When will the authorities move to mark shipping lanes in the Berbice and Demerara Rivers?
In the Stabroek News editorial of May 28 you highlighted the destruction of the riverain communities‘ livelihood by the passage of shipping too close to the banks of the rivers, as well as the death of persons in the Berbice River probably caused by shipping. As a resident of the riverain community, my understanding is that shipping should only sail in defined and marked channels. Your editorial asks: “Where are MARAD and T&HD and the relevant government ministers?“ It is noted that that the Region 10 Chairman has promised to intervene.
As a frequent traveller on the Demerara River, there are no marked shipping channels. My memory tells me that in the past there were lights and buoys which marked and defined the shipping channels, and it was required that shipping had to sail in these channels, not only to not interfere with the riverain communities; but also for shipping safety. You mention that frequent complaints have been made to Bosai, but to no avail. I assume that it is because the responsibility lies with the government (not the shipping companies) to provide approved shipping channels (properly marked) to allow the shipping to proceed safely, etc. Additionally, under the LCDS there is the mangrove initiative to protect our coastline and river banks from this invasion of the sea. This failure to provide properly marked shipping channels is contributing to the destruction of the river banks and also potentially causing death.
Your editorial is very welcome; but will it stir the authorities into providing the basic requirement of safe shipping – properly marked shipping channels – before there is more destruction of the river bank, loss of livelihood of riverain communities, destruction of the natural sea/river coastline and deaths in the Demerara and Berbice Rivers?
(Name and address provided)