Ten days not enough for national clean up says Lionel Michael

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Antigua and Barbuda’s former chief health inspector is highly critical of the Ministry of Health’s handling of the on-going clean-up campaign, and has indicated that the process should have been led by the two key government agencies responsible for waste management.
Lionel Michael was speaking directly to the #Clean Up 268 campaign which was launched on May 26 by the ministry in association with several volunteer groups on the island.
While he commended local groups for their efforts, Michael said that the National Solid Waste Management Authority and the Central Board of Health should have taken the lead because of some of the complexities involved in the process.
“When you clean up solid waste from an area, you will disrupt the habitat, the shelter for public health pests, mosquitoes and rodents. So, you have to know how you are going to deal with those things. Those public health pests are going to find other areas and shelters to hide and propagate,” Michael said.
He recommended further that there are several qualified people within these two departments who are capable of handling the clean-up exercise.
Michael also questioned the timing for the launch of the initiative — mere days before the start of the hurricane season — suggesting that a national clean-up should be held within the first two months of the year and not so close to the start of the season.
He also pointed out that 10 days is not enough time to complete the process, which he said, should be done in different phases.
“What we need to do is to identify specific villages or constituencies and clean up those areas first, not the entire country in 10 days. When you finish those communities, set up a bulk waste schedule in the community which should be followed by legislative programmes.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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