May 14, 2021 Letters
We are now in an epoch whereby we are trying to mitigate and correct most of the wanton destruction that humankind as a whole had done to the environment since the start of the Industrial Revolution. It, therefore, sounds very callous and insouciant that a Minister of both Works and Divinity can pass such a harsh penalty on one of nature’s beautiful blessings, that of our pristine mangroves. To condemn the mangroves to extinction at the altar of development must surely be making a mockery of the gods.
Is it not more sustainable and commonsensical to build one adequately sized modern port facility at the Vreed-en-Hoop Stelling that can handle all the offshore activities of the warehouses on the West Dem, rather, than each individual developer building their own wharves along the riverbank?
The main reason for having the waterfront wharves, is to ship and receive the materials and equipment for the offshore platforms, which with effective programming, one modern central port can suffice. Allowing individual developers to build along the riverbank will exemplify that the lessons of the past were not learnt and all that we will be having are repeats of more Tri Stars and the decimation of our eco-system.
An adequately sized modern port facility with powerful gantry and mobile cranes, adequate space for handling and storing all the merchandise for the offshore platforms with concrete jetty for docking, will allow developers to locate their warehouses away from the river. This will also develop a system of inland freighting from the various warehouses to the central port, which will rebound to the benefit of locals.
This central modern port facility can be built either by the government or a consortium and will create a host of employment opportunities for citizens over on the West Demerara. It will maintain itself from the reasonable handling and storing charges affixed to its customers’ base. Bunkering and supply of fresh water can also be a supplemental trade of the port facility to vessels using our other ports.
With a central port facility, the mangroves will breathe a sigh of relief. It’s a win-win for both the mangroves and rapacious developers.
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