– Residents plan massive protest
Residents of Mahdia in Region 8 are urging the regional officials to put their differences aside and work together for the development of the community.
During a recent visit to the community this publication was told that a location which has been allocated as the dumpsite has become overwhelmed with garbage. To add to the frustrating situation the residents said that they have been given the royal runaround when enquires are made of the regional officials.
Currently garbage is being dumped at a location called Red Hole, but the situation has become out of hand over the past two months.
One resident, Marcelle Daniels, who lives next to the location, said she has made several enquiries at the Regional office and was told that the machine needed to clear the garbage is out of operation. The woman who has several toddlers said as a result of the garbage, her yard and immediate surroundings have become infested with flies and carrion crows.
Daniels said in the past the garbage was being dumped down in a valley and it was not affecting her family and other residents. However, over the past two to three months, persons have been dumping the garbage outside of the valley and the garbage is not reaching out to the roadway. The woman said she spoke to the Regional Executive Officer (REO) and was promised that the situation would be addressed; however, two months later, the garbage dump is still growing.
When contacted, the Region’s Chairman Mark Crawford said he had written a letter to the REO requesting an excavator to clear the garbage, but was told that the machine was too small for the job. The Chairman said on another occasion he was told that the machine was encountering mechanical problems.
Further, he is of the belief that his efforts in the community are being undermined by the REO. Crawford said he is now worried about a possible outbreak of illness as a result of the garbage. According to Crawford, the dumpsite is a breeding ground for the species of mosquito which carries malaria.
Meanwhile, according to reports out of the area, the residents are planning a massive protest on Thursday over the situation. Residents said they will not sit by and see their community fall apart because of politics as they have all worked hard over the years to establish the state it is at today. About two years ago the region suffered a major setback in its economic activity after fire destroyed several businesses at the arcade.
Further, Thursday’s protest will also be held with the aim of getting the Regional Democratic officials to put their political views aside and focus on developing the region. Residents who spoke with this publication over the weekend say from all indications, there seems to be some amount of non-cooperation among the officials as was clear in the case of the Salbora water system issue.
Residents also opined that the Regional Chairman was being victimized because of his political affiliation. Recently the entire area surrounding the Government building and others in central Mahdia were weeded, however, the works came to a halt just at the fence surrounding the Regional Chairman’s living quarters.
This has not gone done well with councilors of the region as well as some members of Parliament who visited the region last week. Also speaking on the issue was A Partnership for National Unity parliamentarian, Ronald Bulkan, who was in the area and had a firsthand look at the situation. Bulkan said the recent issue in relation to the Regional Chairman is shameful and is an identical case of what was done to columnist Freddie Kissoon, involving a trench located in front of his home.
“The Chairman’s residence is adjacent to the RDC building and several other offices yet the person or persons who weeded the area deliberately left the area surrounding the Chairman’s residence,” Bulkan pointed out. The APNU Parliamentarian further said it is his opinion that the Chairman is being victimized because he is not a representative from the PPP/C.
“The PPP/C lost control of the Region so they are trying to victimize the people…the people spoke at the last election and now that election has come and gone, we as politicians need to serve the people in spite of their political affiliation.”
Bulkan further stated that if this type of ‘political spitefulness’ continues, then most developments in the region will be hampered.
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