Based on reports of increased levels of mercury in waterways of interior regions, Government has made a further commitment to confront the issue, as Guyana will be partnering with South Africa to introduce mercury-free recovery methods in the gold mining sector as it seeks to enter commercial mining.Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman has said that the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) would need to partner on the mercury-free mining initiative so as to ensure that the environment and people are protected.The South African Government has expressed a willingness to share its bleach gold recovery method as a cost-effective and equally efficient means of recovering gold. A delegation who recently visited Guyana plans to take a number of Guyanese miners to South Africa to observe the gold recovery system.Guyana is among eight countries which will partner with the Conservation International/Global Environmental Facility (CI/GEF) programme, with the aim of ensuring mercury-free mining worldwide.The urgent action is needed to protect millions of men, women and children who are exposed to toxic levels of mercury through gold production every year. This is the main contention of the backers of the new $180 million programme, in seeking to reform the Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining sector (ASGM).The programme – the global opportunities for the long-term development of the ASGM sector (GEF GOLD) – aims to reduce the use of mercury in artisanal gold mining, and introduce and facilitate access to mercury-free extraction methods, while at the same time working with Governments to formalise the sector, promoting miner rights, safety and their access to markets.In addition to Guyana, the programme spans several other countries including Burkina Faso, Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya, Mongolia, the Philippines and Peru.The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), are other partners in the programme.Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman said GGMC has been discussing the possibility of becoming a gold producer rather than being just a licencing and regulatory authority. This idea, if properly introduced, could help to increase profits for the company.Trotman related that Guyana may not be at that stage yet but could start with a mercury-free model, to demonstrate to the other miners not only how one can mine without mercury but also how they can mine without mercury and still be profitable.Guyana has been taking steps to eliminate the use of mercury in mining here. Several days ago, a meeting of a National Working Group (NWG) on the “Minamata Convention on Mercury” was convened at the Natural Resources Ministry’s Main Street offices in Georgetown.Guyana signed the Convention on Mercury on October 10, 2013, ratifying it on September 24, 2014. Guyana was also elected as one of the two Vice-Presidents from the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC) to serve on the Bureau of the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP 3).At the meeting, Policy Analyst at the Natural Resources Ministry, Mariscia Charles, said the Minamata Convention follows and builds on the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) conventions which came into force on August 16, 2017.This was the first global agreement on health and the environment for close to a decade. She reminded participants of Guyana’s participation in the plenary sessions which focused on freeing the Amazon from the impacts of mercury used in ASGM.In September 2017, President David Granger attended the inaugural Conference of Parties (COP1) in Geneva, Switzerland, where he affirmed Guyana’s position and committed to the elimination of mercury usage by 2027.
Residents of Waiakabra on the Soesdyke Linden Highway have made calls on the relevant authorities to visit the community and offer guidance and assistance to parents in getting their children into the school system. Residents, who recently reached out to Guyana Times said the issues affecting them included the lack of resources, such as finance and transportation and necessary documentation, for their children to attend school which is located a far distance from their community.Ramona Da Silva, one of the residents who spoke to this newspaper said she has two children ages five and eight who are not attending school since they do not have birth certificates. She said she had visited the Social Protection Ministry where she was advised that a late registration would have to be done for the children. “My children don’t have birth certificate. And the school said they can’t take them in without it. I went to the Ministry and they tell me about a late registration but it’s a long process and I don’t have the means to get it done right now. If I can just get a permission slip for them to be taken into the school I would be very happy because I can work on getting the documents after that,” she said.A few of the other residents, who shared similar issues, called on the authorities to visit the community and advise them on how those and other issues can be addressed. Brian Reynolds who also shared his concerns told this newspaper that there is no school in the community and the schools in closest proximity are located a far distance and there is no public transportation that works in the area and parents usually have to walk their children to and from school if they cannot afford taxi fare.“If you don’t have a taxi fare or your own transportation, you have to walk out of this place. And it goes way down to the back. It’s a long sand road. If we can get one of those school bus the President had shared out we would be grateful because we more need it up here. We are pleading for any interest or help at all from the Administration. We are all citizens of this country but it seems as if we are forgotten most times,” he said.During an interview with Guyana Times, the Education Ministry’s Senior Guidance and Counselling Officer, Vickram Mohabir, in response to the issues outlined by the residents stated he is aware of the issues in that community and believes residents there need to make a greater effort in having those problems addressed. He said the community has a bus which should assist in taking the children to school, however, according to the residents, this is not the case.Mohabir highlighted that the Ministry through its truancy campaign has been making strides in getting vulnerable children off the streets and into the school system. He added that a countrywide truancy campaign is ongoing with the aim of tackling nonattendance among school aged children.According to Mohabir, welfare officers within the various education districts plan truancy campaigns to tackle vulnerable areas with low-income households and high crime rates. He explained that the campaign has taken a new shape as is focuses more on encouraging and empowering parents to send their children to school rather than prosecution. “We are looking to work with these parents to see how we can assist them in getting the children in schools. We want to move away from the prosecution of these parents and we are interfacing with other agencies in this regard,” he stated.The exercises are ongoing in all regions except Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) where the welfare officer there had to be removed for specific reasons. He said overall, the campaign is bearing fruit as they have recorded an improvement in the number of children that were removed from the streets.Mohabir is urging persons to continue to report nonattendance of school aged children by contacting welfare officers on telephone number 225-9537 and all information will be treated with strictest confidentiality.
Two young Letterkenny ABC boxers have punched their way to two Ulster titles in Newtonstewart last Sunday.Patrick Mc Shane and Micheal O’Donnell, both 11 years old, were in flying form. They go on now to compete in the All-Irelands in the National Stadium, Dublin next week.The boys’ coaches are Rory McShane, Martin Glackin, James Browne and Paddy Gallagher ULSTER SAYS YES FOR TWO YOUNG LETTERKENNY BOXERS! was last modified: April 15th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:boxingdonegalLettetrkenny ABCUlster