The Ministry of Health is redoubling its efforts to rid the island of its several overgrown lots.

To this end, approximately 10 small business persons involved in trucking and bob cat operations will be brought on board to augment the debushing programme by removing materials cleared.

The pilot will run within the 10-week annual programme, which is scheduled to begin on Monday, December 13.?? The effectiveness of the project will be reviewed at the end of the period, and according to Chief Environmental Health Officer, Tyrone Applewhaite, the pilot should result in 20 per cent more unkempt lots being cleaned through additional mechanisation.??

??"There are some 14,000 unkempt lots in Barbados, and over the year we have served notices on some 1,400 Barbadians residing here and abroad, as well as some state departments, but we have only been able to clear 350-400 lots.?? With these private sector partners, we are aiming to clear some 150 more. The pilot has dual benefits – it will not only supplement the debushing initiative, but will also foster entrepreneurship in small business persons.?? We have agreed on a price per square foot and work will begin in earnest," he said.

Mr. Applewhaite, however, encouraged the public to be conscientious and to clear lots for which they were responsible, as overrun and unkempt lots generally harbour vectors, including mosquitoes and rats, and are in a contravention of the Health Services Act and regulations.

If there is an area in need of clearing and the owner is either unknown or uncooperative, persons are advised to call the Environmental Health Officer at the polyclinic in their area. Once notified, an officer will inspect the lot, and send correspondence to the landowner, giving a deadline by which the lot must be cleared.?? ??

"If the lot is not cleared after the period, the Ministry of Health will schedule a cleaning either by public workers or the private business persons taking part in the pilot and the lot will be cleared at a cost to the landowner," he added.??

Mr. Applewhaite thanked those who had received notices and had taken the initiative to clear their lots and those who had notified the department about over run lots, over the project’s 15-year life span.????

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