- Company will provide needed assistance to residents and the community
The management of the bauxite company BOSAI Minerals Group Guyana (BMGG), has posited, that the water reservoir that collapsed on Thursday evening, causing severe flooding in the communities of Three Friends and Maria Elizabeth, is no fault of the company and is actually from an old mined-out area from the DEMBA/GUYMINE era, located outside of BOSAI’S western property boundary. In an official statement, Public Relations Officer of the company, Sherry Domer, said that on Thursday evening, a senior official visited the community and this was followed by a repeated visit on Friday by another team of officials. The visit confirmed that the source of the water is outside of BOSAI’s mining jurisdiction. “There are water stains around the mined-out area, that showed the height at which the water rose, currently estimated at over 15 feet, but which will be later confirmed by a survey. The elevated water in the catchment rose and eventually washed away the access road that was built, blocking the exit drain. The sudden release of over 15 feet, high volume of water from the mined-out area, resulted in a tsunami effect, into the Yariyaribo mined out area, which overwhelmed the excessive flow of water into the Three Friends Mines,” the statement said. According to the statement, the LINMINE SECRETARIATE/NICIL, is the custodian of the lands in which the collapsed reservoir is located.
A team of engineers from the Ministry of Public Works was shown the discharge from BOSAI’S operation and expressed satisfaction with BOSAI’s drainage system, Domer said.
Though not the company’s fault, Domer said that the company will assist in any remedial works and is willing to work along with all the relevant stake holders to bring speedy intervention to the affected communities.
On Friday, Regional Executive Officer Dwight John, along with other officials from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), visited the location and discovered the source of the water. Those officials initially related that the source of the water was from BOSAI’s operation. Domer explained that discovery was made from the community’s end and not from BOSAI’s operation end, which would have given the officials a clearer view of the situation. She said that officials from Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), also visited BOSAI on Monday and were given a tour of the operation and were also satisfied that the company is not to be blamed. Efforts to contact the EPA Mines Department for a comment, proved futile.
Meanwhile, timely intervention from NDIA, resulted in the receding of the water flow into the community. NDIA dug a four feet drain to channel the remainder of the water, off of the residents’ land.
On Sunday Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn and Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Nigel Dharamlall, visited the communities with regional officials and distributed hampers to those affected.
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