Cabinet unhappy with Solid Waste road-cleaners; so work crews will now be directed by themselves, as representatives

The Government’s failure at keeping the country clean is seemingly being blamed on those tasked with cleaning the roadsides.

Residents and visitors have complained that Antigua is the filthiest it has been in a decade, and that the drains and roadsides are overgrown with bushes and shrubbery.

As a result, the Deputy Director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) met with the Executive, on September 28, to address these continuing challenges.

According to the report, human and other resources were deployed in an almost three-month-long National Clean-up Campaign, which has now ended. Therefore, the workers are now returning to their normally assigned duties in the respective communities.

Cabinet Members, however, are concerned about the length of time these workers actually spend on the job.

Reportedly, Members and the NSWMA officials agreed that supervision of the teams might not be as vigorous as it ought to be. Therefore, the Executive reiterated that the direction of these teams is to be determined by the communities’ representatives.

As a result, the supervisors and the Cabinet Members are to be in touch continuously with the work teams, this week’s Notes say.

“The object is to ensure that workers undertake a full day’s work for a full day’s pay; and, that they are strategically placed to keep the communities free of unwanted vegetation,” the Cabinet Notes add.

The Administration has promised that six more workers are to be added to the teams and that more resources are to be provided to ensure they are paid.

Meanwhile, some residents are accusing the Cabinet Members of micro-managing yet another government corporation.

Others say this is the usual electioneering at play: giving young men jobs to clean the roadsides in the hope that their appreciation will result in votes for the Antigua Labour Party.

One person notes that, leading up to the last elections and immediately following, gangs of workers clad in Labour Party paraphernalia were visible every day in many communities.

However, he says, that quickly waned, and the villages, over the past four years, have been left dirty and stink.