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I have noticed with interest the solid defense by the Minister responsible for Public Works contending that the removal of mangrove on the West Bank of Demerara (a) will not cause flooding and (b) that such action is necessary in the interest of development and as he put it to have world-class facilities.
I hope that, as it seems to be the new mode of operation, that the Minister of Public Works pronouncement was a result of consultation and advice from the Hydraulic and other Engineers responsible for securing integrity of our entire coastline and not an ex cathedra pronouncement.
If he has consulted and attained the advice of competent and experienced Engineers, in the interest of transparency, he should let the public know, who are these Engineers and experts who advise him and allow him to make this stout defense for the removal of mangroves.
His experienced Engineers should be at the vintage of the Late Walter Willis, Phillip Alsopp, Steve Narine et al.
To the best of my knowledge, removing mangroves at the rate it is to be done by Tristar Incorporated seems to fly in the face of those committed to preserving our environment and our very fragile coastline.
Those mangroves existed, whether by the Creator or otherwise for very good reasons, and should not be capriciously removed or destroyed.
The second aspect of the Government’s argument is that it is for development.
This is an unhappy argument advanced over centuries by those who have no care or concern for the wisdom of mother nature and the well-being of ordinary folks.
It is this same development that allowed the greedy to plunder the rain forest and to destroy the natural habitat in North, South and Central Americas.
It is unnecessary for me to give the many examples, but here in Guyana, we see those who harvest our gold and diamonds, change the course of our rivers, streams and water-ways with no concern while destroying our flora and fauna where streams that were once used to supply drinking water are now dirty, polluted water-ways where even reptiles do not venture.
Not to mention, the wanton destruction of our fishing grounds by over-fishing and for some, it is business as usual.
Guyanese must not take for granted our good fortune. We experience no serious flooding, no hurricane, no tornados, no volcanoes.
Perhaps because of this goodness by the Creator that we seem adept of man-made destruction and despoliation of our beautiful land.
We have seen in some neighborhood countries, tribes of indigenous people slaughtered in the name of development
Even in the City, this attitude seems to prevail
The philosophy seems to be that once some set of persons can make the billions, the safety and comfort of people are subordinated.
What we would like to hear is a comment from serious and impartial environmentalist and engineers.
Speaking to a resident of the area, the person described the proposal as dangerous. Sometimes, ordinary people have a wisdom that we ought not to ignore.
Let me make it clear, that I have no interest in political posturing nor attacking the Minister for whatever reason.
Here my interest is in Guyana that we can leave as our legacy and for succeeding generations a country where our descendants, can enjoy the bounty that nature offers.
Protection of our Environment, physical and moral should be the concern of every citizen, irrespective of political persuasion, race, colour or creed.
We should ensure that every school child regards him or herself as a Champion of the Earth.