Environmental degradation threatens Linden tourism industry

HOSPITALITY entrepreneurs residing in Linden are calling on the local authorities to do more in the area of environmental sanitation, since the current state of central Mackenzie is threatening their businesses, and by extension, the town’s tourism industry.
Speaking out on the situation was environmentalist and owner of Hyacinth Bread and Breakfast, located in Manni Street, Mackenzie, Samuel Wright.

Wright said that for his business to attain some level of success, he has to invest a lot of time, energy and resources in creating a welcoming and pleasant environment for his clients, since the surrounding environment is very unwelcoming. He referred to nearby garbage piles, stray animals, dirty drains and unregularised roadside vendors, that all take away from the aesthetics of the business hub of Linden.

Wright’s Bread and Breakfast compound is beautified with flora that forms part of an extensive flower garden. He said this has to be done as part of the décor, to give his clients, many of whom foreigners, a pleasant feeling and a distraction, from what is just outside of the gate. “We try to meet certain standards, but it is difficult, physically, the physical infrastructure of Linden, we have to improve that. This beautiful garden is part of our décor, it gives that pleasant feeling that you can rest, but look at what they have to walk through to get to me, the drains, it’s not welcoming, the conditions in Linden…it’s really awful, it is not conducive to tourism develop,” he said. The Bread and Breakfast entity has received clients from all around the world, including from Ireland and Jamaica.
Linden is poised for greater things in the tourism industry, with the imminent construction of the Linden-to-Lethem road, and Wright believes that more needs to be done to prepare the town for what is coming, which will also significantly boost its economy. Linden is the gateway to the interior, and more needs to be done to keep it looking attractive as a transport hub. “I have an interest in a clean town, in an environmentally safe place, but we are defeating our own self by not having a better environment,” he said. Wright believes that there is need for more sensitisation on the part of the council as residents play a part in degrading the environment.

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Chairman of the LMTC environmental committee, Wainwright Bethune, said that the council is aware of the situation, especially around central Mackenzie, and are working on solutions to make the situation better. The council will be gifted a quantity of drums from BOSAI and Troy Resources and will be soliciting assistance from the Linden Technical Institute and another bodywork shop in Linden to construct bins from the drums. These will be distributed at various spots across Mackenzie. A proposal was made by the committee to have the skip bins that are currently in the market arena to be elevated and secured to prevent animals from accessing the garbage and dragging them across the area.

The committee, he said, is also looking into the drainage network system across central Mackenzie and will be soliciting assistance for funding to have these cleaned, as the council is not in a financial position to do so. “So we have recognised that there is a problems and it’s not that we don’t want to do anything about it, but the council has its own limitations as well,” Bethune said. He also said that the council is open to consultation and suggestions and that there is an open-door policy for anyone who wants to discuss a way forward.
Meanwhile, Mayor of Linden, Waneka Arrindell, last week sought assistance from US ambassador Sarah Ann-Lynch during her visit, with her vision to transform Linden into a sustainable town by adopting some of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. She reiterated the goal of ‘clean water and sanitation’ and related that the aim is to start this practice in schools. Sanitation is one of the main issues in the township and she believes that by creating a clean and sanitary environment in our schools, communities and constituencies will soon follow.