Water pollution is one of the environmental hazards that the modern world is faced with. The United Nations and the G8 Nations have held crisis meetings aimed at finding lasting solutions to the issue. However, very few attempts and efforts have been successful in reducing or stopping water pollution. With the increasing level of industrialization in most countries, it is becoming continuously difficult to deal with water pollution and its causes. The constant occurrence of water pollution agents has continued to endanger the lives of individuals who live near these water bodies as well as aquatic creatures.
The situation is not different in Guyana (this name means “A land of waters”). This country has many water bodies, the most notable one being the ShellBeach. The development of industries in recent years in Guyana has increased the level of water pollution in the country leading to the endangering of many aquatic creatures in Guyana’s water bodies. For example, gold mining remains a key player in the water pollution process in Guyana. In fact, early this year, the government of Guyana implemented a moratorium towards the issuance of permits for gold and diamond mining in rivers. This is an attempt to protect aquatic creatures in this water bodies. During the 21st century, aquatic creatures found on ShellBeach are becoming significantly endangered due to the increase in water pollution (Green, 2012).
The most common source of water pollution in Guyana is gold and diamond mining. These two industries have attracted a substantial amount of international criticism over the past few years in reference to the amount of environmental damage which the activities of the industries cause towards water bodies. Gold and diamond mining factories in Guyana produce waste products that are hazardous. Some of the dangerous emissions from diamond and gold mines include mercury and cyanide as well as other heavy metals. Most of the diamond and gold mining factories in Guyana usually release these waste products directly into the water bodies without providing any form of treatment whatsoever. When these elements enter into the water bodies, they pose a direct danger to fish and any other forms of aquatic life. The emissions also find themselves in the human food chains, which threatens health conditions of human beings. The semi-solid waste from the gold and diamond mining firms, also called tailings, always poses a significant threat to the environment and biodiversity. They make water murky and environmentally not conducive for the peaceful existence of aquatic creatures. The emissions usually contaminate oxygen in the water bodies, which is the basic requirement for survival and life of the aquatic creatures in water bodies in Guyana and any other part of the world (Dillard, 2012).
In the year 1995, for example, the tailings dam at the Omia mine in Guyana collapsed. Due to the collapse, approximately 3 billion liters of water with cyanide flowed into the OmiaRiver. This led to the death of all aquatic creatures in the river. Diamond and gold mining procedures include the removal of vegetation, which results into a significant loss of habitat for the local species. With the absence of vegetation to cover the water bodies, the waters become deoxygenated, which leads to the death of all aquatic life (Dillard, 2012).
As long as mining of gold and diamond shall continue in Guyana, all aquatic creatures are in significant risk of extinction. However, it comes as a relief that the government of Guyana has realized the threat that gold and diamond mining poses on aquatic life and human beings. This is evident from the issuance of a restriction of permits to gold miners. Thus, there is hope of saving aquatic creatures from water pollution in Guyana.