The residents of Stock Farm took to the streets on Tuesday to protest against what they claim is the “unhealthy dumping of waste material” on a former landfill in the area which has been closed now for years.
They blocked the road to prevent vehicles from dumping waste on the site.
Wayne Shillingford a resident of the community was part of the protest action and spoke to DNO in an exclusive interview.
According to him, the relevant authorities are yet to come to speak to them since they have been using the area, now used as a site for playing basketball and football, as “a dump site” for galvanize and other waste materials after the passage of Hurricane Maria.
“Galvanize are being placed on our basketball court and lumber on our football field. Since November 28, 2017, they are yet to come and fumigate the galvanize and we are not happy about that since this is a breeding site for rodents,” he said.
He went on to quote Section 11 of the Vector Control laws of Dominica which he said states that “anyone harboring or breeding mosquitoes is liable…and can be charged.”
“In that same instant, the Solid Waste Management and the Environmental Division is in breach of such laws since they are collecting the galvanize and are not taking the necessary action to make sure that those illnesses and vector-borne mosquitoes and rodents are prevented,” Shillingford said.
He said the protest action was to prevent more dumping on the site.
“So we have taken action to stop them from dumping materials on the site. We had a meeting with the Solid Waste officials who informed us that they would be doing the necessary work to inform people that this site is closed,” he stated. “While Solid Waste was using the area as the original landfill, they used the spot where the galvanize are now disposed to bury asbestos materials and other biomedical waste including syringes, gloves, pieces of foot, hands etc a few years ago.”
He explained that an excavator was sent “a few days ago with the knowledge of the people in the community and started to dig which is unhealthy since there is the possibility that the aforementioned materials may be exposed and present serious health risks for residents of the community.”
The police were also called scene and Task Force officers dressed in SSU uniform unblocked the road but the residents said they will “not allow any vehicles to dump more materials on the site.”
Meanwhile PRO of the Dominica Solid Waste Management Corporation, Jeno Jacob, has appealed to truckers and the public not to dump on the site since it is now closed.
He stated in a live interview with Kairi FM News that the area was used as a temporary dump site for galvanize and wood after Maria and a meeting was held with residents in the area last week and the decision was made to close the site.
Jacob said an announcement was made on the radio warning that no one should dump in the area.
“We are saying to truckers at this moment now …not to bring any galvanize and wood to the Stock Farm area …” he said.