Minister for Grand Bahama
, Dr. Michael Darville
, made the request Tuesday (March 15) evening during his
contribution to the Mid-Year Performance Budget Debate in the House of Assembly (HOA).
"I am pleased at this time to speak to the final report of Environmental Health Risk Assessment for the settlements of Lewis Yard, Pinder's Point and the surrounding areas, which was presented to the Cabinet by representatives of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO), and is now in the possession of the government for final review and will be released in a few weeks," Darville continued.
"Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this independent assessment was to determine, if any, the effects of exposure to hazardous chemicals, to the environment and health of individuals in the residential areas, which border the Freeport Industrial Park, on Grand Bahama
revealed that the assessment was completed in three distinct phases.
disclosed that four pieces of legislation, which are amendments to the Freeport Bye-Laws Act (1965), and will provide the framework for environmental protection for Grand Bahama
, are presently being vetted by the Attorney General's office, to be brought to Parliament in order to give the regulator and the government the legal teeth to go after those who do not comply.
"Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of Environment and Housing, the Ministry for Grand Bahama
and the Environmental Department of the Grand Bahama Port Authority
, with the assistance of PAHO/WHO have combined efforts, and are now working together to increase the technical expertise and financial resources, necessary to effectively police the environment of Grand Bahama," Darville
assured residents of Pinder's Point, Lewis Yard and the surrounding areas that this administration is investing much time, effort and resources to ensure that they are and remain safe and healthy.
Speaking to the island's health care sector, Darville
revealed that as recent as Thursday, March 3, 2016, a contract in excess of $1,000,000 was signed for the renovation and upgrades of the West End Community Clinic.
noted that the upgrades, which are set to be complete in September, 2016, will ensure that care is delivered at a highest quality and in a competent manner to better serve the needs of residents in that area.
noted that the government has reached a new phase in its preparations for the expansion and redevelopment of health care delivery for the island of Grand Bahama; and the entire Northern Region.