The New Today

Letters

Alarming quantities of seaweeds

It has been months now since the residents on our North East course of Carriacou and some parts of the mainland have been plagued by the alarming quantities of seaweeds accumulated on the shores.

While it is understood that some efforts were made on mainland to clean up and discard the substance, nothing has been done on the sister isle. In the north eastern region from Dover to Windward the entire beach is covered with the decomposing weed which emits hydrogen sulfide, a gas which is known to be very poisonous and highly flammable.

It spreads a very unpleasant odor much like the smell of rotten eggs. Studies reveal that inhaling the gas in small doses could trigger irritation of the eyes and the respiratory system.

While certain measures can be put in place such as bands from the beaches and swimming, the fact remains that there are residents who live just yards away from the beach and unable to avoid the effects.

Some people have already started complaining about their breathing and even irritation of the skin from being in very close proximity to the rotting substance.

It is claimed that once the weeds are dried out, it no longer gives off the scent. However, the buildup is happening so often and so quickly that even with the hottest temperatures, the weed does not have sufficient time to dry out before another batch is washed up on top of what is already there. Hence, it is always wet.

In St. Vincent and Martinique, the government have taken steps and implemented measures to send out their environmental workers to do mass clean ups and disposal of the substance on a regular basis.

To date, there is no sign of any action being taken on the sister isle so that the residents can at least breathe comfortably and avoid being sick. It is agreed that this occurrence may be beyond the control of the authorities but at least efforts can be made to keep our environment safe, clean and free of toxins so that our citizens are not forced to inhale such a whiff.

I am therefore making an urgent appeal to the health and environmental ministries to please make this an issue of priority and put measures in place to lessen the risk of this hazard on the lives of our citizens.

Peter Compton