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I am stunned, like most right thinking Guyanese, by Tristar Incorporated’s actions to destroy the mangroves in Region 3. I am even more disturbed by the responses and utterances of the authorities, across ministries and agencies, to this environmental tragedy.
As on so many issues, like its management of COVID-19 to their stewardship of the environment in this most recent instance, economics seem to trump reason. Senior government official Bishop Juan Edghill seemed to sum up the policy of the administration, as reported in sections on the media, ‘mangroves are important, but development must not be stymied’.
In March of 2020 Dr. William Adu-Krow, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/ WHO) country representative in Guyana recommended a lockdown to stem COVID-19.
More recently, Dr Sylvain Aldighieri, PAHO’s incident manager in Trinidad said, ‘public health measures, when strictly implemented and monitored would impact the reproductive rate of the virus.’
But in typical PPP posturing, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy stated, ‘a total lockdown will disrupt lives and businesses.’ This PPP preference for economic considerations over all else is foolhardy at best. Protection of and concerns for the environment should be paramount; and regard for human life and the quality of the planet the next generation inherits should have no equal.
Additionally, safeguards especially for the people of Region 3 who are now exposed to severe flooding due to the mangrove’s removal should, without question, be considered above the business interest of a few private entrepreneurs.
Shutdown this callous, illegal disregard for the environment and repair the breach. Stern action, not hot air rhetoric and vacuous platitudes from the administration, is the only course to remedy this incalculable infraction and man-made impending crisis.
Sherod Avery Duncan, MP.