Categorized | National News

DNA Leader Requests Strict Environmental Laws

Leader of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Branville McCartney has requested more laws and initiatives that will aid in protecting the environment.

After congratulating Renew Bahamas on officially launching its materials recycling facility in New Providence last week, the DNA leader spoke on the need to eradicate the myriad of environmental issues that he said plagues the Bahamas.

The recent Rubis leak in the Marathon constituency was one issue he mentioned.
“Also of critical importance is the need to enact strong legislation to ensure that those who intentionally or accidentally destroy our environment can be held accountable,” he said.

“Over many years, a lack of environmental stewardship on the part of successive governments, as well as public and private sector corporations has had widespread implications for our environment. As has become apparent from the recent matter involving the Rubis gas leak and residents in the Marathon area, the decades long absence of adequate legislation designed to promote the protection of the environment has also led to serious health implications for Bahamians. After more than two years of being exposed to harmful cancer causing chemicals, members of that community are only now being made aware of how seriously their livelihoods may have been affected.”

Mr. McCartney also spoke on intentionally started fires including the popular frequent dump fires that occur throughout the year.

“Across the wider New Providence landscape, scores of more Bahamians are being adversely affected from fumes emanating from the city dump as a result of regular fires at that site,” said Mr. McCartney.

“Dump fires are not a new occurrence. In fact, as far back as many residents of New Providence can recall, fires at the dump have been a regular happening producing foul odors, and thick black smoke which can often be seen for miles! In fact, on more than one occasion, area schools and businesses have had to be evacuated as a result of the smoke and odor.

“Indeed some homeowners had to leave their homes in the middle of the night because the smoke had become unbearable. There have been complaints by tourists that the first thing they smell when arriving in Nassau is the burning dump. And what about the anticipated guest at this country’s largest resort, Baha Mar, where on any day that resort can be covered with black smoke? Notwithstanding this concern, the cries of the Bahamian people have fallen on deaf ears!”

Mr. McCartney challenged Prime Minister Perry Christie to work specifically on the reoccurring issue of the burning dump. He stressed that the government must be concerned about the wellbeing of the environment and the health of its citizens.

“During his recent budget communication, the prime minister touted his administration’s commitment to environmental reforms and preservation but made no mention of the government’s plans to address this longstanding issue of the burning dump,” he said.

“It is our understanding that the cost to remediate this issue at the dump is in vicinity of $10 million. It supposedly costs the Bahamian people $9 million to have a huge party, the Bahamas Carnival. This indeed speaks volumes on the government’s priorities. The prime minister further stands firm on the implementation of National Health Insurance by the January 1, 2016.

“Can this prime minister state assuredly that the dumpsite would be remedied prior to the introduction of National Health Insurance? Wouldn’t it be an absurdity for this government to introduce National Health Insurance but neglect, fail or refuse to remediate the burning dump that causes so many illnesses and consequently can be a tremendous burden on the National Health Service system? This administration must act now in the welfare of all Bahamians.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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