May 12, 2020
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first_imgDear Editor,I could recall that a letter writer, Imtiaz Bacchus, questioned the health issues stemming from a GWI well located in the cemetery at Fyrish Village and which provides drinking water for thousands of residents on the surrounding areas.As far as I could recall, there was no comment offered by GWI on the issues raised by Bacchus. I found this to be very irresponsible. We are talking about the health of the people and the head of GWI is a doctor by profession and of all people, he should have proffered an explanation to allay the concerns of residents. Why was no explanation done to allay the fears of the residents?What I found was astonishing and I was shocked that experts at GWI and the health authorities would have allowed this dangerously high risk to the residents’ health to be so intentionally ignored or at least allay their well-founded fears (no pun intended).It must be noted that the Fyrish Cemetery is located just across the 12-foot dam where the residents live so it poses a high risk during flooding.The study also stated that the health hazards from cemeteries are nothing new and caught the attention of scientists at the end of the nineteenth century. In 1879, the French Society for Hospital Hygiene noticed the relationship between typhoid fever and groundwater contaminated by leachates from a cemetery in Paris. Since this finding goes back a long time, it befuddles the mind why this well should be located in a cemetery when there is an abundance of land nearby.According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) “Human or animal remains must not be buried within 250 metres of any well, borehole or spring from which a potable water supply is drawn”. This makes the location of the well at Fyrish highly questionable.In conclusion, the residents must know the rationale behind the location such as the type of soil and its permeability to permit leaching and seepage. The questions of how far above are the graves from the water table, and the effects of flooding in the cemetery on the percolation of the groundwater. However, it must be borne in mind that the location of the water well in a cemetery whether or not it satisfies the criteria of suitability will do nothing to alleviate the psychological fear which eats the minds of the residents, causing many of them to buy water for drinking purposes.Yours sincerely,Haseef YusufRDC Councillor,Region Sixlast_img

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