The lack of a reliable garbage disposal system, coupled with the indiscriminate dumping of garbage in certain parts of the town of Vieux Fort, is making life uncomfortable for residents there.
According to concerned residents, the garbage exudes an obnoxious smell, which sometimes becomes unbearable and creates an eyesore in the neighbourhood.
The most affected areas are Bacaderre, Bruceville and New Dock Road.
The residents say sometimes the garbage trucks take over two weeks before they empty the skip bins in those areas. According to them, most times the bins are allowed to overflow before they are emptied.
As of yesterday, the garbage trucks were busy emptying the skip bins in those areas.
When this reporter visited the Bacaderre area a few days ago, where there was a pile of garbage, the smell was malodorous.
The situation has been compounded by the inadequate number of bins to serve the entire town. Some years ago, there were ten bins in the town, but recently there has been only three.
The company responsible for the disposal of garbage in Vieux Fort and a few other communities in the south of the island, Sadoo and Sons Trucking Company, is required to dispose of garbage in the Vieux Fort town twice a week.
The situation has incensed residents, who last week burned the rubbish in a skip bin at Bacaderre, which had been filled beyond capacity for over a week.
Winston Lubin, a resident of the town of Vieux Fort told this reporter that the problem requires immediate attention.
Jean Samuel, who owns a small business less than 40 meters from where the rubbish is dumped at Bacaderre, said the problem affects her customers.
“My customers have to cope with the unbearable smell which comes from the rubbish nearby,” she told this reporter, adding the people in the area made the situation worse by dumping garbage in and around the bins even when the bins were already filled.
David Charles, another resident of the area, who also owns a small business not too far from where the rubbish is dumped, said: “Whenever the wind is strong the smell becomes overwhelming.”
He said because of the unpleasant situation, he no longer dumps his rubbish in the area.
Charles is now making a clarion call to the relevant authorities to address the garbage problem in the community.
David Mentor opined that it does not seem like anyone cares about the health of the residents of Vieux Fort. “The problem is killing us slowly,” he said. “Your health is your wealth.”
The situation has sanitation workers of the Vieux Fort South Constituency Council busy and annoyed.
Kent Richards, a sanitation worker of the council said its time the garbage problem in Vieux Fort is addressed, adding that it is affecting the entire community.
Commenting on the vexing issue, the mayor of Vieux Fort, OrriciaDenbow-Bullen, said the council is trying its best to deal with the problem.
“It has always been an issue…” she lamented.
She said the council has no control over the work of the company hired to dispose of garbage in Vieux Fort, adding that it was hired by the Saint Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority.