The residents of the Seventh District have given their representative – Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr. the Hon. Kedrick Pickering an ultimatum: either he speaks out against the belaboured sewerage issue that has plagued his District for more than a decade or support government and lose support.
The District Representative disclosed his plight to the members of the House of Assembly on 14 August. He announced that his constituents gave him a message for the Premier. “I hesitate to do this, but I have to do it Mr. Premier, I was told to give you a message from the people of the Seventh District and by extension the Eighth District that the sewerage situation is unbearable.”
For years the situation of flowing sewerage in the Seventh and Eighth Districts have been described as critical and although Hon. Pickering said that he has tried to advocate for the issue to be solved he is still seen as part of the problem: “I have been speaking about it all my life before politics and in politics and I get the brunt of criticism and for the most part probably should be run out of town for the situation, but as they say pressure does buss pipe,” Hon. Pickering told the House.
In fact the Deputy Premier said that the pressure being leveled against him by his constituents is too much to bear: “I can’t handle the pressure anymore, I tried to defend my government, I tried to defend us all against the criticism about we use the money for the cruise project and we still haven’t seen anything coming back.”
“I tried to explain it in a public forum, but I have to stand up publicly and say I am being told by my people who have sent me here to represent them that if I don’t open my mouth they will open their mouth against me and to say to us as a government Premier, Minister for Communications that the people in my community have said that they cannot deal with the sewerage situation anymore. I can’t say anymore about it,” he added.
Sewerage Issue Was Critical Last Year
While the problem has existed for more than ten years, in 2017 despite various previous remedial efforts the flowing sewerage situation became worst.
That complaint was made by Junior Minister for Trade and Investment, and Eighth District Representative, Hon. Marlon Penn in the House of Assembly on 28 February. Hon. Penn at that time also reported that he was being pressured by his constituents.
Hon. Penn explained that the issue was at one point confined to the area of Greenland and Long Look, but now he explained that it is affecting many other parts of the District, and he begged the Minister for Communications and Works Hon. Mark Vanterpool and Premier and Minister for Finance Dr. D. Orlando Smith to do something to alleviate the situation.
The Representative who noted that the problem had now become dire even suggested that a loan be taken to fund to works to stop to sewerage issue. In fact, he noted that the running situation had now become a volcano.
“We now have a volcano that erupts … by the police station. We can’t continue to live like this, our people deserve better than this…We need to complete this project. This project cannot continue another year without completion,” Hon. Penn explained.
The Eighth District Representative further told his colleagues that in Parham Town sewerage is now running in the Ghut, and the stench is affecting residents. The Legislator noted that the situation has resulted in constant complaints from his constituents. In fact he announced that he has to hear the cries of the residents in the area every day.
“I am not getting any peace, I can’t eat my doctor fish in peace. I have to hear about sewerage, sewerage…We have to do something Premier…Minister we get along very well but you will hear my mouth everyday about sewerage in East End…Our people don’t deserve this,” Hon. Penn said.