Wed | Sep 23, 2020

Are our red mud lakes fortified?

Published:Wednesday | October 13, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Mud lake - File


WITH THE recent catastrophic failure of the alumina plant red mud lake in the town of Kolontar, Hungary, and the resulting deaths and total devastation to an entire town, I am alerted to question the structural conditions of the mud lakes we have here in Jamaica, especially the one above Ewarton in St Catherine, and Kendal in Manchester.

Do the National Environment and Planning Agency or the Jamaica Bauxite Institute monitor or require inspection reports from the companies that operate these lakes?

If the answer is yes, when was the last inspection done, and is the report available to the public?

Are there contingency plans in place to evacuate the towns and villages below these lakes in the event of a leak or total failure? Has an evacuation drill ever been conducted in these vulnerable areas?

As with so many things in our country, we wait until there is an accident before we remedy the problem. Well, I am putting the powers that be on notice. The CEO of the bauxite company in Hungary has been arrested, and the European Union is investigating the accident.

You can't say I never did warn you!

I am, etc.,

Anthony Moyston