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Barbados Advocate – The National Housing Corporation has been mobilised in its effort to begin the cleanup of its residences in the wake of the recent ashfalls from the La Soufriere volcano in St. Vincent. 

With the future still unclear as it relates to further explosive eruptions of the volcano, a national initiative has begun in earnest.

Speaking to members of the media yesterday as he made rounds to several sites, including the corporation’s Wildey office, Minister of Housing, Lands and Maintenance, Dr. William Duguid explained that their cleanup effort would prove to be extremely critical to the health and safety of many Barbadians. 

“As Barbados’ biggest landlord, the National Housing Corporation is also looking at the start of the cleanup of the National Housing Corporation estates. Starting with the driveways, the roadways, looking at the down-pipes, looking at any tanks they may have and, most importantly, checking the drains. As the rains come and we don’t have the integrity of those drains, then we will suffer a lot of flooding all throughout the country. So drains are very, very important. We are trying to keep as much ash out of the drains as possible,” he said, going on to plead with Barbadians to ensure as little ash as possible was washed into the drains.

Asking all Barbadians to responsibly bag the ash for collection by the Sanitation Service Authority, he noted that the cleanup would be started at the offices before expanding to involve more and more residential areas. 

“We have started the programme here in Wildey and we will be fanning out and more and more people will be joining the programme and moving to more and more areas to get Barbados back to where it should be; back to clean and sparkling as we want it to be. The paradise that we are accustomed to.”

Dr. Duguid stated that it was impossible to predict the ashfalls, but the aim was to keep working at it until Barbados was clean once again. He finished by saying that the energy among NHC staff was good, as everyone understood the objective. 

“I think that everybody recognises that this is a national programme and of national importance, and everybody is putting in 150% and I’m very happy with the response of the staff so far. It is tedious work and it’s back-breaking work, but as you can see the men are happy to be able to be of assistance to their country,” he said. (MP)

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