Mangroves cleared at Ruimzigt for sea defence work

An excavator moving the rocks from a pile and placing them along the shore as the lone tree stands.

Residents of Ruimzigt on the West Coast of Demerara say they are concerned that sea defence works have resulted in the clearing of mangroves and other vegetation along the shoreline.

Stabroek News visited the shorefront last week where there are ongoing works to the sea defence. Three large excavators were noticed piling large rocks on the area where mangroves and other  vegetation were growing and acting as a natural defence to the incoming waves.

“They been working here for a while now. Since last year and they been removing the trees and everything that used to be there and we know that you can’t do that. Nobody used to chop them things down and now it just got one big tree standing there,” one resident explained.

Another excavator placing rocks along the shoreline in Ruimzigt, West Coast Demerara last week. Cleared vegetation can be seen on the right.

Another pointed out that after he saw the works had started and the contractor was “clearing the trees wild west” he inquired but none of his questions were answered by the workers.

“Everybody know them nah supposed to cut them things down so when they start do it I go to them and ask why and they nah answer me. None of them man that working there give any answers and they just seh that they doing what they were told to do and nobody ain’t tell them otherwise since,” another resident expressed.

Stabroek News was unable to contact the relevant persons from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a comment.

In 2010, new regulations were put in place that prohibited the removal of mangroves and restoration projects across the coastland were subsequently launched.

Significant sums of monies have been expended and budgeted on the regeneration of mangroves along the coastline over the years.

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