Barbados Sanitation Service Authority And Environment Minister Still Disagree Over Illegal Dump Statistics

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Back on July 1, 2006, Barbados Free Press reported that the Sanitation Service Authority and Environment Minister Liz Thompson were making contradictory statements about the number of illegal dumpsites on the island.

In our article How Many Illegal Dumps In Barbados? we pointed out that while Sanitation Service Authority Public Relations Officer Ian Bourne stated there are some 62 illegal dumpsites that have to be cleared weekly by the SSA and another 97 “problem areas”, Environment Minister Liz Thompson said there are almost 400 illegal dumps.

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SSA Public Relations Officer Replies To BFP Article

On December 4, 2006, SSA Public Relations Officer Ian Bourne visited our website and left a reply to the How Many Illegal Dumps In Barbados? article. Here’s what Mr. Bourne said…

“If you examine my statement carefully… I said there 62 illegal dumpsites the SSA deals with and 97 problem areas.

The Hon. Min. says there are 300 to 400 sites, I do not know how many her Ministry is handling, but it can be checked.”

… Ian Bourne, Public Relations Officer, Sanitation Service Authority (comment on BFP here)

Ian Bourne – A Dedicated Public Servant At The Sanitation Service Authority

While there still appears to be some question as to how many illegal dumpsites there are on Barbados, Mr. Bourne is interested enough in his work that he stopped by our blog after normal working hours to clarify a point and offer some advice – so, we thought we would have a look at Mr. Bourne on the web and see what we could find out about him.

It turns out that Mr. Bourne runs a very informative blog called Bajan Health Protectors where he has documented some of the fine work he and other SSA employees have done in trying to educate young people about recycling, illegal dumping and issues of waste management in Barbados. Mr. Bourne’s blog is all the more impressive when one considers that it is an “unofficial” effort obviously being maintained because of his personal dedication rather than because he is being paid to do so.

Mr. Bourne puts his heart into his work, and his blog makes me think of all the other dedicated government employees who, like Mr. Bourne, are doing the best they can with less than the proper resources. We all know that for the front line people, working for the government is something like trying to run a marathon with only one shoe.

It seems a shame that the Barbados Sanitation Service Authority does not have something as simple as an official website where citizens could find information about waste management, illegal dumps, recycling, SSA tours for schools and young people and a host of other resources.

(Or maybe the SSA does have a website and I just couldn’t find it through Google or the Government Information Service?)

It is all about funding priorities, and for many years it seems that the government’s priorities have had little to do with looking after the important needs of Bajans. Sure – we’ve had lots of publicity initiatives, parties and government announcements, but when it comes to clean water, proper sewers and effective garbage disposal, the government’s priorities have been elsewhere.

We hope that Mr. Bourne and his fellow SSA employees will eventually be given the tools and funding they need and so rightly deserve.

Stout hearts, all!

Story Links

Ian Bourne’s Personal Websites

Bajan Health Protectors Blog

Ian Bourne website

Ian Bourne MySpace

Photos: Ian Bourne & Illegal Barbados Dumpsite photos from Ian Bourne’s blog.

14 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Environment, Politics & Corruption

14 responses to “Barbados Sanitation Service Authority And Environment Minister Still Disagree Over Illegal Dump Statistics

  1. Yam P][e

    well BFP seems all praise for u Bourney, u r a good boy.

    gud thing u dun away wid dat ole job at cbc.

    seems u r doing a worthwhile job as SSA, keep it up.

  2. Yam P][e

    well BFP seems all praise for u Bourney, u r a good boy.

    gud thing u dun away wid dat ole job at cbc.

    seems u r doing a worthwhile job as SSA, keep it up. and ur blogs are fun btw. haha, dat video still got be crakkin up.

  3. Yam P][e

    oh, yea- and jokes aside, that is a real article bout Independence Mr.Bourne. perhaps u should share it with BFP members.

  4. Anonymous

    This was pathetic to read. It sounds so plantation-esque. There are some people who do other ‘worthwhile’ things and you rip them apart and make them look like villains. You people are so disgusting.

  5. Red Lake Lassie

    Plantation-esque?

    Pathetic?

    Disgusting?

    I liked it. Yam liked it.

    Anonymous is a government supporter person so he don’t like it for saying that government priorities is all !@#$ up.

