DEHS workers claim they are forced to work in deplorable conditions

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Scores of irate employees at the Department of Environmental Health Services (DEHS) located on Farrington Road were up in arms on Thursday, claiming that they have been working for weeks without running water.

The employees, who spoke to Eyewitness News Online on the condition of anonymity, said because there was no water, they were forced to leave work at 1 p.m. for several weeks.

The employees also claimed that they are forced to transport water from home to sanitize their hands and flush the toilets once they relieve themselves.

In addition to having no water, one worker said the air-conditioning system has been inoperable for an extended period of time, which they claim is concerning as some of the year’s hottest months are fast approaching.

Employees are also complaining about the compound’s physical state.

According to staff, the property is a poor representation of a government agency that is meant to promote and enforce environmental health.

Workers said the yard is filled with trash, derelict vehicles, and overgrown grass and weeds.

Eyewitness News Online reached out to the deputy director of DEHS who was presently in office yesterday, however she opted not to speak on the matter.  She told our reporters, however, that they are free to interview willing employees.

Nonetheless, workers were afraid of being victimized and chose to remain anonymous.

Bahamas Public Services Union President, Kimsley Ferguson, said  the union is aware of the matter.

“I have been informed that the water has been off for about two weeks now and the air conditioning continues to come in and out,” Ferguson said. “But, the air conditioning is something they have been challenged with for quite a while. And so, I haven’t had an opportunity to speak with management yet in that regard, but normally when this happens persons are allowed to go home early.

“But, one of the major concerns is the use of the lavatories. People are toting pales of water to utilize the restroom, so that is indeed a concern for us.”