#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – Thursday July 26, 2018 – The alarming rate of landfill fires is a very real problem that affects all of us here in the Turks & Caicos Islands, but more intimately with my constituency of Wheeland, due to proximity.
It demands real and immediate solutions. The health of our residents on this island, the place in which we live and do business, depends on that.
I take this opportunity as the MP for Wheeland to extend my sincerest apologies to residents in the area and any others who were affected, for the inconvenience caused by the fire at the landfill on Wednesday, July 25, 2018.
I am again assuring my community that this government is actively exploring a more effective solid waste management program that will alleviate the issues that have long been affecting residents in the area for many years.
In addition to this, we are committed to ensuring that those responsible for the management of waste disposal at the site implement new measures to reduce future occurrences.
The process of choosing where and how to build new garbage disposal facilities is inevitably controversial. But the process cannot move forward without bold and decisive leadership from my government who was elected as policy makers and are responsible for protecting the public interest along with the stakeholders in the community.
As your representative and as a member of this government, I am indeed mindful of the obligation to ensure that persons living in close proximity to the waste disposal site are able to enjoy and function in an environment that is safe and hazard-free.
Despite the known challenges that are associated with landfills, we will be working with, and encouraging those responsible for the waste disposal site to ensure that there are substantial and effective improvements in the systems at the facility.
I want to emphasize that this unpleasant state of affairs at the dump in Providenciales cannot and will not continue under my watch.
We in the Turks and Caicos Islands pride ourselves on being a modern society and we simply cannot tolerate or facilitate any system or anything that poses a hazard to our people, their health and well-being.
Our people are literally sick and tired of the less than satisfactory performance and conditions at the landfill. Our people deserve better and they will get it under this Minister and this Government.
Let me therefore give residents of Providenciales and Turks and Caicos Islands the assurance that I will definitely be holding the current contractors at the landfill accountable and responsible for ensuring that their management of that site is of the highest possible standard. What is happening now is just not the way it should be.
In light of what our people have had to experience with the landfill over the past many years, it is obvious that it cannot be business as usual and that drastic and significant improvements must be made by those who are under contract and who have an obligation to get it right.
Again, let me assure you that your health and well-being are of utmost importance to me and my government colleagues and I want to give you the reassurance that we will be relentless in our commitment to ensuring that there are significant and effective improvements in the systems that are in place to manage the facility.