Not Cast in Stone!
Well the decision to expand quarrying operations was not cast in stone. Construction giant BK International has decided that it will no longer operate in the Baracara Falls area. The company says there may be some impact on the provision of buildings supplies. The local tour operators will see it as a victory for eco tourism.
Small local Tour companies were complaining that the Baracara Falls which serves as a major selling point for them would no longer exist due to expansion work being undertaken at the site by the construction giant BK International. The company is contending that it needed to expand operations to meet the demand for stone for public investment projects, such as road building, and also for private investment projects such as housing construction.
Tour companies had a problem mainly with the apparent destruction that would have resulted from a new road being built in the area to facilitate the quarrying operations. Before the work on the road began the foreign tourists used a jungle trail to get to the Falls.
The company BK International had contended that the Baracara Falls is not in fact a natural waterfall but occurred because of mining operations conducted there in the 60’s (to facilitate the construction of the Linden-Soesdyke Highway).
The company wanted to further develop the falls at Teperu. The Teperu Falls on the quarry property was once a hydropower project. BK International has built a sanitary bloc and a benab which are both available to the public free of charge.
The company had indicated that it was never its intention to disturb the natural environment but it had to meet national demand for boulders for the country’s sea defenses, underlayers and crushed aggregates, and that had to be weighed against a waterfalls which is not natural in any case, and a few tourists who are taken to the area by perhaps just a tour company or two. BK employs an estimated 150 workers at its quarrying operations in the Essequibo region. The tourists will once again have easy access to the site.