Fire at New Amsterdam dumpsite burning for days; Mayor worried

The fire at the New Amsterdam dumpsite

By: Andrew Carmichael 

A fire that erupted on Monday at the municipal dumpsite in New Amsterdam continues to burn and the Town Mayor has expressed concerns about this impact on the environment.

On Monday, flames were observed coming from the dumpsite situated at Esplanade in New Amsterdam.

Thick smoke bellowed from the site covering sections of the town. Firefighters arrived on the scene but there was not much they could have done. The heavy wind pushed the raging flames to the far side of the dumpsite, making it impossible for firefighters to get there.

However, they assured that there was no threat to lives or properties.

The department said the fire was under control on Tuesday. However, on Wednesday thick smoke obscured visibility in the compound of the New Amsterdam Hospital and the Berbice High School.

The situation became worrying.

The fire at the New Amsterdam dumpsite

Mayor Wainwright McIntosh made his second visit to the location on Wednesday and was able to speak with workers contracted by Cevons Waste Management (CWM) which has responsibility for managing the dumpsite.

“What they are saying is that they are making preparations via the excavation of a drainage network after which they will install a three-inch pump. According to the worker at the dumpsite, to say when this pump will arrive, the worker has no knowledge as to when it will arrive to commence the process of eradication of the fire,” the Mayor related to this publication.

A worker explained that the plan is to dig two reservoirs in order to access water from the earth, to douse the ongoing fire.

However, the suggested system that is to be put in place is not likely to have any significant impact on the fire, as the reservoir will not have the capacity to supply anywhere close to the needed amount of water.

“Our residents are affected, it is a health hazard and it causes concern. So, I am asking for the contractor to hasten his footsteps to deal with this environmental crisis that we are faced with as a municipality,” the Mayor appealed.

In explaining that the dumpsite is not being managed by the municipality, McIntosh said all efforts are being made to get in contact with the management of the company.

“It is not the municipality who would have given that contract out. This contract was procured through the Government of Guyana.”