Government’s debushing programme given full support by Environmental Health Officer


Principal Environmental Health Officer in the Ministry of Health, Maurice Gaskin has welcomed the start of government’s debushing programme. 
An announcement that the programme had commenced on December 5th and 7th at select polyclinics was made by Health Minister, John Boyce on Friday during debate in the House of Assembly.
Gaskin said that to date, the St. Philip Polyclinic where he is attached has served 256 notices to land owners. This has been to individuals living within the catchment area of the polyclinic such as those living in Ruby Park, St. Philip; Rowans Park, St. George; Haggatt Hall, St. Michael and the Crane, St. Philip.
“What we do is, we serve notices on the owners of land and we give them 14 days. If the person lives in Barbados, it is 14 days to clear the land. After 14 days, then we go in, we clear it and then we bill them for it. What we do is we ascertain the lot size, so say Corlis’ size was 
5 000 square feet and we clear Corlis’ lot we have to clean it and remove the debris, we then multiple the 5 000 square feet by 18 cents.”
He further said that persons living overseas would be given 28 to 30 days to comply with the notice. He added, “If you refuse to pay, the government has the option that we can auction the land. That is an option which we don’t really want to do but most of the time persons comply.”
Gaskin’s comments came while giving a sensitization lecture on ‘Rodent Control’ at the Princess Margaret Secondary School yesterday. This was presented by the Southern Zone 4-H Council in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Vector Control Unit.
During the talk, Principal Environmental Health Officer in the Ministry of Health reminded persons that grass on their lot “should not exceed no more than two inches” and it is their responsibility to look after their property. He also outlined some of the benefits of the debushing programme.
“It is something that is going to help with the rodents. …It will help control criminal activity. It helps get rid of the African snails. It helps with rodents. It help with mosquitoes and… believe you me, there are some blind corners when you come with your vehicle and you go to exit the road and you can’t see, so it will help reduce vehicular accidents. It goes very far.”(MG)

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