Cases of residents verbally abusing and physically assaulting Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) workers and illegal dumping are being turned over to police.
Minister of the Environment and National Beautification Adrian Forde sounded the warning as he launched the island’s 45th Clean and Green site at the Montgomery Pavilion, Cave Hill, St. Michael, recently.
Over the last few weeks, there have been several complaints of abuse against SSA workers while carrying out their duties.
And declaring that would not be tolerated, Forde said the Barbados Police Service has already been engaged to deal with these matters.
“The attacks on Sanitation Service Authority workers will not continue under my watch. The police are already involved because this is a serious situation,” Forde emphasised.
He pointed out that while most people were still asleep, SSA workers were on the job ensuring that the country remained clean to keep health threats under control.
Forde said the workers, “our brothers and our sisters”, deserved the respect of all.
“These same workers are the aunts and uncles of society. These same workers are the Trojans, the persons who help build Barbados, and attacks on them will be a no-no as far as I am concerned,” he said.
The Environment Minister appealed to residents to work with the SSA and utilise the available hotline to report any issues, adding that the only way sustainable development can be achieved is through partnerships.
“I am appealing to Barbadians to partner with the Sanitation [Service Authority] and please do not physically or verbally assault our workers because we are taking the matters straight to the police,” he said.
Minister Forde added that similar action would be taken against people who continue to dump illegally across the country.
He made reference to a telephone call and a video he received over the weekend of persons dumping illegally in Lower Burney, St Michael where preparations were made to transform the area into a Clean and Green site.
“I am saying . . . ‘no’ to that type of behaviour and I have already asked the police to do their investigations to bring those persons before the law courts,” he said.
Forde, meantime, said that Montgomery would be transformed over the next couple of weeks to ensure residents have an area to recreate.
The development of the site will include the Maria Jones Recreational Park, a park named in honour of a now-deceased resident who made a sterling contribution to the community. There will also be fruit trees planted and benches to facilitate recreational activities by the residents.