Dumping of medical waste near Essequibo Village continuing, says Hughes

- warns of disaster waiting to happen

The callous dumping of hospital waste near Red Village, on the Essequibo Coast is continuing, the AFC said yesterday, while announcing that it will write to the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and other relevant bodies about the “disaster” in the making.

Nearly one year after the residents’ plight was highlighted in this newspaper, AFC Chairman Nigel Hughes told reporters yesterday that the party was appalled to see, when on a visit to the village, that the situation had not changed.

He said they saw syringes, needles, bloody gauze and human body parts on the heap dumped by the Suddie Hospital, a stone’s throw away from the village. What was even more frightening was when they learnt from villagers that children during play, pick up the syringes and chase each other.

“There was  an open dumpsite in which there were all forms of medical waste, blood strewn  gauze, bones, human bones and remains, syringes something that resembled post operative pregnancy body parts  which the residents described as the afterbirth open to the public,” Hughes  said.

The dumpsite
The dumpsite

“It is in a location, which is not fenced. It was not buried, it was not isolated and it was literally 60 metres away from Red Village. The dogs would go to the dumpsite and would pick up human remains and bring it back to the village… the children would pick up syringes and be threatening to bore each other, in some sort of game that they play,” he added.

Hughes explained that his party sees the action by the Suddie Hospital as a medical crisis given the many dangers it poses and as a result it will write to PAHO and other agencies highlighting the residents’ concerns. “This is a medical crisis. It is in total violation of the law. The Environmental Protection Act specifically prohibits this and to think that the Suddie Hospital would be involved in such flagrant flouting of the law,” he stated.
Several efforts to contact Minister of Health Dr Bheri Ramsaran yesterday proved futile.

“We, the AFC, intend to alert PAHO as well as those agencies not only with the disposal of waste but also the required compliance with the most minimal basic international standard for the establishment of dumpsites, particularly for the disposal of medical wasted,” Hughes declared.
“We consider this a national threat… this is a disaster waiting to happen which requires immediate urgent action,” he added.

Hughes also raised alarm over the potential health hazards that seepages from the dump into the main canal used for domestic purposes could pose. He explained that when it rains, the water runs into the canal but residents had no choice as that was their main source of water, since there is no well in the area. He informed that there is also no electricity.

Little Red Village is a community built entirely by the non-governmental organisation Food For The Poor (FFTP) in collaboration with the Roetheli family of the USA. Prior to its establishment, the village, also known as Sandpit, was very bushy and the villagers lived in primitive and poverty stricken conditions.

However, FFTP had noted the need for housing in the area, where many families lived in shacks. After meetings with the people of the area, an initiative was taken to clear the land, following which it was decided that each house lot would be an approximate size of 50 ft by 100 ft.

Villagers were then mandated to purchase the land from government and because of their circumstances, FFTP negotiated with the government for a minimum price, which was settled on at $66,000 per house lot. Through a collaborative effort with the Roetheli family 100 houses were built.

More in Local News

The newly commissioned $26.5 million Student Loan Agency, located at the University of Guyana Turkeyen’s campus

UG loan defaulters face travel ban

Government yesterday outlined proposed measures to ensure that University of Guyana (UG) students repay their loans, including barring those with outstanding debts from leaving the country.

default placeholder

Sexually-abused girls, ages 13 to 15, largest group in children’s homes

Over the last ten years, the number of children in institutional care in Guyana has increased by almost 50%, with girls between the ages of 13 and 15, many of whom have been victims of sexual abuse, representing the largest single age group.

default placeholder

ExxonMobil seeking more acreage for oil search

American oil firm ExxonMobil is seeking to acquire more acreage offshore Guyana and a top executive has reiterated that the plan for production is “probably early into the next decade at this point.” In a quarterly earnings call with analysts yesterday, ExxonMobil’s Vice President, Investor Relations and Secretary Jeffrey J.

default placeholder

Troy records second quarter drop in gold production

Australian mining company Troy Resources Limited has produced 34,740 ounces of gold for the year up to the end of June at its Karouni gold project here and adverse weather conditions and teething problems at its mill are being blamed for hindering operations in the last quarter.

default placeholder

GGMC workers to get six weeks’ pay bonus for 2015

While they anticipate as much as a 25% increase in salary for 2016, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) workers yesterday welcomed an announcement by government of a one-off six weeks’ payout for last year.

Leroy Bennett

Teen repairman dies after fall from rice mill’s roof

A young repairman lost his life yesterday when he fell from the roof of the Ancient County Rice Mill, in Berbice.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: