Isseneru

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Isseneru is an Amerindian [1] settlement in the Cuyuni-Mazaruni region of Guyana, approximately 15–20 miles west of Kurupung.

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Isseneru
Amerindian Village
Guyana location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Isseneru
Coordinates: 6°22′00″N60°22′00″W / 6.36667°N 60.36667°W / 6.36667; -60.36667 [2]
Country Flag of Guyana.svg Guyana
Region Cuyuni-Mazaruni
Government
  ToshaoDhaneff Larson
Population
  Estimate 
(2013)
300

It is a community of about 300 mainly Akawaio Amerindians, living among the hilly, forested banks of the Mazaruni River. Gold mining is a major economic activity in the area. Isseneru received land title around 2007, and demarcation was completed 2009. [3]

Known as ‘Issululu’ in Akawaio, the name means 'mass grave'. The name came from an event in which many people died from an unknown illness. Malaria is a common affliction among residents, and the remoteness affects the availability of medicine. [4] Jaguar attacks can occur as a result of land encroachment by humans. [5]

Public services and economy

The village has a multi-purpose centre, guest house, and a benab for gatherings and a recreation area. It also has a health centre, [6] an Alleluia church that also has services for Seven Days Adventists and Anglicans, and primary school. Students from Isseneru attend secondary school in the regional capital Bartica. Electricity is come by generators.

Christmas is an important holiday in this community, bringing together all the Christian denominations and the day is celebrated with a huge village luncheon. Popular foods include traditional tuma pot and cassava bread, as well as food from other cultures within Guyana. Beverages include piwari, cassiri, potato and (sugar) cane juice. [7]

Cassava and other ground provisions are major agricultural products of the area. Casar, also known as Bashwar, is a locally produced cassava-potato beverage. The area is of interest for bio-diversity research, and the surrounding areas are home to endemic plants. [8]

The village toshao as of 2013 was Lewis Larson, [4] Dhaneff Larson in 2015. [9]

Transportation

The river is a major mode of transportation within the village; canoes getting people where they want to go, but most have an outboard engine.

Access into the village from the coast via aircraft starts by flying to Olive Creek, then an hour-long boat ride up the Mazaruni. There is also a road up to Olive Creek from the lower Mazaruni or a day-long trip from Parika via jet boat. [4]

Mining conflicts

25 January 2013, staged a protest in Georgetown, to voice their disapproval over a court decision made by Judge Diana Insanally [10] to allow Joan Chang, a mine concession holder, to extract gold on lands within the village. According to the village, "the ruling was unjust because according to Guyana’s Amerindian Act 2006, any miner who wishes to enter and operate on Amerindian lands must first obtain the ‘permission’ of the relevant Village Council, comply with all legislation, and provide compensation to locals". Judge Insanally's decision was that mine permits obtained after implementation of the act were exempt, and Chang's claim was secured in 1992. [11] According to Jean La Rose, the ruling establishes that land title granted to Amerindian villages are merely 'shell titles' and diminish Amerindian rights to protect their lands. [12]

In 2015, the government made a cease order for another dredging operation in the area. [9]

Gold mining in Guyana is mainly done by dredging the banks of its waterways, and rising sediments impact the biodiversity and thus the food supply of these rivers to the village. Mercury levels are also high due to gold mining. [13] A 2001 Institute of Applied Science and Technology study found that between 89 and 96% of hair samples from residents of Issenaru exceeded the tolerable limits of mercury as set by the WHO. [14] Miners who come from Brazil are also associated with higher rates of mercury usage. [15] Environmental Protection Agency testing on soil and water of Issenaru in December 2013 also showed to over healthy limits. [16]

Related social issues are the threat of drugs and prostitution associated with mining. [17]

Miners on the community's titled land pay a 12% tribute to the village council. [4]

See also

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References

  1. "Indigenous Villages | Ministry of Amerindian Affairs" . Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  2. "Issineru, Cuyuni-Mazaruni Region, Guyana".
  3. "Land Tenure | Ministry of Amerindian Affairs" . Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Isseneru". Stabroek News. 2013-10-27. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  5. Iserson, Kenneth V.; Francis, Adama M. (March 2015). "Jaguar Attack on a Child: Case Report and Literature Review". Western Journal of Emergency Medicine. 16 (2): 303–309. doi:10.5811/westjem.2015.1.24043. ISSN   1936-900X. PMC   4380383 . PMID   25834674.
  6. "Ministry of Health - Region 7". www.health.gov.gy. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  7. "Christmas celebrations in hinterland communities end in the New Year". Guyana Chronicle. 2020-12-17. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  8. "In Search of Beans and Cassava in Guyana". The Plant Press. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  9. 1 2 "Isseneru river dredge… River dredge resumes operation despite Government order – Village leaders". Kaieteur News. 2015-11-23. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  10. "Court upholds miner's rights to operate in Isseneru". Stabroek News. 2013-01-18. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  11. Hilson, Gavin; Laing, Timothy. "Gold Mining, Indigenous Land Claims and Conflict in Guyana's Hinterland" (PDF). Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  12. "Amerindian village loses mining case". Kaieteur News. 2013-01-18. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  13. "The protection for Amerindian rights in the Laws of Guyana". Stabroek News. 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  14. ROOPNARINE, LOMARSH (2006). "Small-Scale Gold Mining and Environmental Policy Challenges in Guyana: Protection or Pollution". Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies / Revue canadienne des études latino-américaines et caraïbes. 31 (61): 124. doi:10.1080/08263663.2006.10816892. ISSN   0826-3663. JSTOR   41800294. S2CID   131699153.
  15. "ENVIRONMENT-GUYANA: Influx of Gold Miners Worries Scientists". Inter Press Service. 2001-06-26. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  16. "Mercury levels in Isseneru were above legal limits". Stabroek News. 2014-07-16. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  17. "Miners win ruling over indigenous groups in Guyana". Mongabay Environmental News. 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2021-01-18.