Retaliation by Civil Servants
by J. Payne
True story! As I say I sign my name because I don’t care who get vex. In my area people put out their garbage for sanitation to come and take. It seemed simple enough but Sanitation is unreliable so sometimes you might go 2 weeks without a pickup.
Let’s just say they usually pass-by on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Now that seems simple enough? You’d put out the waste on Monday and Friday night right? Well if you do guess what? All of Barbados’ stray dogs will get into it! And the first thing they do is burst it open on the ground. I have the unfortunate circumstance that all the neighbourhood dogs like to grab everyone’s garbage and drag it to my land to rummage though. So I have to go out twice a week with pitchfork to clean up. If I don’t the plastic bags begin to catch rain water and you start to see those mosquito larvae in the folds.
So anyway I tried to nip the problem in the bud I called Animal control because the dogs drag the waste over, and once they’re done the cats pick though it too. Right off the bat– Animal control says they don’t deal with all of Barbados’ stray cats… So I was on my own there. So I said fair enough well can you come collect the dogs??? They told me they can set out traps but I would have to pay I think it was BDS$30 a day for traps. (I guess they figure because I don’t have a Bajan accent that I’m a good target to try and exploit money of of.)
I asked well what happens if I don’t catch anything? I was told that I’d have to pay upon them picking up any dog. So if the dogs didn’t come by in a week I’d be out over US$105.00!!! With nothing to show for it. So I told them forget it. After-all the dogs don’t live at me, they don’t belong to me, and why should I have to bare the cost of ridding the entire neighbourhood of dogs?
So I called sanitation and asked if they could please try to do garbage collection more regularly. I was told (and I can understand) the trucks which cover all 166 Sq. Mi. of Barbados every week (multiple times) are prone to break downs. So they try to pickup the regularly scheduled route when they’re back on the road and then they will come to pickup the areas missed thereafter (to remain on schedule). I said fair enough but then I started getting problems with sanitation. Because I complained they refused to collect my garbage. Lets just say I went over a month without garbage collection. So if you complain in Barbados expect retaliation by the civil servants.
They claimed my “trash barrel was too full”
I told them of course it was full. It was December and some of the yard waste in there was from since Hurriance Tomas!! The people told me I lie and I showed them my tree. I said I have ONE tree like that on the entire property and Hurricane Tomas raked every fruit off the tree. When they finally emptied the trash barrel the smell was putrid. Everything had literally rotten. It was in the barrel for a month baking in the noon day sun… Lets just say I was at my wit’s end. I was ready to go down to the U.N. building at ask that Barbados be placed on reprimand for not living up to their obligations of providing me fair access to sanitation.
Since I got nowhere with Sanitation and Animal control I next called the Ministry of health after-all because the dogs were creating an environment where the bags can collect and breed mosquitoes. They told me they don’t deal with dogs! I said I know that but, can they work something out with Animal Control that I shouldn’t have to pay Animal Control all that money? They put me to some voicemail and I eventually got a call back saying they can’t do anything.
So my message from all that is just because you see trash all over the place it may not be a human hand that put it there… At the end of the day Barbados is a difficult place to get even the most easiest of things done. If I pay off some people they’d do everything I wanted but because I wasn’t willing to spread the wealth ‘to-bad for me!’
photo courtesy of eHow