The government says it will regularize contracts with landscapers to address the issue of overgrown bushes that they say are posing health challenges and are unsightly along the busy highways and secondary roads.
Chief of Staff in the Office of Prime Minister Lionel Hurst wrote in his weekly Cabinet notes that the decision was taken following a meeting with the Directors of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and the Central Board of Health (CBH) along with six additional technicians.
“Deploying personnel in a manner intended to address the overgrown bushes that now pose a health challenge and are unsightly, is henceforth undergoing fundamental re-examination in order to maximize effectiveness. The Cabinet and the Ministry of Health agreed to regularize the contracts, to make regular payments, and to provide more supervisory control in order to ensure that the teams spend the time contractually agreed,” Hurst said.
The teams are also to interact with the representatives of the areas in order to ensure that priority areas are addressed. The rainy season poses special challenges to grass cutting and removal, according to Hurst notes.
Meanwhile, the Central Board of Health also addressed the challenge posed by the shrinkage of burial spaces for the dead, especially those who lived in the City of St. John’s. Throughout Antigua and Barbuda, about 600 people die each year.
“Very few are cremated; the overwhelming majority are buried…The Cabinet agreed to bring all private landowners’ burial grounds under full control of the Government/CBH. The new cemetery at Tomlinson’s will be brought into use sometime next year,” he added.
The end of the national solid waste clean-up campaign is over; more than 2,500 derelict vehicles were removed from the streets of Antigua during the period.