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Thursday, June 22, 2017 7:48 PM

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DESPITE THE BEST efforts  of the Environmental Health Department and its training programmes, Barbadians are still displaying bad habits.
Chief Environmental Health Officer Tyrone Applewhaite said there was a disconnect between the knowledge of the dangers of illegal dumping and the practice.
“Attitudes and practices are not changing . . . we have to look at methods to see how best we can deal with this problem,” he said.
Applewhaite said the department would take the fight against illegal dumping further into the community.
He was speaking to the DAILY NATION on Tuesday (Dec 15) after a prize-giving ceremony  for the first official Vector Control Unit’s Southern District Quiz, held at Lester Vaughan School, Cane Garden, St Thomas.
“We want to appeal to the community  to reinforce positive behaviours . . . . There  is heightened awareness but it all boils down to people’s practices,” he said.
He reiterated how serious a problem illegal dumping was in general and how much it could cost Barbados, both financially and health-wise, by polluting the underground water supply and providing food sources and breeding areas for vectors such as rodents, snails and mosquitoes.
However, Applewhaite held up the community of Lower Burney, St Michael, as a model which he said should be emulated islandwide. He said the area had issues with snails, rats, overgrown vegetation and litter, but the people had turned the situation almost right around.
“We worked with the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders to help them take control of the area. There are still a few issues but it really shows what empowerment can do and we are willing  to work with any community group willing to put environmental health on their agendas,” he said. (CA)

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