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Stabroek News

Jamaica Manufacturers' Association (JMA) concerned about Riverton fire nuisance
published: Friday | January 5, 2007

The Jamaica Manufacturers' Association (JMA) said yesterday it was gravely concerned and disappointed over the existing situation at the Riverton landfill where a fire has created a severe smoke nuisance for the manufac-turing sector and residents along the Spanish Town Road belt in the vicinity.

"It appears that the National Solid Waste Management Authority has no clear plan of action for returning the situation to normalcy," the JMA said in a statement yesterday. "The situation has escalated through the Christmas season into the new year as we now understand that the impacts are as far reaching as Greater Portmore and even Liguanea."

Concerned for health

The JMA said it was concerned for the health of its employees and the residents of surrounding communities who ingest the toxic fumes daily, "some of whom have already succumbed to asthma attacks and other bronchial infections."

The association added: "Due to the high down-time of staff we have begun the new year with low productivity, a factor that will have economic impacts not only on manufacturers' pockets, but on the overall sector."

According to the release, the JMA is even more concerned about the long-term impact of the fire as the smoke emanating from the landfill, it said, is filled with noxious and poisonous fumes due to the mixture of waste it accepts.

Environmental effect

"As manufacturers, we are cognisant of the effects of the smoke, not only on humans but also the natural environment," the JMA said.

The organisation called for the relevant authorities to "improve their technical competence and devote the necessary resources to quell this fire."

It noted that, in the past, the authorities had been able to get situations such as the current under control within a maximum of five to seven days.

"We expect an approach to the present situation which will yield equally effective results," the JMA said.

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