A massive fish kill was also reported earlier this week in the vicinity of the Big Walk gorge. The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) has identified the bauxite company as the source of the problem.
The Member of Parliament contends that the bauxite company has been careless with the disposal of its waste, and the continuing contamination of the river has been disastrous for several communities which depend on the water source for fishing and domestic use.
“This reccurrence is now tantamount to carelessness on the part of the company. Persons have fallen ill from eating contaminated fish and swimming in the effluent filled river.” Ms. Neita said.
The MP said the people have to be seeking medical help to deal with conditions arising from the continuing contamination of the river and Windalco must be held accountable for this unnecessary disaster.
In the meantime, the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) has said it is concerned about the revelation that there is an arrangement in place through the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) allowing Windalco controlled release of some of its effluent into the Rio Cobre.
Chief Executive Officer of JET, Suzanne Stanley, said "the operations of any company in Jamaica...should be restricted to the perimeter of their property... So there should not be impacts to the environment, to public health outside of that perimeter and if that is the case, then strict, stiff penalties and fines should apply. Not just enforcement notices; enforcement notices clearly are not working."
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