Smoke, fumes continue to plague residents

Burning Haags Bosch Landfill

Residents of communities in close proximity to the Haags Bosch, Eccles, East Bank Demerara dumpsite,

The Haags Bosch Landfill site
The Haags Bosch Landfill site

continue their cry of being subjected to health hazards caused by the smoke and fumes emanating from the landfill site in the area.
According to residents of those areas on Tuesday, their complaints have “fallen onto deaf ears” and “no one seems to be concerned” about their wellbeing.
“That girl have a baby over there and she can’t even open the door. Pon a morning, this whole place does get white, white and the smell, like it want suffocate you here,” said one peeved woman.
Numerous persons living in the area expressed concern for the children, highlighting that many have succumbed to asthma attacks due to the thick cloud of smoke that would cloak the area on a regular basis.
A woman who identified herself as “Singh” told Guyana Times “you cater the amount of people wa ga lil children in this area, them children wa going to school.”
On Friday last, residents complained to this publication of many other complications they experience due to the smoke, highlighting that between the hours of 19:00h and 05:00h, the smoke is at its worst and does not clear up until 06:30h, adding that during the rainy weather the smoke would dissipate faster as compared to drier weather.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, the Communities Ministry in a statement by Government Information Agency, said ‘spontaneously combusting’ fires continue to cause problems for residents of Eccles and nearby communities.
Project Director of the Georgetown Solid Waste Management Programme, Gordon Gilkes, said they implemented a temporary operator at the landfill to monitor the smoke and fumes.
Contrary to the belief that the smoke is as a result of wood being continuously burnt at that location, Gilkes said it is as a result of fire to a section of the building that used to store the wood.
He explained that the fire which occurred earlier in the month at the landfill was controlled, except for instances when it rains, resulting in smoke and fumes.
During the late period of last year, this issue had been raised by residents and even though complaints had been made to the Communities Ministry and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on numerous occasions, in each instance, they were told that the respective authorities were “looking into the matter.”