The front-page lead story in The Freeport News on Monday carried some alarming information. Along with the article, was published, a photo of oil contaminated water that flowed while a resident of Pinder’s Point was drilling to install a soak-away pit.
Well documented is the age-old controversy of health hazards faced by residents near the Industrial Center. Different central administrations, going back to the Progressive Liberal Party governments headed by the late Sir Lynden Pindling have attempted to bring an acceptable compromise to the situation.
There are two realities. The Industrial Center is significant to the economy of Grand Bahama. As well, there have been many alleged health issues blamed on the Industrial Center. It’s a tough task for any government. In digesting the contents of Monday’s headline article and viewing the accompanying photo it’s hard not to come to the conclusion that some residents are greatly disadvantaged from an environment perspective.
Rev. Michael Pinder, a noted Grand Bahamian, who was once a political activist and long since became a minister of the gospel, is a leading resident of the Pinder’s Point community. The aforementioned oil-contaminated soak-away was in his backyard. He spoke passionately and compellingly toThe Freeport News when he was interviewed.
We highlighted a portion of his comments on Monday and do so today for emphasis:
“Personally I feel my experience is just one of many incidents that have occurred in this community. In fact, some were more severe with people losing their lives to various illnesses because the freshwater table has been contaminated and many cannot afford city-supplied water and are forced to use the water that is slowly poisoning their system.”
We hasten to point out that we are unable to verify any lives lost due to environment conditions in Pinder’s Point. That’s the position taken by Rev. Pinder.
However, based on other information highlighted by The Freeport News, the Government of The Bahamas, through its Ministry of Environment, ought to address the issue that relates to Pinder’s Point and the surrounding communities.
The photo of darkened water, that reportedly had an oily smell, in Rev. Pinder’s backyard, is certainly a matter that should be investigated fully. The government should ensure than samples of water in the area are once more taken, examined and a report produced and publicized.