are generated from the home. For this, the items must be separated and kept in the right manner until ready to be used.The main objective of this exercise was to enable the children to recognise what are some of the sanitation practices they can engage in, and the importance ofA tumbler used for waste compostingdoing so in their everyday activities.Techical Advisor on Sub-waste at the Ministry, Gordon Gilkes, indicated that this is in keeping with the plan to educate everyone on healthy practices to promote positive lifestyle changes.“We want to stress on the importance of good sanitation in our day-to-day activities. It is important that we know what good sanitation is all about, and how we can maintain good sanitation; because, with poor sanitation, there is a risk to our well-being and a risk to health issues.”For the Sanitation Management Unit, these events will further promote the development of sustainable communities by participatory approaches to address these topics.
National mineral policy– warns against mixing oil & gas local content with gold sectorThe Government’s recently released draft National Mineral Sector Policy has recommended, among other things, the creation of a local content policy tailored specifically for the gold mining sector.According to the policy, this approach to local content should target large-scale miners. The need to ensure local content development at the community and regional levels was also emphasized.It noted that the local content policy being drafted for the oil and gas sector is not necessarily applicable to other sectors. As such, the document notes the need for a separate local content policy that takes into account mining’s connection to communities.According to the document, these contributions should be made in ways that include the environment, economy, culture and social issues and community development in the relevant areas.The policy also listed some benefits to the communities of mining companies giving back more, including the stability it would bring to mining regions and communities “in times of reduced mining activity or mine closure.”According to the policy, such an approach would also “strengthen the social licence for mining in regions and communities by enabling residents to see direct links between mining and their socio-economic progress, promote social cohesion, promote the mitigation or elimination of mining-related hazards and environmental damage from past mining, such as unstable grounds and slopes, excessive erosion, mined out pits, and mercury-contaminated areas.”The draft policy document also acknowledged that while miners do give back to the community even without a formal local content policy, more can be done once supported by development agreements.The document notes that this local content policy must be drafted through a multi-stakeholder process. One method recommended by the policy is revenue sharing through a multi-year extra-budgetary fund for communities.AssistanceThe policy also proposes a miner’s assistance scheme. This is based on the premise that many small-scale miners lack capital for improving their operations. According to the policy, assistance could take several forms including loans and equity-based financing.The document gives some details about this proposal, noting that priority treatment can be given to miners without such equipment, to syndicates and other partnership arrangements, as well as the granting of waivers on all duties for targeted equipment.Providing justification for this proposal, the document recommends miners lodge partial collateral, set at a percentage of the cost price of the equipment. This collateral, according to the policy, could be land, a cash bond or a freeze on the account of a guarantor, with little to no interest on repayments and a grace period before first payment of instalment.It also proposes “a repayment scheme that awards points to the miner for gold declarations over a certain amount. The higher the declaration, the more the Government reduces the debt (and a) reward for quick payback of debt in the form of a full transfer of ownership of the equipment to the miner if a large amount of the debt, for example, 80 per cent, is repaid within a short period”.The document also recommends the auctioning of all reclaimed equipment by Government, with a pre-set floor price to create a level playing field. Besides the miners’ assistance scheme, a proposal is also made for upgrade training and extension services to miners.The document proposes “building on the experience, outputs (in particular the codes of practice) and recommendations of the GENCAPD field studies, the Responsible Mining initiative of Conservation International, and other such projects.”It also recommends expanding waivers for green mining technologies and expanding the Guyana Mining School. To make more land available, the document also recommends ways of discouraging persons sitting idly on mining blocks, instead of actually mining.Last year, consultations on this very policy were held. These consultations were hosted by a tribunal from a policy committee. Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, Guyana Lands and Surveys and the Guyana Women Miners Association were present.