Minister within the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development Norman Whittaker on Monday visited the city’s Solid Waste Management Department and Municipal Mechanic Workshop in Princes Street to check on the status of the eight compactor trucks that were out of order.
Minister Whittaker was reported by the Government Information Agency (GINA) as saying that the garbage trucks were purchased from the city’s subvention and revenue from rates and taxes collected from the citizens, who are being deprived of the services to which they are entitled as a result of the situation.
He was advised that some of the compactor trucks are down for no major problem. “We are disappointed… the council is not interested, I am not aware that the Mayor has come here to inquire why these trucks are down and why people are complaining that their garbage has not been collected for the past two months,” he was further quoted as saying.
GINA said that apart from the garbage trucks, several other vehicles are also not functioning, and the minister expressed his dismay at lack of interest that is being shown by the relevant officers at the Solid Waste Management Department in procuring the necessary parts required to repair them.
He questioned what the 19 persons employed at the Mechanical Workshop are engaged in, if only two or three of the garbage trucks are working.
According to GINA, there have been reports of poor management at this department. There have been constant absenteeism and in some instances insubordination by workers.
It was also reported that only minutes before the minister’s arrival, then many workers were seen springing into action.
Minister Whittaker explained that the Local Government Ministry will be looking keenly at supervision or lack thereof, examining the systems that are in place, and workers’ conduct, in terms of getting the work done, GINA added.
GINA quoted the minister as saying, “I have been in constant contact with the Town Clerk and with the acting City Engineer; we at the ministry and at the level of the government are very concerned over this situation and are committed to ensuring that these vehicles are put into working order so that they can resume operations, as well as improve the quality of service in terms of solid waste collection.”