Tour operators should provide bins for the disposal of waste
Stabroek News
December 12, 2001

Dear Editor,

Over the past few weeks there has been mention of one initiative or the other to market Guyana's eco-tourism potential. Your own newspaper has also gone to great pains in showcasing Guyana's beautiful interior as evidenced in this past Sunday's cover picture of the Orindiuk Falls and has highlighted the wonderful work being done by the Guyana Marine Turtle Conservation Society headed by Mrs. Annette Arjoon in a brilliant effort to protect the various species of endangered turtles.

The recent decision by the Copenhagen Zoo to conduct a joint breeding programme with the Guyana Zoo for manatees must also be commended. Similarly, you have brought to the fore the carnage being done to our delicate interior waterways by unregulated mining activities that have created health hazards for the Amerindians. The Kaieteur Gorge is merely a shadow of its former self and I am sure that should its discoverer, the British explorer Barrington Brown, set foot there in the year 2001 he would be quite aghast.

In your picture of the Orindiuk Falls, one could not help noticing what appeared to be pieces of discarded cartoon or paper and the chairs etc donated by Precision Woodworking Establishment were set upon darkened or moreso blackened ground. Is this the natural colour of the cleared area or is it remnants of an area that was utilised either for barbecues or coal production (from the burning of trees)? Whilst I am all for eco-tourism it is equally imperative that every consideration be given to our pristine but ecologically sensitive flora and fauna. It is imperative for the Minister of Tourism, Manzoor Nadir, to take pre-emptive and proactive measures in ensuring that tour operators provide adequate bins for the disposal of waste, failing which the waste will end up in the creeks and various interior waterways, thereby contributing to waterborne pollution.

Our Amerindian brothers and sisters deserve our respect and consideration for they use these very rivers and streams for their daily existence in terms of washing, drinking, cooking, bathing and fishing.

We are all merely tenants of this earth and we must learn to respect nature. It is important to recognise that it takes almost 100 years before a plastic soft drink bottle can safely disintegrate. Similarly a lot of cardboard boxes and by products are made with bleached material which will be disastrous for our fragile ecosystem. If we really do care about the state of our beloved nation's environment let us do the minimum by

being good and thoughtful in our disposal of waste material.

Yours faithfully,

Mike Singh