Minister Lee concerned about fires at dump

 Minister of Public Health, Social Development & Labor, Emil Lee, during the Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday, reiterated  his concern about the health effects on people as a result of the fires at the dump.


During his briefing, the Minister made  it clear that the coalition is not in trouble because his Ministry is issuing statements which effect another Ministry. “Normally, Ministers respect other Ministers portfolios, but often times, Ministries overlap with other Ministries. In this case, as the Minister of health, I need to look into the dump situation from a public health perspective”.


Minister Lee said that as Government, we should be mature enough to look in the mirror and re-examine what we are doing. There are clearly problems at the dump, and one of the priorities of the Government coalition  is to develop a long term solutions. “As I look at the dump situation, I know that the fumes from the fire are not healthy for the population, and as a member of the Council of Ministers I have an obligation to try and figure out how we can prevent this”.
Repeated fires at the dump are not acceptable, and because there are health consequences due to the fumes, the Minister stated that he has already started doing research on how other countries manage their waste, and that he’s in the process of comparing the documents to get a feeling whether or not Government has given sufficient information so that the contractor  can perform his job correctly. “If Government has issued those specifications , then the question would be: is the contractor working according to it? If the specifications are not clear enough, then clearly  Government would be obligated to revise the scope of work”.


In the meantime, the Minister made mention that he has asked  the Inspectorate to look at the safety of the workers at the dump, to see if they have proper safety protocols, and personal protection equipment in place. “If the fumes are not healthy for people living a distance away from the dump, then obviously the people working at the dump are at a higher risk level” concluded Minister Lee.