Jamaica’s Rio Cobre continues to suffer, and so do those depending on it

Petchary's Blog

The saga of the Rio Cobre, one of our island’s major rivers, is a long and sad one. Neither this beautiful river, nor those who depend on it for their food, their livelihoods and their families, deserve the poor treatment they have received over the years.

The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) and other groups have once again raised their voices at the most recent abusive incident. It is like a woman who cannot break free from a vicious cycle of domestic abuse. The attacks keeps coming back. In the case of our lovely river, the West Indies Alumina Company (Windalco), owned by the Russian company UC Rusal Jamaica, is the abuser. The pollution from the company’s effluent holding pond impacts fishers, nearby residents, farmers, and everyone who depends on its waters in some way or other. Water supplies to some areas surrounding Spanish Town were cut off altogether. Farmers lost…

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