Minister of the Environment and National Beautification, Trevor Prescod has called on some Barbadians to stop “deliberately spreading propaganda about Barbados” by overstating the country’s garbage collection woes.
Prescod was responding to mounting criticism from suggestions that the country’s garbage collection and disposal problems were becoming too much for government to handle with limited resources.
Addressing media in the early hours of Thursday morning as two new Refuse Compactor Vehicles (RCV) arrived at the Bridgetown Port, Minister Prescod argued that despite the country’s challenges over the holiday season, Barbados remained the cleanest country in the region.
“As much as those people who deliberately misrepresent the reality in Barbados, have been spreading propaganda, the reality is that there is no other country in the Caribbean that is as clean as Barbados. That is the reality even with the limited number of trucks that we’ve had,” he said.
Without giving too much detail, Prescod disclosed that a number of Barbadian artists were in the process of “producing a different view” of the situation. The minister lamented that sometimes people will know what the challenges are, but choose to distort it.
“We have to counter the ‘distortionists’”, he added. “Some people seem to forget that the government was only here seven months and we inherited all that we are facing and could not address or redress it, because we had limited finances,” he said.
During the early morning media briefing, Prescod promised that the country’s garbage issues were past the worst, charging that, “A lot of the people that are critical are the people who are sleeping in their beds comfortably. They are not talking about garbage now.
“When they wake up early in the morning [Thursday] and they see these trucks they will have to reconstruct the lie in such a way at least to convince the Barbadian public that this is a continuum of their own truth.”
Even as the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) fought to keep the streets clean with an aging fleet of trucks, Prescod said workers were functioning around the clock to confront the challenges.
“You see them at night late; 10 o’clock, 11 o’clock. While we had a limited number of trucks in Sanitation [Service Authority], the workers then did additional shifts in the night to meet the national demand.
“We then made some adjustments to the management and the manner in which we distributed and sent the trucks to different locations not just within an eight-hour service. We’re also trying to come up with some other innovative means of addressing the challenges,” he said.