GGMC issues mining permit for private land

…as regional officials express concern over issue at Moblissa

Officials of Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) and Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) have expressed concern over the actions of a contractor who is removing loam from the Moblissa, Linden-Soesdyke community.
Recently, several officials from both regions, including Region 10 Chairman Renis Morian, visited the area following complaints from residents.
The community forms part of Region 10 though it is administered by Region Four. According to Morian, the work of the contractor is disrupting the environment, as well as the livelihood of residents and the contract has not stimulated any mutual benefits.

A section of the land at Moblissa

“We did get a complaint from the folks at Moblissa, concerning a contractor who is removing loam and in the process, they’re damaging roads, jeopardising the environment,” the Region 10 Chairman stated. Morian said he has written to the Ministry of the Presidency, the Natural Resources Ministry, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and the Communities Ministry to have an intervention into the matter.
According to reports, a permit had been granted by the GGMC for the contractor to conduct mining at the location. Morian said, however, during the meeting with affected residents in the area, he learnt that despite a contract, there had been no previous consultation with residents and that there have been no financial benefits for the community. Additionally, he noted that the contractor was mining on private property, which should automatically make the contract null and void.
“We recognised that 300 feet of a private resident’s land was also covered under this contract which immediately makes this contract null and void, because a contract should not be issued to include a private person’s land. Nevertheless…nobody made that contract null and void,” Morian said.
In moving forward, he added that the issue would be brought back to the community and discussed, and officials would seek to remove the private land from the contract. He noted that the Regional Democratic Councils (RDCs) of both regions would work collaboratively to resolve the issue as he pointed out that residents have requested that the contract be put on hold and for a consultation on the issue to be held with the GGMC.
“Myself and the Region Four Chairman came to the conclusion that together the people must not suffer,” Morian said, noting that he was also awaiting word from Government on the matter. (Utamu Belle)