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Garbage concerns mount in Portland

Published:Wednesday | January 19, 2022 | 12:07 AMGareth Davis Sr/Gleaner Writer

Portland’s medical officer of health, Dr Sharon Lewis, is appealing for more to be done to adequately tackle the chronic garbage problem plaguing the parish, which, according to her, could result in an increase in the rodent population.

Lewis pointed out that the Portland Health Department is very concerned about solid waste management across the parish. She pointed to the uncollected garbage that overflows from bins over extended periods, which is threatening to derail vector-control efforts.

“These conditions facilitate the breeding of rodents and mosquitoes and is, by extension, a threat to the health and well-being of the population,” she said.

“I am urging the relevant stakeholders to collaborate and devise means to urgently address the problem while we await the procurement for additional garbage trucks in the medium to long term. This is necessary to safeguard the health of the population,” she added.

Already there are reports of an increase in the mosquito population and rodent sightings in the parish, especially in areas such as Breastworks, Bryan’s Bay, Stony Hill, Norwich, and Fairy Hill.

Mayor of Port Antonio Paul Thompson said the National Solid Waste Management Authority has contracted private truckers to assist with removing the pile-up of garbage. However, there is still a backlog.