Mabaruma and Port Kaituma among five communities benefiting from Ministry of Natural Resources -led clean up exercise.


The Ministry of Natural Resources in collaboration with the Regional Democratic Council of Region One (Barima-Waini) and the Ministry of Communities on Monday July 18, 2016 and Tuesday July 19, 2016 launched „A Clean Environment‟ in Mabaruma and Port Kaituma, an initiative meant to sensitise communities about the issue of littering with a view to changing attitudes and behaviours.

Speaking at Tuesday‟s Mabaruma launching, Environmental Awareness Coordinator in the Ministry of Natural Resources Dr Latchmin Punalall conveyed the keen interest Minister of Natural Resources Raphael G. C. Trotman has in the clean-up of the Kumaka Waterfront and other areas.

She explained that the clean-up was part of a larger effort of focusing attention on a number of communities countrywide for Guyana‟s 50th Anniversary Jubilee year 2016. The five communities being targeted in the initiative are Kwakwani, Bartica, Mabaruma, Port Kaituma and Lethem.

“So we have actually completed Bartica and Kwakwani and we are here now in Mabaruma and we will be going to Port Kaituma tomorrow (July 19, 2016) and then we have Lethem to deal with,” she said.

Noting that the Ministry of Natural Resources initiated the programme, Dr L. Punalall however said that the Ministry is coordinating with the Region One Regional Democratic Council and the Ministry of Communities on the project.

“Together the community as a whole will be enhanced in a way and so we are encouraging not only to clean it up but to keep it clean,” she said. “We are focusing on „A Clean Environment‟ – that is the name of the project…and with that you are encouraged to go clean, go green and plant a tree where possible,” said Dr L. Punalall.

The first launching took place at the RDC Compound shortly before the Kumaka Waterfront clean-up exercises began and the surrounding environs. A similar launching took place in Port Kaituma on Tuesday.

Before the conclusion of the brief and simple ceremony in both Mabaruma and Port Kaituma the Ministry of Natural Resources handed over several items to be used in the clean-up exercises including wheelbarrows, rakes, sanitary gloves, protective masks and garbage bags.

By the completion of the exercise, workers collected several bags of thrash not only from areas on land but also from spots along the waterways.

Earlier in the day on Monday July 18, 2016, the officials of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency visited an area in Mabaruma where garbage continues to be openly dumped, posing a threat to human health and the environment.

While initial discussions commenced between the Region and the EPA regarding a new area for the establishment of a proper waste management facility, nothing was finalised. However there was a firm commitment on the part of all parties to continue to engage on the issue with a view to coming up with a solution in the medium to long term.

In giving remarks at the launchings, Brentnol Ashley, Regional Chairman Region One thanked the Hon Minister Raphael G. C. Trotman and the Ministry for supporting such a Project in the Region. The Chairman urged the residents and the Neighbourhood Democratic Council to care the items donated and ensure they are used for the purpose for which they were provided. He said that it was important that the community feel a sense of ownership of the project, which would encourage them to keep their surroundings clean.

“We see this is a timely factor as we come together to make our environment safer and cleaner. The Regional Democratic Council remains committed to partnering with agencies such as the EPA and the Ministry of Natural Resources so as to garner a much healthier environment,” he said.

Speaking at the launching, Senior Environmental Officer at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Odessa Duncan urged residents of the community not to engage in littering and reminded them of the fines that they can face if they do litter – $50,000 for individuals and $100,000 for companies.

“The EPA through the Litter Enforcement Regulation launched in 2014 enforces against illegal dumping and littering. With that regulation, we are hoping to change persons‟ behaviour and attitude as it relates to their personal disposal of waste. With that being said, the EPA is looking to support Dr Punalall‟s clean-up efforts through litter enforcement. So that is something we are working aggressively towards,” said Duncane urged the members of the communities to point persons found littering to the Litter Enforcement Regulations and making them aware of the possibility of fines or jail time in case the fines cannot be paid.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *