18 illegal structures erected on Lucea waterfront
The three illegal structures on the waterfront in Lucea, Hanover, for which the Mayor of Lucea, Sheridan Samuels, had summoned the Hanover Health Department (HHD) to pay a visit in July, has now grown to 18 illegal structures on the waterfront in the parish capital.
At the July monthly meeting of the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC), Samuels, who is also chairman of the corporation, expressed deep concern about what he described as a “trending situation” of three buildings constructed by squatters on the waterfront of the parish capital, Lucea. He described the construction of the buildings as “both illegal and unhealthy” as no permission had been sought from or given by the HMC for the construction to take place, neither was there any visible sanitary convenience in place for the buildings.
“These houses, they are buildings that are not more than shacks, right in the commercial area. I want your department (the HHD) to pay them a visit,” Samuels told the Chief Medical Officer of Health (MOH) for Hanover, Dr Kaushal Singh, in the July monthly meeting of the HMC.
VISIT TO THE LOCATION
In the September meeting of the HMC, held on September 10 in the HMC meeting room, Chief Public Health Inspector in Hanover Patricia Patterson reported that HHD personnel paid a visit to the area mentioned and discovered that there were now 15 houses there.
She pointed out that the area was along the seaside bordered by Church Street, the Lucea Market, and the Lucea Transport Centre.
“Eighteen structures were identified. Calls were made to these homes, however, only five persons responded, and of the five, three had bathroom facilities, and one shared while the other informed us that they used the public sanitary facilities. The others were, maybe, locked up inside their houses and did not answer, I do not know why. We got no response from them, so we may have to go back with a police team,” she said.
Patterson further stated that one public health notice was served on an occupant in the area during the visit and that further follow-up action would be taken.
Meanwhile, Mayor Samuels who, previously, had stated that faecal waste was being found in plastic bags along the beach, accused the public health officials of not being forceful enough in dealing with the matter.
“I do not think the course in which you are approaching it is strong enough,” Samuels stated in response to the report from the chief public health inspector.
Patterson informed the meeting that the owner of the property, which is the HMC, is equally guilty of an offence as well as the occupier of the property, so the HHD would be writing to the municipal corporation about the breaches identified before further action was taken.
The Gleaner tried to find out why the enforcement department of the HMC did not seek to stop the construction of the buildings earlier as none of the persons doing the construction have any architectural drawings or plans or permission to build the structures in the area. No response was forthcoming from the HMC with regard to that approach.