POLICE are investigating reports of over 40 hectares of canes being set on fire at the Providence section of the closed Rose Hall Sugar Estate.
Reports from the NICIL, Special Purpose Unit that is tasked with managing the closed estates are that the setting of fires to cane fields has been a constant for over the last 12 months. “This has been a constant over the last 12 months, but based on budgetary constraints we cannot afford more rangers to man the cultivation,” a source at the SPU told the Guyana Chronicle on Tuesday. “We have engaged the police in the investigations and they have promised to follow-up this matter,” the official added.
The Guyana Chronicle was told that the latest act occurred on Sunday at Providence at four different locations. However, authorities were able to contain the fires by 22:00hrs but not before 40.9 hectares were burnt. Contacted on the issue, GuySuCo said the cultivation is not under its control. It said that the Providence cultivation falls under the Rose Hall Estate which has been closed and is managed by NICIL/SPU. It is not clear how long the canes have been in the field and whether there was any intention of harvesting same.