SOME Abaco residents believe the government’s failure to address issues involving the burning of debris at Abaco dump sites has subjected people to health problems.
Residents have complained about the smoke and debris at the Spring City debris management dump site and the Great Abaco sanitary landfill on Snake Cay.
“Nothing’s changed,” said Roscoe Thompson, chairman of the Marsh Harbour/Spring City Township. “It’s still burning. It’s a continual burn. That’s the sad thing. With Spring City, especially at night with the fumes, the winds coming out of the south will push it up into Marsh Harbour. So there are still concerns in regards to that, Spring City being where it is.”
“Two of my members who sit on my township board have not stopped complaining. It’s an ongoing issue, an ongoing battle. It needs to be addressed.”
Mr Thompson said he would wait to see if Minister of Environment Vaughn Miller addresses the issue during this year’s budget debate in Parliament.
He said: “Where does it fall on the priority of the government? Here you still have burning and it’s not just in Abaco. I know it’s been happening in other Family Islands. That’s the concern there: when will it be addressed? I’m waiting to see what the budget looks like, if they’ve increased travel budget or they’re starting to look at doing other things.”
Mr Thompson, who also sits on the Central Abaco District Council, said: “Until the minister lets us know they have a plan for a new landfill, it’s going to be a continual burn. They don’t have enough space out there to keep burying it and plus they’re moving debris from the Spring City site up to Snake Cay so that’s filling it up even quicker.
Dump fires plaguing Central Abaco residents have been a concern since 2019, when the management of the sites was transferred from the local government to the Ministry of Environment.
In March, Mr Thompson said his communication with government ministers and officials got no response.