Elizabeth Thompson, Minister of the Environment for Barbados, has had one of those Road to Damascus divine revelation moments – at least according to an article in The Nation News.
“It’s time to arrest and charge illegal dumpers” she told the Legislature during the February 7, 2006 “debate” on the Trade in Endangered Species Bill.
Minister Thompson then revealed the absolute pitiful state of environmental laws enforcement in Barbados.
Despite the fact that our beautiful island has become an environmental “free for all” zone dotted with hundreds of illegal dump sites oozing all manner of foulness into the ground and our water…
Not one person or business has ever been charged and brought before the courts for illegal dumping in Barbados.
Not a single charge laid in the twelve years that Elizabeth Thompson has been Minister of the Environment!
Just what has she done?
“Thompson said she had written the police and the Attorney-General on the subject….
Oh very good! Written two letters! And just what does she now propose after 12 years?
“The day the police do some stings at these dumping sites and charge illegal dumpers, we might see a stop to this,” Thompson said.”
That is your plan? A few stings at a illegal dump or two? That’s it?
Minister, the environment has been your responsibility since 1994. Twelve years of widespread illegal dumping of garbage and chemicals in hundreds of known and unknown locations from one end of Barbados to the other and the best you can do is make a little squeak in the Legislature blaming the police?
Minister Thompson, in case your staff have not made you aware, some foreign tourist agencies are now cautioning that Barbados has some serious environmental and water problems. And, oh yes, I seem to recall that we have several hundred thousand visitors hoping to see a few cricket matches here in 2007.
And now your “plan” is to have some Constables watch a few dumps? That is the plan?
Dear Minister of the Environment Thompson…
You did get one thing right when you said in the Legislature, “It is not an issue that Government alone can address. It really has to do with what image we have of ourselves; our national practices.”
Well Minister, don’t worry – because here in this room, right now, four of us are empowering ourselves to create a comprehensive plan for the Ministry of the Environment to address the issue of illegal dumping in Barbados.
We will create this plan tonight while we listen to Bob Marley and enjoy a few Banks.
You have had 12 years to design and implement a plan. We will post our plan tomorrow*.
* Ok… We have day jobs so we will post our plan at the end of the week. 🙂