Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill has explained the clearing of mangroves at the Versailles-Malgre Tout shoreline, saying the actions were necessary for economic development.
Concerns were raised after developer, TriStar Incorporated cleared a large swathe of mangroves in order to establish a multi-million-dollar shorebase facility.
Reports indicate that the developer cleared more mangroves than it was permitted to do, and stakeholders have since expressed concerns about the negative impacts this move could have as it relates to flooding.
Addressing this concern during a press conference today, Edghill urged the public to consider the overriding need to bring development and jobs to Region Three (Essequibo Island-West Demerara).
“We were campaigning for the 2020 General and Regional Elections, [saying] elect us and we will create 50,000 jobs. This is only one of the projects of the several that will come on board, that will provide job creation. This project, at both the construction and operational stage, will have a minimum of about 150 jobs,” the Minister noted.
He further explained that TriStar made an application that was reviewed by the Sea and River Defence Board, which is composed of technical and engineering experts. He pointed out that this Board granted ‘no objection’ to the project, having considered all the potential fallouts.
Edghill also pointed out that the US$100 million facility would be complemented by steel piles that would be built to mitigate floods.
Moreover, the Public Works Minister contended that more mangroves will have to be cleared to develop the Wales Development Authority and the laying of a gas to shore pipeline project.