Public Works to launch massive clean-up exercise

Public Works to launch massive clean-up exercise
Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister (FILE PHOTO)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Ministry of Public Works is in the process of assessing nearly a half-mile of land where persons have indiscriminately dumped mounds of debris in an effort to launch a massive clean-up exercise in the area, according to the Works minister.

The stretch of land, which is covered with various forms of debris, sits just south of the Bahamas Hot Rod Association track.

The land was actually designated by the Christie administration as a dumping site in the wake of Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Three years later, the land is still being used as a dump site, but Desmond Bannister, Minister of Public Works, confirmed to Eyewitness News Online, that he is about to put an end to that.

Bannister said that clean-up efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew failed to address the mounting garbage at that site.

However, since taking office in 2017, he said his ministry has identified the land as a priority spot which needs to be addressed.

“We’ve gotten our engineers to look at a proper scope of works. This means that they will go into this site and determine the amount of garbage that is in there and what it will take to be able to move it,” he explained.

“Then they can make a determination when they put it out to tender or assign the work; then the contractors will be able to get a fair price for the work that they are to do.”

Residents in the area, like Joseph Gibson, said he is hopeful that the clean-up efforts start sooner than later.

“I feel like they dump so much here now, if you go by the entrance to this property, garbage is almost in the government road; so, they need to get this fixed soon man,” he said.

But indiscriminate dumping doesn’t only plague this site, the works minister asserted that it’s an island-wide problem that needs to be addressed.

“It is as though many people do not care and that’s why I think that the initiatives launched by the Ministry of the Environment has launched, to get pride back in our communities to get people to think about what they are doing and the consequences of it, is all very important,” he noted.

Getting a grip on indiscriminate dumping is just one item of concern for the works minister.

He said his ministry is also seeking to crack down on persons who damage public infrastructures, such as roadways or lamp poles, as well.

“I can’t understand how it can happen so frequently, but whenever we can find out who they are then there will be consequences,” he assured.

Minister Bannister asserted that the installation of CCTV island-wide will assist his ministry with zeroing in on offenders.