BU acknowledges the effort by the Nation newspaper Editor highlighting the garbage disposal problem in Barbados. An overflowing skip dubbed ‘Dover Stinky Skip’ located at Dover, Christ Church – a key tourism location – was featured on todays front page. How the minister responsible, Denis Lowe, continues to head the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) boggles the minds of sensible Barbadians. There is an obvious breakdown in the waste collection (and disposal) system in Barbados and the buck stops with minister Lowe.
Some interesting information was shared with the public today. We learned that the National Conservation Commission (NCC), a state entity under the ministry of the environment is paying Hinds Transport for the rental of the skip featured on todays front page. Why has garbage collection in Dover/St. Lawrence Gap been outsourced to a private entity? Isn’t the SSA operating under the same ministry? Why does the ministry of the environment headed by minister Denis Lowe continue to outsource collection to the private sector if the SSA is mandated to deliver the same service? Is this a similar arrangement the SSA has with the Williams Group to provide services at Mount Stinkeroo?
Is the NCC the same statutory corporation that sent home staff claiming it not longer had the resources to keep them employed?
It has come as no surprise to many tthe Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) continues to be affected by shortages of critical medical supplies. Despite assurances from Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) officials that care to the critically ill will not be compromised by the current state, BU remains stoutly sceptical and pray to the gods members of the BU household do not become afflicted by any serious malady in the near future. To listen to Minister John Boyce condescendingly advising Barbadians not to panic in the Lower House has done nothing to dissuade our view.
Who in their right mind believed that a 35 million dollar cut to the health budget 2013 would not have adversely affected healthcare delivery in Barbados? Explaining the cuts last year Minister John Boyce also gave an assurance , “ … that cost reduction measures at QEH were being taken in consultation with the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners, the Medical Staff Committee, and the Barbados Registered Nurses Association” – see Boyce lists QEH cuts. BU is willing to be corrected but it seems the government through its agent Minister Boyce picked a number, in this case it was $35 million, with the unrealistic expectation to be able to find budget heads to cut to achieve the target. Bear in mind the CEO Dexter James was quoted in the media in 2012 confirming that the QEH required $200 million to finance the current hospital model and had received a budget of $154 million, a shortfall of 46 million.
“I would like to say to them, if they are incapable of running this country in such a way as to preserve these fundamental social rights of the Barbadian people – that is the right to free education, the right to free health care – then they should really relinquish the reins of Government and let somebody else try,” – David Commissiong
I Kammie Holder endorse the aforementioned comments despite the pervasive vindictiveness so evident in Barbados for speaking honestly and having an opposing view. The recent pronouncement by Honourable John Boyce that user fees may have to be introduced at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital QEH seems reactionary.
Below are 8 points why I am against any wholesale fees at QEH without broad consultation as required under servant leadership.
BU wishes to ask the Cabinet of Barbados headed by Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart the following questions:
Was Jada Construction – Bjorn Bjerkman – awarded the GROTTO contract WITHOUT going to tender? If so is this a violation of government’s financial rules?
In December last year with much fanfare former Minister of Transport John Boyce launched the Super Saver Smart Card. This is a prepaid card designed to allow customers to ‘top up’ and use to pay for travel on Transport Board buses.
Garbage in the canal at Graeme Hall wetland and Ramsar site
More garbage in the canal at Graeme Hall wetland and Ramsar site
The posters of DLP candidate John Boyce and BLP Jerome candidate guard the area
The problem which Barbados faces in 2013 is vividly illustrated in the images above. We have a medical doctor and a mechanical engineer seeking election to the House of Assembly on the 21 February 2013 to represent Christ Church South. Smack dab in the constituency they aspire to represent and in the heart of the tourist belt – a stones throw from St. Lawrence Gap and the gold coast – is the canal which leads to the sea from the Graeme Hall wetland and Ramsar site.
For the second time in a couple months, morning rush hour traffic is being warned by Operations Control of the RBPF of an oil spill by a Transport Board bus which was on its way to Bridgetown. This time the spill extends from the Garden, St. James to Derricks, St. James and there are reports of one accident and another vehicle running of the road.
A couple months ago, a Transport Board bus had an oil spill coming up Horse Hill, St. Joseph all the way to the area of Groves Corner on its way to Bridgetown. At that time, several vehicles also ran off the road. Are these cases of poor maintenance at the Transport Board?
We also had a Transport Board bus running off the road into the car park at Sheraton Centre and damaging several parked cars after it had just left a garage in Kendal Hill undergoing repair work.