Oil on the seawalls
Stabroek News
April 12, 2002

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Dear Editor,

I have enjoyed the seawalls for some seven or eight years now. I go regularly - most nights - before sunset - and enjoy the breeze and the cloud effects and the atmosphere. Say what you want about the litter (an' we in Guyana is real Litter-ate), say what you want about the vagrants, there is an atmosphere here which is hard to find elsewhere. Maybe it's the wide open sky, the wind, the spaciousness after the confines of the city. Maybe it's just walking and meeting people you see most days you go there. But whatever it is, it's - for me - a nice place to be.

Of course there are drawbacks, the latest being some madman who repeats endlessly something about resting my stupid something, but he is so far away I can't make out what he is saying. The battery people should grab him for an advert - let a few more deadbeats lie on the mud and let him be the only one still going.

But let all be warned - oil has hit our beaches. Is this the promised oil strike from the Eagle Field, one asks? Has someone been out there secretly drilling? We don't know. But there is certainly a tarry substance which sticks nicely to your shoes (and your children's shoes) if you take a walk along the sand. Having lost two shirts - I have to carry my little one at times - in fact both my shirts - I am not impressed.

So - watch out when on the seawalls. We've been extremely lucky so far in that we have never had a major oil spill off our coast. The emergency response team is not answering the phone and when you bang the door they say they done gone cricket. Let's hope it doesn't get worse than this.

Yours faithfully,

Pete Bouchard