by Donella Hosten
Although the government has claimed that the sewage issue at the Mt Gay Hospital has been resolved, workers at the institution have expressed different sentiments.
Minister for Health, Hon. Nickolas Steele, stated that inspections were done to ensure that the system is functioning in an optimal matter. According to Steele, “there were some areas of concern and that’s why the inspections were carried out.”
During Tuesday’s Post-Cabinet Briefing, Steele said that the National Water and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA) will be taking charge of the sewage system. “NAWASA has the capability and specialties to do that, and that is why in my opinion, I have advised Cabinet, and Cabinet has agreed that is the way forward to make sure there isn’t a constant re-occurrence of any sewage issue at Mt Gay.”
Despite Government’s attempts to shift the spotlight from them to NAWASA on this matter, Public Relations Office of the Public Workers Union (PWU), Brian Grimes, stated that “the Mt Gay issue, as far as we are concerned, has been unresolved.”
As a result of the stench being inhaled — the staff and patients at the Hospital are being negatively affected. Workers are complaining about having sore throat, vomiting, headaches and more.
Grimes said, “There would be a cadre of Executive Officers from the Union going up to the Mt Gay health facility to speak to the staff there, and we are taking strong consideration to the evacuation of the premises.”
First Vice President of the PWU, Rachel Roberts, expressed her dissatisfaction with the manner in which government is handling the situation. She said the Union is concerned about the health of its members. “This stench is crippling the health of our members,” as “persons are inhaling a very poisonous gas; hydrogen sulphate, which is very dangerous,” and can lead to death. Roberts said there are no quick fixes and they want action, not “lip service.”