The Bridgetown Fisheries Complex is under a health and safety threat from indiscriminate dumping up stream. Manager of the Markets Henderson Greaves told Barbados TODAY this afternoon that the illegal dumping of the waste material, especially plastic bags, was also posing a danger to the propellers of boats using the nearby marina.
Greaves blamed a vagrant, who he said had accummulated about “three truck loads” of garbage at the back of the abandoned Bajan Helicopter complex, where he has also made his home.
“He lets the garbage go into the lagoon, and it floats in the marina and causes problems to the boat propellers. We have asked the police to get the man to move the garbage, but when you think of it, he doesn’t have the equipment to move all of that,” conceded the Greaves.
He told this newspaper he intended to have discussions with the National Conservation Commission and the Property Manager Division of the Ministry of Housing and Lands to see if he could determine who owned the property.
“This garbage is causing a major problem to the Bridgetown Fisheries Complex, not only from an environmental perspective, but the danger the plastic bags are posing to the boat propellers. When the boat owners start up their engines, they are not aware that these bags are in the water and the bags get tangled up in the propellers,” the government official said.
He also described the floating waste as unsightly, especially when tourists are sailing in and out of the careenage on catamarans and other pleasure vessels.
Acting manager of the Bridgetown Fisheries Complex Sherlock King echoed the concerns of his superior.
“The problem that we have is of refuse floating down in the marina because of some person indiscriminately dumping large bags of garbage in the water and it is floating down into the marina and clogging up the marina and it is presenting a problem in terms of having to get it cleaned adequately,” King said.
“When the bags burst, a lot of styrofoam containers, plastic bags, pet bottles and so on, tends to float into the harbour and it is creating a level of pollution and it is costing us, because every time he does it, we have to pay to get it cleaned,” added the acting manager.
“This is an area,” he continued, “just below where the helipad [is]. We have spoken to the police about this person already. We have asked them for some assistance in getting this guy to desist from doing it.”
“But it is posing a problem to us in terms of the level of garbage that we find floating in side the marina on a daily basis, especially if we got heavy rainfall, it tends to aggrevate the situation.”
King noted that the police have had to warn the man, but up to today, when a team from this newspaper visited the site, the piles of waste were still evident along the edges of the marina and stretching back about 12 feet inland.
On arrival, a young man, who emerged from among the smelly mounds of solid waste, quickly fled the scene. The stockpile of refuse, included giant duffle bags filled with an assortment of household materials, umbrellas, men’s and women under garments, face towels, large plastic bags, haveracks, plastic forks, rotten limes and plastic food containers.
Meanwhile, the former helipad and hanger facilities are now a set of vandalised buildings, with evidence that a person or persons have made the place their residence.
A tour of the upper level and ground floors revealed strong odours of urine and unsightly trails of faeces and broken toilet fixtures.
There are also broken windows and ceilings and scattered pieces of wood which were once part of the physical structure of the Bajan Helicoper operation.