Yamboo residents sign petition against asphalt, concrete batching plant
by Lyf Compton
One hundred and thirty-eight residents of Yambou have signed a petition urging the government to rethink the decision to place an asphalt and concrete batching plant in their area.
“We consider this action highly insensitive, highly high-handed, grossly disrespectful, to the hard working and peace-loving residents of Yambou, inconsiderate of your institution and total disregard on your part to the health risks associated with this plant,” the petition states in part.
The document, addressed to BRAGSA (the Roads, Buildings and General Services Authority), stresses that several elderly residents and children suffer from ailments like asthma and
there is no need to alert anyone on the negative medical effects of having such an operation in the community as the problems are evident.
“Our village is not a dumping ground for your institution to protect other citizens in other areas,” said the petition.
When SEARCHLIGHT visited the area yesterday, Dellon Durrant said if set up, the plant would be located opposite his home and less than a minute’s walk away.
He said he had heard about the decision to install the plant, but no discussions were held with residents by anyone in government.
“My closest neighbour, her youngest son is asthmatic so I can’t understand who in their right mind will put something so close to a residential area,” said Durrant.
He added, “this is pure madness and they like they ain’t looking out for anybody else but themselves.”
Durrant said the people who want to put the plant there do not live in the area, so they do not care.
Another resident, Jason Rodriguez said when residents observed the lands being cleared, they were told about the plans to move the plant from Argyle and bring it to Yambou.
“They say they are moving the asphalt and concrete plant form Argyle because the fire fighters complained and the people at the Argyle airport complained and then Mr Stephenson also posted it on Facebook,” said Rodriguez.
Frederick Stephenson is the parliamentary representative for South Windward, which includes Yambou.
Rodriguez said that when residents heard the plans, they became very upset about it.
Leila Deane opined that the plant should not be placed there. She said that Leon “Bigger Biggs” Samuel started a block making business in the area about 24 years ago and since then, she has been unable to keep her windows and doors opened.
“Already, Bigger Biggs has a place, if you notice. Ten years now I can’t even open my house window, sand all on my bed.
“My house always lock up and is sneezing and coughing, all kind of things, so when they go and put an asphalt plant down there again, what going happen to people in Yambou? Come like Yambou people ain’t have no life, better all of them dead out and done,” commented Deane.
She said she would like to open her windows and she has been living in the area for 48 years and it has been problematic for 24 of those years, with Samuel’s block making operations and now she may have further stress.
Another resident, Casmos Williams said the plant is not good for the community.
“If you have little children suffering with asthma and whatever and that thing come down you have to keep your children inside.
“If you have plants like lettuce and cabbage and whatever you cannot eat them because that thing will come down and damage everything. So now it is bad for our health so now, we are fighting against that,” said Williams.
He added that these things should not be placed in a residential area.
A female resident who asked not to be named added, “We don’t want it in the area. Carry it somewhere else”.
When contacted, Stephenson said he has seen the petition and officials will, this Sunday at 3 p.m., meet with residents of the area of the Adventist Church in Yambou.
“I think the complaints are justified, especially from the persons closest to the river and I think it might pose a problem,” said Stephenson.
He said that Minister of Works Julian Francis and BRAGSA personnel will also be in attendance at the meeting.