Sep 15, 2020 Letters
There’s a burning issue that’s been affecting the residents living at Holmes Stelling at the back of the fertilizer wharf on Water Street. There’s a major demolition that has been ongoing at the Avinash Complex for the past 4 months, being carried out by a local firm JR Ranch Inc. who was contracted to do the demolishing by one of the oil and gas firms operating here in Guyana by the name of Saipem. The company is one of the contractors for ExxonMobil.
What baffles me and leaves me dumbfounded is that there’s so much double standard within these oil companies and they always try to take advantage of any situation they get their hands on especially the poor and the powerless. The main issues are the vibration from the different types of heavy machinery that are operating daily is causing serious vibrations through the houses of the residents nearby, just a stone’s throw away. Some of the residences are complaining that all their appliances are falling off their walls, television, stereos, everything is shaking due to the heavy vibrations. One resident has a child who’s two weeks old and the vibrations are affecting the infant tremendously. The people are wondering if they should incur any damage if anyone is going to compensate them for the losses or, God forbid, the worst-case scenario should happen that one of the houses collapse with one of the residents and their little children inside. Then we will know about the safety protocols and measures in place when it’s too late, when lives are lost.
Only a few months, back a large crane that was doing some construction work for an oil and gas company crashed into the municipal abattoir on Water Street; luckily no one was injured at the time because it wasn’t a working day at the abattoir. The residents at Holmes Stelling don’t want to stymie development or progress in this country but are concerned about their health and safety, something that is paramount within the oil and gas sector. To date, no company or any relevant body has had any consultation or conversion with any of the residents living nearby and this is only the demolition phase; what will happen when the major construction begins to build a pipe storage facility? When they have to drive concrete piles 400ft into the earth, the residents there will be on their own like refugees fleeing from their own country I’m pleading with the relevant authorities to look into this matter urgently: the EPA, the Minister of Housing and Water and all other relevant authority.
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