Residents of Lower Estate, St Michael say they have been breathing easier over the last two weeks as the smoke and foul odour that have posed environmental problems for them over the last two years have dissipated.
The residents have blamed a neighbouring landfill owned by prominent waste hauler Anderson Fat Child Cherry for their discomfort, which led the Ministry of Health to issue an abatement notice to Cherry’s Project Recycling Limited to cease operations at its Lower Estate site.
Barbados TODAY visited the affected areas, three weeks after the ministry’s notice, and found a much relieved community.
“Everything is not totally gone but it is certainly a lot better than what it was three weeks when the smoke use to really do a number on sinuses,” resident Linda Graham said.
“At the time it was so bad that I told my husband that we might need to move until the problem was solved. It is not perfect now because we still get smoke from time to time but it was certainly a lot better.”
Another longstanding resident, Sarah Harris, said she was able to leave her doors open and hang her clothes out to dry again, emphasizing the relief that she and her neighbours felt.
“So I guess he is doing something to fix the problem,” Harris said of Cherry.
However, there were those, such as Allan Haynes, who felt that progress was still too slow.
Haynes admitted that the situation had improved, although he said the problem would reoccur from time to time.
And he called on Cherry to move quickly to shut down the dump altogether.
“When we heard that the ministry closed the dump we all expected it to be more expedient, but I suspect like all dumps and landfills things still have to move,” Haynes said.
Barbados TODAY also spoke with Cherry at the site of the offending landfill, and he explained that the marked improvement was due to his company’s “full compliance” with instructions from the Ministry of Health and the Barbados Fire Service.
“We have been in full compliance with the various ministries and we continue to do what they tell us do. The fire service and the Ministry of Health have been doing a wonderful job in advising us what to do. We continue to cover with the inert material, and with their expertise we hope that everything should be under control,” said Cherry, who also noted that this company had complied fully with Government’s instructions to cease operations.