The Ministry of Health has expressed concern about the number of derelict vehicles littering the streets of Saint Lucia.
Assistant Chief Environmental Health Officer, Parker Ragnanan, noted the ministry’s concern while observing that the proper management of solid waste will both reduce the breeding sites for vectors, as well as improve the aesthetics of the island.
Ragnanan disclosed that the Environmental Health Department of Ministry of Health and the Saint Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority (SLSWMA), plan to adopt a common approach towards removing the vehicles.
Representatives of the the department and the SLSWMA met recently to discuss the way forward.
“We also realize that these vehicles pose a challenge in terms of harborage. They collect water and we find vectors are being housed and there is a proliferation of vectors as a result of the harborage that is being created by these vehicles,” Ragnanan observed.
SLSWMA General Manager, Justin Sealy, said the lack of adherence by individuals to the garbage collection schedules forms a major component of the solid waste problem.
“Persons end up putting out garbage after the truck has passed and don’t put it out properly and it gets in the water ways and becomes a nuisance. So we’re asking people to be better at their disposal practices,” he stated.
Sealy noted that some truckers hired to dispose garbage at the landfill are among the major contributors to the solid waste problem, as they at times engage in indiscriminate disposal of the garbage.
“The person who does the illegal dumping actually does it close to the house of the person who hires them to do it, so it actually comes back to be a problem to you as well,” the SLSWMA official declared.
Under the Waste Management Act, No. 8 of 2004, any person who commits an offence under the act or any regulations made under it for which no penalty is specified, shall be liable on the first conviction to a fine not exceeding $75,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year.