Barbudans absent, island ‘clean-up’ at a crawl

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Barbudans who are living on the sister isle are appealing to their neighbours to return and clean up what remains of their homes and not to let the conditions worsen even more as time passes.
As long as Barbudans in Antigua do not return in greater numbers, or are not able to
do so at their convenience, the much spoken-of “clean-up” of Barbuda may remain unrealised for much longer.
When OBSERVER media visited in Barbuda last week, it was apparent that, overall, the image of Codrington had changed little when compared to how it appeared immediately after the passage of Hurricane Irma.
Private property, essentially homes and businesses, are still in ruin, yet private properties are the vast majority of what one would see walking through the streets of Codrington. Contractors working for the National Solid
Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) have only cleared the roads and state-owned spaces.
However, that private property is space that NSWMA contractors say they are forbidden to disturb in the absence of their owners. For this reason, the overall lack of Barbudans on the sister isle is preventing NSWMA personnel from being very effective.
“We already cleared the roadsides of the galvanise and debris. Now we are actually dealing with the yards and business whatever people are throwing out – that is what we are dong daily now. It’s not happening fast enough. We have to wait on the people because we are not allowed to just go into their yards.”
At the moment, heavy equipment operators have little to do save to assist the few Barbudans, that are in Barbuda, daily to take away bulk waste after they have gone through the tedious backbreaking process of sorting through what remains of their rotting and smashed belongings.
It means that despite the efforts of those that have taken part in the “clean-up” thus far, Codrington still looks like a tornado-ravaged little village, plastered with debris and roofless houses that were once dwellings.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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