Describing coconut vending at Warrens, St Michael as a “disaster waiting to happen,” Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Affairs Senator Jepter Ince today put vendors operating there on notice.
In his contribution to debate on the Protection of Agricultural Products and Livestock Bill, 2017, Ince charged that while other coconut vendors across the island cleaned the spaces they used, Warrens was becoming a “dump”.
“There are some vendors at the Newton roundabout who whenever they sell that area is clean, clean, clean . . . after that you come down the highway to Graeme Hall, there are some days it is very clean, then there are some days you could see the shells. There is a group that sells there by Bussa that cleans that area, and then you go over to Haggatt Hall, I admire that group, they pack the shells in bags . . . but when you get to Warrens, Warrens is a problem,” the Government official lamented.
“Let us face it. It is like a dump. Why is it that the vendors in these other areas could remove the shells, make the place look presentable, but when you get down Warrens, you are looking at a dump? I mean day after day the shells stay there . . . and it seems like if the vendors at the Warrens believe the country belongs to them or they don’t have to comply with no health standards,”Ince said while insisting that the problem would be “dealt with” regardless of criticism.
Just last month environmental health authorities swooped down on coconut vendors in Warrens, clearing the area of the sellers in what they said was a move to eradicate all public health threats associated with this “illegal” business.
On that occasion, workers from the Ministry of Health and the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA), accompanied by police officers, converged at the Warrens section of the ABC Highway to begin what they said would be an island-wide cleanup campaign of coconut vending sites.
However, the action only lasted for one day with the vendors themseves linking their 24-hour removal to the funeral of former Governor General Sir Clifford Husbands, whose procession pass through Warrens and on to the Mile & A Quarter Junction in St Peter.