Jul 12, 2016 News
After a picture of a sunken river dredge appeared in the Kaieteur News on Monday last, the Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, Simona Broomes, facilitated a meeting with top officials of the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) yesterday to find a remedy to the situation.
It was at the meeting that it was revealed that the dredge bearing licence number SD 3398, belonging to Crown Mining, had sunk over a month ago near the Piereemap Falls, Mazaruni River, Region Seven (Cuyuni/Mazaruni).
That sunken dredge will be removed within two days.
This was according to the Minister after she received word from the Commissioner of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), Newell Dennison, yesterday morning.
The dredge is currently a hindrance and a hazard to vessels traversing the area.
Present at the meeting yesterday were the Director of MARAD, Claudette Rogers and Senior Officer, Michael Tennant.
Minister Broomes stated that the vessel could have cost the lives of people traversing the area frequently. However, she was happy that the matter was revealed in the press so that it can be addressed.
The Minister added that safety and compliance is one that the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment is focusing on and reiterated that the government is also looking at the synergy across various Ministries.
“The GGMC (Guyana Geology and Mines Commission) through the Ministry of Natural Resources is one of the areas that we need to pay attention to. We don’t need to have situations out there lead us but we have to take the leading role.
“There are rules and laws that one has to comply with,” the Minister stated.
Tennant stated that he only learnt of the situation after reading the newspaper yesterday morning. He continued that he immediately tried to make contact with MARAD’s “point person” to get a feedback. All his calls went unanswered, he said.
Meanwhile, assurances were given by the Minister and the Director that there will be more collaborative efforts between the two entities. For almost a decade now MARAD was seeking co-operation and a semblance of order with GGMC.
The Director stated that they are working assiduously to remedy this situation. MARAD is looking for more collaboration with other stakeholders to make a joint effort in ensuring that Guyana’s waterways are safe while at the same time, ensuring that all vessels are licensed, and fit to operate among other things that fall within MARAD’s mandate.
“Because of our limited capacity we have to rely on, or work with, or in collaboration with Coast Guard and the Marine Police more so now that we have GGMC on board which we are truly happy for this collaborative effort…” Rogers stated.
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