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Poor garbage collection causing leptospirosis in Clarendon, says Arscott

Monday, July 17, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Member of Parliament for Clarendon South Western, Noel Arscott, says poor garbage collection and the mismanagement of waste disposal is contributing to the increasing cases of leptospirosis being reported in Clarendon.

Arscott, in a statement last night, said that two of the reported cases of death in Clarendon can be directly attributed to the rat infestation in the northern region of the parish.

He expressed concerns that there is the danger of a wider outbreak of the disease in the parish and beyond its borders if corrective measures are not adopted immediately.

"Based on reports received, the state of the garbage pile up is approaching the point of a public health emergency," Arscott said.

Arscott, who served as Local Government Minister in the last People's National Party Administration, is calling for an immediate and thorough performance audit of the waste management authority to “determine the extent of dysfunction within the structures of the authority and related agencies”.

“The audit would also address the state of garbage collection in communities across Clarendon and whether partisan consideration in the collection of garbage has factored in the outbreak of the disease. As a nation, we cannot justify this unsightly, unhealthy and disgraceful pile up of garbage, especially in our tourist resort area,” he said.

Arscott also pointed to a $15 million rat mitigation project, targeting the main tourist resort of Montego Bay, which has not yielded optimum results and has raised concerns about whether there is value for money in the manner in which the programme was being implemented and how the procurement procedure was undertaken.

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