« PrethodnaNastavi »
(Above) The Mackenzie City School, maintained by DEMBA. Mackenzie is a self-contained town with a resident population of about 10-15,000. (Below) Carloads of bauxite ore waiting to enter the DEMBA plant at Mackenzie, where it is washed, crushed and dried in kilns.
that he looked upon it all as a forlorn dream. The little plant at Tumatumari has a modest intention-to supply the dredger and the works with cheap power, so that the extraction costs will not be, as they are now, greater than the value of the gold extracted.
From Tumatumari I travelled by truck along a corduroy log road through the forests of what is known as the 'Bartica Triangle'. Bartica lies at the point where two great rivers, the Essequibo and the Mazaruni, meet. From Bartica the land widens as the two rivers diverge and in this triangle of land lies the richest forest of the Colony. Forests cover 70,000 square miles, or 83 per cent of British Guiana, and they are divided roughly into two zones. In the 'near' Interior of the Bartica Triangle and the land abutting are 14,000 square miles of exploitable forests. In the 'far' Interior the trees are as good, if not finer, in quality, but difficulties of transport are almost insuperable. Nevertheless the Bartica Triangle alone can support a wood-producing industry for the next twenty-five to thirty years.
I was surprised when I first walked in these forests to find them so much less luxuriant in their forms than I had expected rain-forests near the Equator to be. The forests of southern Mexico are far more fantastic and orchidaceous. This, I was told, was because the chemical content of the soils is not very nutritious for trees. Almost the entire area of forest consists of trees with a shallow root-system spread close to the ground surface, the trees having to live largely on a water solution of their own decaying leaves. There is a vast variety of species but the main woods to be exploited by the ‘Timber-men' are Greenheart (Ocotea rodiaei), Wallaba (Eperua spp.), Mora (Mora Excelsa) and Crabwood (Carapa guianensis). Of these by far the most important is Greenheart, a tree which is indigenous to certain areas of Guiana, and is at its finest in the Bartica. Triangle, where British Guiana Timbers Ltd. (controlled by the Colonial Development Corporation) concentrates almost entirely on Greenheart, finding the other trees an uneconomic proposition. It is a fine, straight, clean tree ranging from 70 to -on occasion-150 feet in height. For the first 50-80 feet the trunk is free of all branches, since there is so little sunlight in