martes, 15 de octubre de 2013

Nuevas preguntas por las cataratas o salto de Amaila

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Nuevas preguntas por las cataratas o salto de Amaila

October 15, 2013 | By KNews | Filed Under Editorial 

When Kaieteur News published a photograph of a dry Amaila Falls the nation suddenly began to ask a series of questions. One question now is whether this was the best possible site for US$1 billion hydroelectric project. This project was to have seen Guyana get 165 megawatts of power, more than the present need of the country.

The reason for its apparent demise at this time has been ventilated in the media over time. For one, the opposition parties could not agree with the government on a number of issues, not least among them the cost of the project and the details of the various loan arrangements.

The contractor then said that it needed consensus from all the political parties if it would have continued with the project. That consensus was not forthcoming.
For its part the government said that it made available to the opposition parties every bit of information on the project. The opposition denied this statement.
And it would seem that the opposition parties were correct because when the photograph of a dry Amaila Falls was published they were taken by surprise.

One opposition politician said that in his discussions with the contractor, Sithe Global, his party did hear that the flow of water over the falls would be diminished at certain times but that no one told him that this flow would be reduced to a trickle.

The press did ask about feasibility studies and got numerous answers. The first question about feasibility study was asked of Winston Brassington and dealt with the construction of the road to the dam site. Brassington said that the entity providing the Performance Bond would have conducted the feasibility study.

That entity, Hand in Hand Insurance Company never did a feasibility study. Brassington had lied. It transpired that the Performance Bond was made possible because there was a government guarantee.

The next question about a feasibility study centered on the construction of the hydroelectric dam and the entire project.

The government said that many agencies had conducted the studies but for some strange reason these studies were never made public. We know that the Inter American Development Bank was conducting its own feasibility study even though the government had stated that such a study was done. Then there was another study that culminated in a plane crash that killed the two pilots.

Was there a study that revealed that both the Kuribrong and Amaila Rivers run bone dry from time to time? The public is now left to wonder whether there would have been extensive periods of blackouts despite the massive expenditure on the project. For certain the government never told the nation about any blackouts so that the general opinion was that the Amaila Falls would have provided a continuous flow of water.

It is a good thing that these things are happening now that the project has collapsed. But what does this mean for the nation? For one there have been massive expenditures on projects leading to nowhere. For example, some US$30 million is being spent on a road to nowhere. That money could have done so much more for the coastal infrastructure.

Similarly, the government is spending another wad of money on the communication cable from Brazil. This cable should have been operational by now but we hear that there are problems bringing the cable. This cable was to have funded the e-governance programme and support the One Laptop per Family project. Government has spent similarly large sums on the latter.

With these things happening even as the largest project to be completed by the government failing to work, one is forced to wonder at the saying that a willful waste makes a woeful want.  The government has not been able to stem the rising tide of illiteracy and the corresponding hike in criminal activity. These sums could have done so much to recruit the necessary teachers and help keep the skills at home.

Is it that the projects are not properly thought out? Or is it that the government is reckless with money from the national coffers?

2005 La Guayana Esequiba – Zona en Reclamación. Instituto Geográfico Simón Bolívar  Primera Edición

Nota del editor del blog: Al referenciarse a la República Cooperativa de Guyana se deben de tener en cuenta los 159.500Km2, de territorios ubicados al oeste del río Esequibo conocidos con el nombre de Guayana Esequiba o Zona en Reclamación sujetos al Acuerdo de Ginebra del 17 de febrero de 1966.

Territorios estos sobre los cuales el Gobierno Venezolano en representación de la Nación venezolana se reservo sus derechos sobre los territorios de la Guayana Esequiba en su nota del 26 de mayo de 1966 al reconocerse al nuevo Estado de Guyana:

“...por lo tanto, Venezuela reconoce como territorio del nuevo Estado, el que se sitúa al este de la margen derecha del río Esequibo y reitera ante la comunidad internacional, que se reserva expresamente sus derechos de soberanía territorial sobre la zona que se encuentra en la margen izquierda del precitado río; en consecuencia, el territorio de la Guayana Esequiba sobre el cual Venezuela se reserva expresamente sus derechos soberanos, limita al Este con el nuevo Estado de Guyana, a través de la línea del río Esequibo, tomando éste desde su nacimiento hasta su desembocadura en el Océano Atlántico...”

Mapa que señala el Espacio de Soberanía Marítima Venezolana que se reserva, como Mar Territorial mediante el Decreto Presidencial No 1152 del 09 de Julio de 1968

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