JIS News

Residents of Summerfield in Clarendon are now better equipped to manage quarry activities within their community having benefited from an education session hosted by the Mines and Geology Division (MGD) yesterday (Nov.18) in the community.
The session was part of a series of public awareness meetings being undertaken in communities near the Rio Minho in Clarendon and the Yallahs River in St. Thomas under the Sedimentary Basin Resource Assessment Project (SEBRA).
The three-year old project, which is being funded by the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica at a cost of $8.5 million, is designed to evaluate the rate of accretion of sand at the two rivers and assess the level of depletion to ascertain the right balance for quarrying.
It is also aimed at stemming the increasing growth of illegal and unregulated sand/gravel quarries along rivers, and to highlight the adverse effects of unregulated sand/gravel quarrying on host communities and the environment.
The MGD and the Department of Geography and Geology (DOGG) at the University of the West Indies are executing the project.
Director of Economic Minerals at the MGD, Carlton Baxter, who spoke to JIS News before the meeting, said Summerfield was chosen because it was one of the areas suffering the effects of illicit quarrying. “We want to empower citizens to take charge of their communities and be responsible for all activities that occur there”, he explained.
He elaborated that the MGD was hoping to achieve a certain level of cooperation between quarry operators and the citizens of the communities in which quarrying took place.
Commissioner of Mines and Geology, Coy Roache pointed out that the meeting was important to highlight to the residents, the need for the management of the extraction of minerals from the river, their role in the economic viability of quarry activities, and bringing to their attention, the findings of the SEBRA Project.
One of the chief aims of SEBRA Project is to empower communities and quarry operators to become better stewards of the natural resources of sand, gravel and limestone.

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