Following the amendment of our laws regarding the need for CEC’s in Trinidad and Tobago, a number of quarries have been opened in the Northern Range and while we cannot/should not impede the utilization of our natural resources, we need to ensure any resource extraction is done in a responsible and sustainable manner.
The following account comes courtesy of a local environmental lobby.
“The eight mile long Cumaca Road begins just after the Valencia junction, on the Valencia Road, and heads north into the mountains. At the end of the Road is the Cumaca/Platinal Village where there is a school and an isolated rural farm community.
This rainforest area feeds the Orupuche River, which is a major National source of our potable water.The Cumaca River starts inside the Cave and is the source of the Orupuche River. It is fed by many tributaries, one of which is the Turure River which crosses the first and only bridge at the beginning of the road, two miles from the bottom.
The Cumaca Quarry was recently re-opened and the operator began widening the access road without having to comply with any standards.
(On) Monday 18th May, large earth equipment began excavating 20 feet deep into the mountainside to widen the road leading up to the quarry.
Firstly, there is almost no benching and no drainage. When the rains come the road will become a massive mudslide.
Secondly, the excavated mountainside is being dumped over the side of the very steep road, sliding down the 60 to 70 degree slopes into the Turure River, completely blocking water flow.
In the rainy season the fallen trees, mud and rocks will create a dam. The bridge and roadway will be at risk, and everything downstream will be affected.”