The government signed an $81,500 contract with Bowe’s Trucking and Heavy Lifting yesterday – Thursday, March 14 – for the clean-up of the West End Dump, which was described as an eyesore by residents moving in and out of the western community.
Minister of Environment and Housing Romauld Ferreira, travelled to the island Thursday for the official signing with owner of the company, Ian Bowe, which was witnessed by Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime, Senator J. Kwasi Thompson; Member of Parliament for West End and Bimini, Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe and other government officials and representatives of the company.
Pleased to embark on the journey of making West Grand Bahama cleaner and safer, Sen. Thompson noted that he was excited to be joined by Parker-Edgecombe and Minister Ferreira for the signing.
“Their presence here, this morning, is a testament to their commitment to environmental preservation, generally and more specifically, to the environmental preservation of the West End community,” added Sen. Thompson.
The current West End dump site was set in place as a temporary “stop gap” measure for the depositing of debris and solid waste that remained after Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Initially, the site was opened for local fishermen to dispose of the conch shells which were piling high at the Fishing Hole Road.
However, throughout the years, the site has become an eyesore and an environmental health issue for the residents of and visitors to the West End community.
“Today, I am pleased to announce that after strong representations from the Member of Parliament as well as the Administrator (for West GB, Kristin Palacious), the Office of the Prime Minister Grand Bahama has been given the mandate along with the Ministry of Housing and the Environment, to pool our resources and to clean up the unsightly location,” Sen. Thompson stated.
He added that a “son of the West End community,” Ian Bowe of Bowe’s Trucking and Heavy Lifting, supported by his family was selected from among several bidders, to carry out works necessary for the restoration of the dump site.
Sen. Thompson confirmed the contract value of $81,500 inclusive of 12 percent value added tax (VAT).
“I have been assured that with the help of his hardworking team, he can get the job done efficiently and swiftly,” he said. “The Ministry of Works has assessed the site and they have informed that there is approximately one acre of land along Bayshore Road with 260-plus tons of debris.”
Sen. Thompson disclosed that it is the government’s intention to keep this site clean and limit the amount of waste that is being deposited until a more permanent transfer site can be established.
“Rest assured, we are actively working on establishing a more suitable site for the community of West End.
“I invite every resident of West End to partner with us as we work together to clean up the environment and reduce the incidences of indiscriminate dumping in that community. I also take this opportunity to remind us all here in Grand Bahama, to always use a bin to put it in,” he stressed.
Minister Ferreira also weighed in on the dump site’s current conditions, he noted that the problem with temporary sights such as the current dump, is that they can often take on a life of their own.
He added that the ministry has confidence in the contractor and is dedicated to improving the lives of residents.
On his last visit to the island, Minister Ferreira launched the ‘Be A Hero’ Campaign which encouraged young Bahamians to not only keep the environment clean, but to spread that message to others.
Parker-Edgecombe thanked Minister Ferreira for addressing this issue. “We have great hopes that the work will be done in a timely manner.”
She furthered that it is important to ensure that the environment is kept clean, particularly, because residents are products of their environment.
Parker-Edgecombe revealed that more initiatives to clean up the western area of the island are in the works. “Intense clean-up campaigns will be underway.”
Public Relations officer for Bowe’s Trucking and Heavy Lifting, Trevor Russell commended the government for working to rectify this issue.
Russell noted that Bowe is excited about the project and clean-up of the dump site is expected to begin next week.