Jun 22, 2021 News
– residents say company is the cause
Kaieteur News – The BOSAI Minerals Group is distancing itself from the flooding in East Montgomery Mines in Region 10 despite residents’ claims that it is responsible. Over 100 houses were affected by the flooding in the area of Three Friends Mines, Maria Elizabeth and Coomacka.
Kaieteur News understands that the management of BOSAI was made aware of the severe flooding Thursday night and a senior representative from the Mines’ operation was sent to the location to have a firsthand look at the situation. On Friday, June 18, 2021, the BOSAI management team did a further investigation in the affected areas in an attempt to determine the cause of the flooding.
BOSAI’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Vanessa Mitchell Davis, related in a voice note, that a team from the Ministry of Public works visited the company’s operations and was shown the extent of BOSAI’s property and the discharge of its drainage pumps into the environment. The team, the PRO noted, expressed satisfaction and had even stated that BOSAI is not the cause of the flooding. She further stated that based on observations made by the BOSAI management team on Friday, the Ministry’s team was taken to the blue lake which represents a previously mined out area, located outside of BOSAI’s western property boundary.
Davis additionally revealed that the mined out area is bordered to the east by a plot of land generally known as the “rehab area” that belongs to the Linmine Secretariat, where the old bucket wheel excavators and large working draglines were parked and subsequently dismantled as scrap iron. The mined out area, she said, has an outlet drain that leads to the much larger Yari Yari Bow mined out area located to the south. The Yari Yari Bow mined out area has an outlet to the Demerara River, situated under the bridge of the road leading to one of the affected communities.
Based on observations at the Linmine Secretariat, the outlet drain was blocked and bridged to provide access to the Linmine Secretariat Rehab Site where remnants of scrap materials were still present. Investigations within the area showed too that there were water stains around the perimeter of the mined out area which showed the height that the water rose, currently estimated at over 15 feet. It is suspected that this water resulted in a tsunami effect in the Yari Yari Bow mined out area which overwhelmed the excessive flow of water into the Three Friends Mines.
Davis indicated that BOSAI is committed to rendering all necessary assistance in the form of equipment and materials to assist in remedial work in the affected communities and is willing to work along with all the relevant stakeholders. However, this publication was informed by the Regional Chairman of Region 10, Deron Adams, that the water receded after the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority dug a four feet drain Saturday morning to channel the remaining water off of the residents’ lands. Despite making commitments to contribute to the work being done in the affected areas, BOSAI is yet to contribute to any work being done.
Last year January, the Environmental Protection Agency was forced to halt production and other operations done by BOSAI following a breach in its tailings pond which resulted in several houses being flooded with red bauxite-type waste water, which is considered to be harmful to humans. Due to that infraction, BOSAI was fined $1 million by the agency. At the said time, that was the second sanction imposed on the bauxite company in one month, the first dating back to December 24, 2019 when the company was immediately charged for discharging waste into the Kara Kara Creek.
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