GGMC, EPA hosts waste management workshop in Region Eight
DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, November 09, 2017
Residents of Region Eight, Potaro Siparuni have benefitted from a workshop that will enhance their waste management.
The exercise which was hosted today, by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) through the Ministry of Natural Resources in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency, is aimed at educating and sensitising residents from the region on the pros and cons of effective waste management.
Senior Environmental Officer, GGMC, Quincy Thom told the gathering, that the goal of the project is to boost the community’s waste management. He disclosed that works have commenced with the upgrade of the Mahdia dumpsite, which is some 70 percent cleared. Also, communities within the region will benefit from the distribution of 120 garbage bins for waste disposal.
Thom encouraged the residents to be informed especially on the Litter Act and responsible when disposing of their garbage.
Acting Environmental Officer in waste management, Jasmine Adams in her presentation noted that the objective of litter enforcement is the reduction of refuse and illegal dumping across Guyana.
Adams underscored that littering severely impacts society – with the spreading of vector-borne diseases to humans, prolonged periods of flooding due to blocked drains, an unsightly environment which negatively affecting tourism, and damage to wildlife.
According to the Acting Environmental Officer, laws governing littering and illegal dumping were passed in National Assembly in 2014. She reminded that the penalty for depositing litter in a public place is $15,000 per individual and $100, 000 for businesses.
However, for those business owners who cannot afford to pay their $100,000, Adams said there is a fixed penalty “where the offender accepts liability for any offense committed under the litter regulations and thus the fine is reduced to a fixed amount of $15, 000.” In cases of litter from vehicles or in public places, persons are charged $50,000 and businesses are charged $100,000.
Adams left some key reminders with the residents, including the prohibition on the burning of waste; to employ the option to bury or recycle their waste through composting and transport refuse to designated disposal sites.
The workshop was well received by residents and officials in attendance. Member of Parliament for the region, Rajkumarie Bancroft said she pleased that the region is transitioning into a township but the right approach must be taken.
“This is one of those approaches, where to have a clean environment is to have a healthy one. Soon we will be having township and lots of infrastructure will be put in place so I’m imploring to have your environment clean because when you do, you will have a healthy one.”
Regional Executive Officer, Gavin Gung also echoed the same sentiments emphasising that “we have to be mindful of keeping the environment clean so we can have a healthy environment as we continue with our daily activities.”
At the conclusion of the workshop, the garbage bins were presented to the region.
By: Ranetta La Fleur