More than a year after residents in Lower Estate, St George complained about a nearby dump owned and operated by sanitation entrepreneur Anderson Fat Child Cherry, they have reported only minimal relief.
Resident Roger Craig said that although the quarry has been closed, an environmental problem leading to doctors’ visits persists.
“It has not been completely rectified. Over the months that we have not communicated, there has been some improvement, there has been work done. But the problem is still with us it is not completely gone,” Craig said.
It was in May 2017 that residents complained bitterly about various respiratory issues which they linked to when the dump caught on fire due to combustion from the accumulated waste there, or has been emitting smoke.
Then, last December, Cherry’s company was issued with an abatement notice from the Ministry of Health to cease and desist its operations and to clear the site of all materials within four weeks.
Craig told Barbados TODAY that he was aware that Project Recycling was still in the process of removing the debris.
“To the best of my knowledge, it has been closed to the public. There has been no recent dumping but apart from that, that is where we are at this time,” he said.
When a Barbados TODAY team visited the site it was evident that some removal work had been done. However, old vehicles, tires and other debris – still remain. There was also a slight odor in the area around the site.
Residents were still concerned because they continue to incur medical expenses, Craig said.
“There have been people that have been accumulating medical bills for sure . . . . People have had increased medical bills because of the stench,” Craig said, adding that despite the residents feeling relieved that some progress has been made there was still frustration that the matter was taking so long to be resolved.
“This is almost a year or a year-and-a-half that we have been battling this. I mean it has been constant from May 2017, but we believe that if the things when we asked for them to be done were done, and proper process followed, by now we would be getting substantial relief,” he said, adding that although residents were still upset, they just want the problem rectified.
Craig said he is hopeful that once the quarry is cleared that an air quality test by health ministry officials could assure residents that all is well at Lower Estate.
Calls by Barbados TODAY to Cherry over several days have not been returned.