Stench disrupts operations at Sport Ministry

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The administrative employees of the Ministry of Sport were sent home yesterday before noon after they were forced to retreat outside due to a foul odour in the building located on Utility Drive, Cassada Gardens.
Staff told OBSERVER media that for months they have been dealing with the unbearable conditions due to dead rats and droppings, maggots falling from the ceiling vents, and large flies in the two-storey building that is owned by Roberts Construction Company.
Yesterday, approximately 10 staff members from the first floor said they were told by Sarah Stuart Joseph, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Sports, Culture, National Festivals and the Arts, that they could go home and return today.
“It has been almost a whole year we are dealing with this. When it is not rat smell, it is the smell of the generator that is in the building. The rats are not biting up the paper or stuff, but, they are in the ceiling of the building and from since May, maggots are falling all over the floor and on people’s desks,” one affected worker said.
The staff who are tasked with dealing with the various sport coordinators assigned to the primary and secondary schools on island, said they reported to work for the 8 a.m. shift. There, they were informed by someone senior to them that the building had flies buzzing around.
This reporter walked into the building where the staff works and large dead flies littered the floor and a desk.
“Nobody seems to care about downstairs. We can’t work, we’ve been outside. The Ministry of Health comes every time we smell stuff, they put down traps and catch some rats but then the problem is still there. The building was even cleaned the week before the last and they found dead rats in the ceiling,” the worker added.
When OBSERVER media arrived the basketball and the cricket units had meetings under a mango tree outside the ministry, while the track and field unit held its meeting upstairs in the conference room.
Heather Samuel-Daley, director of sports, referred this reporter to the permanent secretary Stuart Joseph, who communicated through her assistant that she had not received a report on the matter.

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