Residents of Bog Walk stage protest calling for compensation for recent oil spills in the Rio Cobre

Residents of Bog Walk, St. Catherine, staged a protest in their community today calling for compensation for the recent oil spills in the Rio Cobre.

The oil spills occurred on December 11 and 15.

The residents, who include fisherfolk, say their livelihoods have been negatively impacted by the incidents.

Last week, the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) indicated that it had served enforcement notice on Trade Winds Limited to clean-up and remediate the immediate environment of the oil spill.

This, as NEPA explained that the source of the spill was a malfunctioning boiler from the Old Jamaica Beverage plant now owned and operated by Trade Winds Citrus Limited.

NEPA said there would be further enforcement, including legal action against Trade Winds Limited.

There has been no indication of whether the company would be required to compensate residents.

During today’s protest, residents gathered at the company’s Bog Walk location, chanting ‘We want justice’, while holding signs calling for compensation.

Speaking with IRIE FM News, ‘Friends of the Rio Cobre’ president, Kestonard Gordon, who organized today’s protest, noted that citizens were taking a stand against the persistent pollution of the Rio Cobre by corporate entities which operate along its banks.

Mr. Gordon also wants trade winds to establish a grievance mechanism so the community knows what to expect in cases such as the recent incident.

He said the impacts of the oil spills have been far reaching.

Meantime, residents lamented that they have been left without a source of income in the busy Christmas period.


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