Anderson Fat Child Cherry is assuring residents of Lower Estate, St George he is working on having a swift resolution to finally end the landfill impasse.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY Cherry said he was in the process of removing scrap metal from the dump. That metal has to be cut and this is taking longer than anticipated.
“We are still actively removing the metals. Most of the recyclables have been taken out and it is only metals that are still out there at the top of the quarry floor,” he said.
The businessman said he was more concerned about the health and safety of residents as opposed to counting his losses with the closure of the landfill.
“The loss of revenue is not important to me. It is the health and safety of the residents that are more important to me. I am concerned about the residents,” he said.
However, spokesperson of the St George North Western Community Group Roger Craigg suggested that nothing has changed since the abatement notice was issued by the Ministry of Health in December 2017. He further noted that a few weeks ago residents in the Lower Estate Palms area complained they were having a foul odour emanating from the dump. Thus, Craigg wants to see the area restored to its former beauty.
“We want our environment to return to a state of normalcy and that was established in our very first meeting when we had asked him to pick up his stuff, clean the quarry and go. That was our intention from the beginning. We need to have back our community the way it was,” he said.
Craigg also noted his displeasure with the way in which the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Ministry of the Environment handled the residents’ complaints. Referencing a letter dated November 27, 2017 which was sent to the Chief Environmental Officer and which to date has had no response, the spokesman offered this as evidence that the concerns of the residents of St George have fallen on deaf ears.
“We have been crying out for a while and we are not getting the response from the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of the Environment as we think we should. They should make sure the quarry is cleaned up and that is the ultimate goal for all of us,” he said.
Outspoken resident Ian Proverbs believed Cherry tried his best but needed assistance to properly handle the ongoing situation which has been plaguing the residents since 2017.
“I am not going to say he has not tried because I would be misleading you if I said that because he has tried. The issue is beyond Mr Cherry and it needs further expert input and I think it is time the Government looks towards bringing some expertise into the area,” he said.
Multiple calls to the Chief Town Planner at the Town and Country Planning Department remain unanswered.