Public Works Minister Juan Edghill and his junior ministry Deodat Indar in justifying the removal of mangroves on the West Bank of Demerara say it was necessary, “development comes with changes,” Minister Edghill told the media on Monday afternoon when he addressed the destruction of mangroves at Malgre Tout/Versailles for the development of shore base by TriStar Incorporated.
Acres of mangroves were cleared as the company is preparing the land for what is said to be a shore base to serve the oil industry.
“Mangroves would have to be displaced to facilitate development,” Edghill said as he pointed out that some of the eastern bank of the Demerara River has already seen this type of “development.”
His colleague Minister Indar in his statement said that shore base is a welcomed investment to Region Three as he said that changes would happen, “they (mangroves) have to be displaced,” Minister Deodat maintained, “if we are to develop this country, we have to give some, something has to give.”
Minister Edghill said his government will continue to facilitate developmental and economic projects as he said this is a US$100 million proposed facility.
Additionally, Minister Juan said that the company has given assurances that all the necessary measures would be in place to prevent flooding. Standing in front of a map, the minister pointed out plans were submitted to the Sea and River Defence Board which showed plans for such defence.
“Apart from the mangroves, there is a sea defence structure by way of a dam, so there is a mangrove and there is there is a sea defence structure by way of a dam, in the engineering design which is now on the board, which is all in the red, represents hard structures that will be built to mitigate flooding and to protect that property, all properties near to it, at the back of it, far away from it from any flooding.”
The government’s response to the issue seems to have been promoted by a visit by Leader of the Opposition Joseph Harmon and members of parliament Khemraj Ramjattan and Ganesh Manipaul.
Look at the video showing the mangrove destruction on our Big Smith News Watch Facebook page.