  6. Hants

    Free education for pre-schoolers – Arthur cites First-World vision for Barbados
    published: Wednesday | December 6, 2006

    http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20061206/news/news4.html

    Hope the pre schoolers will have a clean Barbados.

  7. John

    ….. wonder if Ian Bourne and William Duguid are related.

    For some reason I always mix them up when I see them, .. or their pictures.

  8. bp

    Well Bourney, can you tell me if anyone has ever been convicted & fined the $5000.00? If so, who & when and for what. In my opinion that Maximum fine of $5000.00 should be a Minimum, not that it would make any difference because I don’t think anyone has been convicted. What does it take to catch someone dumping/littering. Maybe we could have a bounty for anyone catching illegal dumpers and bringing them before the courts so that they won’y be “anonymous” anymore.

  9. John

    …. not a bad idea that bounty.

    A bit like the $5.oo per monkey tail.

  10. John

    …. on second thoughts, in theory the bounty might work but in the case of monkeys it did not seem to work.

    Only the other day one shut down the whole island and even now, there are some in St. Andrew planning to usurp the power of the D and BLP.

  11. You say that “It seems a shame that the Barbados Sanitation Service Authority does not have something as simple as an official website where citizens could find information about waste management, illegal dumps, recycling, SSA tours for schools and young people and a host of other resources.”

    I concur, but you’ll find that most waste management services in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) do not offer such basic data online. They should (I am a big advocate of transparency, public right-to-know — in fact, will be doing a blog entry on LAC practices in this area very soon), but they don’t — not yet, at least. I should know — I wrote a book on solid waste & recycling policy in LAC nations (first edition 1997, second in 2002, third forthcoming), and found that getting basic data was tough, and in some places like Barbados, nigh impossible.

    And in some places the data actually provided is highly suspect (for example, what I do not trust at all what I am told by authorities about waste collection and illegal dumps in the Dominican Republic, since I lived there 4 yrs and know better).

    There are notable exceptions — Brazil, for example, has vastly improved both the quality of its data and what it offers online. Montevideo (but not the rest of Uruguay) offers decent data in its annual environment reports. Mexico’s Federal District (DF, essentially Mexico City and its environs) has improved its waste data collection and disclosure. Some publicly available waste data on offer by EMASEO in Quito, CEAMSE in Buenos Aires, but it’s spotty and infrequent.

    I enjoy reading your blog, have learned alot from it already and plan to visit often. Keep up the good work.
    Regards,
    Keith R

  12. Yam P][e

    Red Lake Lassie- agreed.
    ppl shud still be awarded complements when they are due.
    Anonymous seems to be asking for sum praise- do tell us what u did dear anonymous. maybe then we can help u.

  13. First? No connection between me and Duguid, none! I have more hair on my head and IMHO: I am easier on the eye, wink!

    Website, eh? H’mmm is all I can say right now…

    Nevertheless – as for prosecution? Please check following…

    PRESS RELEASE: Justice Prevails Against Illegal Dumping!

    Thursday 13th October 2006 was a landmark day for Barbadian environmental history when the department of Environmental Health successfully prosecuted against a person caught littering.

    Magistrate Barbara Weekes of District “B” ordered the perpetrator to pay a fine of three thousand dollars forthwith or face time in jail, and a continuous accruement of two hundred dollars per day for every day the fine is not paid.

    This eventful decision was made at the Oistins Magistrates Court with the diligent service and invaluable evidence provided via agents of the Randall Phillips.

    It is hoped that people who dump illegally or litter our beautiful island will actually take stock of their sad deeds and think twice before they litter again – the Ministry Of Health is on the patrol and will deal with offenders accordingly.

    Dumping objects in a gully poisons our country’s water supply, it is also a major source for dengue fever and flash flooding – don’t forget, this is a prosecutable crime with a heavy fine, and Barbados benefits in the long run by your doing the right thing – not just for tourism, but it helps leave a better place for our grandchildren and their offspring in the years ahead.

    27-10-2006/idb: pro

  14. bp

    Bourney,

    What I want to know is just what it took to catch the dumpers. I see that it was agents from the RP Poly-C, but how did they gather their evidence? What evidence did they gather? Were the police present? Was the dumper caught red-handed?