-EPA Exec. Director cautions ESIA evaluatorsThe executive director of Liberia Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Nathaniel T. Blama, has cautioned independent Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) Evaluators against covering up for companies operating in the country, a release has said.Blama told a group of independent ESIA evaluators not to turn their eyes away from harmful practices by companies operating in the environment.“Avoid being intimidated by concessionaires, because you are independent evaluators, so you have to be independent in your judgment,” he said.Mr. Blama, who spoke at programs marking the official certification of independent ESIA evaluators on Tuesday, June 12, threatened to revoke evaluators’ licenses if they compromise the people’s interest for money.On Monday, May 28, the EPA commenced the 6th edition of the Environmental Evaluators Training Licensing Certification Program for ESIA evaluators and representatives of line government ministries and agencies.According to the release, the 2018 ten-day training was intended to equip independent consultants, large project developers and representatives of line government institutions with basic technical information and guidance required in the administration of ESIA.For that, Mr. Blama disclosed that beginning November 1, this year, the EPA will not permit any company to directly submit their own study, rather through a third-party as provided by law.According to him, an environment assessment study will be done quarterly by certified evaluators, but warned that the paper work will have to be done properly by licensed evaluators.“Don’t do cut and paste, because the reports have to be done differently from that of logging companies. Any data that you provide will be cross-checked, and if it was altered, your lesson will be revoked,” Blama threatened.In reference to EPA staff, who also benefited from the training, Mr. Blama said, “we are training a new army at the EPA to set-up the check-point.”He said that the agency will not accept evaluators doing desk study, noting that independent evaluators will have to go on site and take accurate data.He indicated that every ESIA reports submitted to the EPA will have to consider a brief and management plan.Mr. Blama, a former independent evaluator himself, promised to strengthen independent evaluators in the discharge of their duty, but asked them to set the bar.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
…family living in fearAfter barely escaping the jaws of death, 22-year-old Vashti Mahase, who was brutally chopped on February 24 by her 35-year-old lover, Fazil Oosman, of Lima Dam, Mahaica, is still living in fear as police are yet to apprehend her attacker.The woman, a mother of two, spends each day trying not to replay the incident in her head.The injured woman, Vashti Mahase, shows the wounds she sustained. In this picture, the woman shows her left hand which was fractured, right hand that was partially chopped off, her eyes which the cutlass barely missed and her head that had to be shaved to allow doctors to stitch chop woundsPolice in C Division (East Coast Demerara) are making every effort to apprehend the farmer who lost his temper when the woman told him she wanted to end the relationship.He reportedly carried out the brutal attack on the woman leaving her with broken bones and several chop indentations on her head and other parts of her body.The Divisional Commander, Calvin Brutus, in a brief interview on Tuesday said that the police followed all the leads they were given but were still unable to make an arrest.“What we have done so far is since the discharge of the victim from the hospital we’ve been doing sporadic visits via our patrols to where they are living,” he assured.The injured woman’s mother, Zorina Mahase, told this publication that her daughter was discharged from the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) on Thursday last.Contrary to what the police had stated, Mahase told Guyana Times that since her daughter was discharged, the police never visited her home but noted that the investigators have been calling to check up on her from time to time.She complained that they feel threatened because ever since her child came home, the man has been trying to call her at ungodly hours.Mahase explained that a relative of the man visited the injured young lady just recently.The woman alleged that residents have been sharing information with the fugitive. Young Mahase is currently at her Good Hope, East Coast Demerara home recuperating from the injuries she sustained.Guyana Times was told that she underwent surgery to repair the sliced bones in her hands. Her mother also expressed fear that she might not be able to move her right thumb again.So far, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has reached out to the family to offer assistance.The abused woman’s mother recently said that she was scared for her own life and is contemplating fleeing the home she lived in for several years as the man has been threatening to “finish her off” before turning himself in to the police.Young Mahase was sent to the home of the suspect accompanied by a rural constable to issue a restraining order a few days after he had threatened to chop her head off.Guyana Times was told that in the process of serving the restraining order, an argument ensued between the two and while Mahase’s back was turned, Oosman gruesomely attacked her with his cutlass, firing chops at her face, head, hands, back and other body parts.The rural constable who was with her allegedly ran for cover, leaving the woman at the mercy of her attacker. The family is appealing for persons to make contact with the police if they see the farmer.