Residents want relief from quarry dust

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Residents on St. Mark’s Drive, Burma Road and neighbouring communities are crying out for relief from what they said are dust storms being generated by the nearby Burma quarry.
One woman who recently contacted OBSERVER media said the situation has become unbearable. She is not alone.
“Everything around here has dust, all the plants, the house and it is seven days per week for the past couple of weeks. This is ridiculous, they don’t give us a break, not even one day, you can’t hang your clothes, if you go outside you see a snow storm,” the woman said, lamenting that sometimes the Burma quarry operates past 7 p.m.
“It’s crazy, yes we need roads, but, how are we supposed to live with all this dust, you can’t just be in your house locked in like you are in prison. How can people live like this? This is not fair. I want roads, everybody wants roads, but at what cost. Something has got to be done,” she added.
Her comments resonated with residents in Pigotts, Cassada Gardens, Fitches Creek and even Clare Hall who spoke to OBSERVER media yesterday.
Sherina George of Pigotts said she is now unable to use her backyard and her child now has to stay inside.
“Outside is now off limits. The dust is everywhere, it’s on the verandah, the chair, my bed and it has gotten to the point where I now wonder what my lungs look like because it is just so much. You would clean up and by the time you get back home it is just everywhere,” George said.
The repeated attempts to clean up has become a failed venture for those living in the path of the dust storms that can be seen from Sir George Walter Highway.

Carlisle resident, Arika Martin, said she has had enough of the dust.
One mother said her daughter has been repeatedly rushed to the hospital for numerous asthma attacks and a decision was taken to move the child to live with other relatives until the family can relocate.
“They ultimately told me at the hospital that this cannot work, she must move or she will continue to go hospital until something worse happens. I can’t risk my child’s life anymore so I move her. The hill is not even enough to protect her ‘cause the dust particles are so small and are easily carried far in the wind,” she said.
When our newsroom visited the community yesterday, there was a haze in the area and poor visibility at lower St. Mark’s Drive, Burma Road, Old Parham Road and the government’s motor pool.
This reporter parked her vehicle, cleaned the windshield and within five minutes it was covered with small dust particles.
Children’s outside toys, verandahs, patio furniture, cars, plants and house windows were noticeably covered in dust
Major road works have been underway across the country and the Ministry of Works is trying to get as much aggregate from its Burma and Bendals quarries.
Those featured in this story all said they recognise the importance of the road work but posited that something should be done to keep the dust down.
The mother of the asthmatic child suggested wetting the aggregate before it is dug at the quarry.
The Ministry of Works said the ongoing road work is a 20-month project that is expected to conclude in July 2019.
Videos and additional images of the dust are available at antiguaobserver.com.

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