The current problems plaguing the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) are the result of bad governance, Member of Parliament for St George South Dwight Sutherland has contended.
The Opposition Barbados Labour Party MP charged in Parliament today that the waste collection agency faced “real issues” but function as though it was out of control.
“The SSA behaves like an out of control body. There are misplaced priorities, the issue of public health stemming from poor sanitation, instances of physical recklessness and major governance issues, including the signing of the Cahill agreement by some members of this Cabinet when others didn’t know,” Sutherland lamented during debate on the Sanitation Service Authority Bill.
“I would like the Minister to tell the people in this country what are the real issues at the SSA. I have all of them pinned down to poor governance and bad governance; accountability, lack of fairness and ineffectiveness, those are the three areas.”
He contended that there were some serious issues facing the SSA and warned that if they weren’t properly addressed, they had the potential to disrupt the island’s tourism sector.
“We have issues in this country with poor sanitation and until we address the issues, we face the risk of spending more money than what ten trucks cost, in terms of health care.
“We have to be serious about what we do in this country. Last year or year before Chikungunya took a toll on our population and now we have added the risk of the Zika virus. These are serious times,” Sutherland warned.
“We can run the risk of affecting our tourism product if we do not address this garbage problem in the country.
He accused the Freundel Stuart administration of bungling the whole issue as it related to waste management.
“This whole issue of the environmental levy, the solid waste tax, they would have gone into the NIS [National Insurance Scheme] trying to solve the whole issue of financing in that area, and last but by no means least, the tipping fee.
“So we have had at least four shots at trying to finance solid waste management by this Government in this country and we have not come up with a good solution as yet,” he lamented. (RB)