Rid your surroundings of bulky waste - Gordon
PORT ANTONIO, Portland:
Faced with the dengue fever outbreak, Executive Director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) Audley Gordon is pleading with residents in Portland to rid their surroundings of bulky waste.
Gordon's passionate appeal to residents living at Boundbrook and other surrounding areas in eastern Portland was made on Thursday during a two-day clean-up exercise in a parish which has so far experienced one confirmed dengue fever death after a schoolgirl died in December.
"This is a two-day parish operation aimed at ridding the parish of bulky waste, water-holding containers, and other forms of material," commented Gordon.
"We intend to rid the parish of all the bulky waste that we can get our hands on. We used a town crier over the last three days to inform residents about this operation. Not only are we battling this dengue outbreak, but there is a rodent problem facing Portland. Whatever you have in the backyard that can hold water, which will allow for the breeding of mosquitoes, will be collected. We must clean up our backyard and public spaces."
According to Gordon, some persons are still ignoring the warnings that come from the Ministry of Health, the municipal corporation, and the NSWMA. He argued that in doing so, persons are exposing themselves to serious health risks, which could also have an adverse effect on the lives of children and the elderly.
"We have enough resources in hand to complete the clean-up operation over a two-day period. We have employed over 20 trucks to assist with the removal of bulky waste, water-holding containers, and other instru-ments. One would think that after chik-V and the Zika virus we wouldn't have any old tyres thrown around because of the fact that we felt those epidemics. But no, we still have irresponsible behaviour and right across the island people are ignoring the warnings," he further said.
Gordon, who was accompanied by Tracey Fakhourie, regional operations manager of North Eastern Park and Market, and her team, also spoke about the need for persons to take responsibility for their surroundings and to ensure that one's behaviour does not create problems for others, especially for those who are adhering to the warnings from the health ministry.
The efforts of the NSWMA was not futile, as from early as 6 a.m. on Thursday, residents brought out large amounts of bulky waste, old fridges, discarded water-holding containers, and other forms of garbage, which were later picked up by trucks.
"You cannot depend on someone living in Kingston to take care of your yard. It is important for people to see it necessary to rid their surroundings of waste and water-holding containers. The authorities alone cannot solve the garbage problem and, therefore, we must get residents to buy into this programme. The people must see this as their collective duty, to protect Jamaica's beauty."