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The cotton picking days are over!- Daniel on bush cutting contracts

- Upset over value of bush cutting contracts being slashed by more than half
Kishmet Daniel is upset that the value of bush clearing contracts have reportedly been slashed by more than fifty percent. Photo: VINO/File
The value of bush clearing contracts was reportedly dropped from 25 cents per sq ft to 10 cents per sq ft. Photo: VINO/File
The value of bush clearing contracts was reportedly dropped from 25 cents per sq ft to 10 cents per sq ft. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Noting that the “cotton picking days are over”, Kishmet Daniel is upset that the value of bush cutting contracts has been significantly reduced by Government and reportedly without the public being informed.

According to Daniel, the value of the contracts was dropped from 25 cents per sq ft to 10 cents per sq ft.

“There was no reason given. They [Government] didn’t come out to the public and tell them anything. You only get to know when you got a contract from them and you see on the paperwork that it is now 10 cents a square foot...It was fifteen hundred dollars and now it gone down to three hundred and sixty dollars. The same distance of nine hundred and sixty feet long.”

Daniel said Government should not have cut the bush cutting contracts so significantly “because poor people depend on these bush cutting and cleaning of drains to help feed their families...Everyone who received a contract is affected. It has to be a lot of persons. I would say it affect from district one to district nine.”

Strongly believing that three hundred and sixty dollars is inadequate for the work required to complete a contract, Daniel said she recently decided against executing two contracts she recently received from Government.

“To cut bush from a distance like say from the Ebenezer Thomas Primary School all the way to the shop in Palestina and collect three hundred and sixty dollars for that is no money for that distance of chopping bush because you out there in  a sun. How can somebody who do up a book collect eighty five thousand dollars but people out there in the hot sun chopping bush could collect less money for so much work. The cotton picking days are over with.”

Asked if she approached the Department of Public works on the issue, Daniel said she did but was told it was a decision made by cabinet. “I feel that they should have come to the House of Assembly and stated it so that people could know what happened and not by getting a contract and then seeing what happened. That is the wrong way of going about it,” Daniel argued.

Virgin Islands News Online asked Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool to explain the rationale behind the drastic reduction in the value of bush cutting contracts but was told that he was not aware of the new development.

“I am not aware of exactly how that was done but Public Works, as far as I know, has been managing and organizing the contracts. I don’t know if that has been a policy they have changed...I am not aware of it”, Hon. Vanterpool responded.

Efforts to get a comment from the Public Works Department were unsuccessful.

42 Responses to “The cotton picking days are over!- Daniel on bush cutting contracts”

  • man down (01/10/2012, 07:40) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    well me bouy NDP for the rich not the poor!
    • facts man (01/10/2012, 23:39) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      but it was always the party for who got what and cared nothing about the lil man...nothing has changed boss trust I Kishmet
  • hound (01/10/2012, 07:48) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    With all due respect Ms.Daniel you have to udnerstand the economic problems that this countries and other have now, governments around the world have to cut back or go bankrupt. You should be thankful that the government(s) have never had the sense to invest in a bush cutting attachment that goes on to a tractor - had they done that only one or two people would need to be employed and the job would be done in minutes.
    • Well Sah (01/10/2012, 09:56) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Well Mr. Hound alot of the places that need to be cut can't be cut by no tractor with attachment. Do u know how many attachments they would have to be replacing because of all of the big stones that they would be hitting and destroying the cutting blades. Not all work can be handled by machines. Just look at the picture on this site with the area that is cut. Do u think a tractor with a attachment can do that?
    • ok (01/10/2012, 11:57) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      these economic problems u refer to havent hindered the sweetheart deals given to cronies
    • . (01/10/2012, 13:37) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      What nonsense. Country have economic problems, so rob a few hundred dollars from the poorest people in the country. Good thing hound is not in office....or is he? Mus be think people stupid nuh.
  • zoe (01/10/2012, 08:00) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well this government needs the money to pay their consultants and give jobs to their cronies so it will be cotton picking time!
  • SMH (01/10/2012, 08:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I propose that the Government get the prisoners to cut the bushes along the road and clear the drains, instead of them in the prison sitting at least they will be occupied cutting the bushes and clearing the drains. Now we will need serious prison guards so none will try to run away. So instead of giving out contract let the prisoners do it, I see nothing wrong with that, they do it in the states and the USVI.
    • bigger picture (01/10/2012, 11:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I basically agree with you, but then you have the argument that a job is being taken away from those who needs them. These are menial back-braking jobs that don't require any education (but smarts and experience on what to cut and what not to)... I have never known a contract to be put out by the sq ft but by the hour.
      Work by the hour is fairer unless you get those who sit down all the time. THEN the square ft should come into play as a measure of work ethic.
  • plz (01/10/2012, 08:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I understand that the government helping person by giving them a little bit of work but we have a solid waste and a public works dept. getting pay and doing nothing and am sure that's part of their job. Look at sopie bay around that corner all kind of bush in the car and if it’s that bad for a car the scooter riders will have to take it wide and that’s a next accident waiting to happen.

    Tell Mr. Whisker to give the extra 15cents
    • persia (01/10/2012, 13:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Please back of this powerful young lady you NDP cowbirds, she speaking eh truth!
  • Spinx (01/10/2012, 09:07) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

    This is pure nonsense. We have a Solid Waste Department and shouldn't be giving out private cutting contracts period. The Government is only doing this because they realize a lot of people depend on it, but they don't have to do it. Solid Waste have been put to work since this new Government was elected and the bush has been managed well so far. These people need to look real work and stop depending on Government for everything. Tell me where Government supposed to get all this money from to cut bush when so many other things have to be dealt with in the country. No other country you will see this type of stuff happening where so much money is being spent on bush cutting. You better be glad they cut the price and didn't cut it out all together. I would be upset too if I was depending on these contracts but before we open our mouths we need to think. People have this entitlement attitude and neeed to stop. Kishmet is a very talented artist and creator. She can do so much for herself, she doesn't need to be in this political bull balling about bush cutting. She needs to focus on her talents and make that take her through. She can make so much money from her talents but it's politics. 12yrs of brainwashing by the liberator can do that to you.

  • Dem say (01/10/2012, 10:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Girl be careful dem NDP man dem aint victimize you and you aint get any house or booth in craft alive….dem evil like dat!
    • Fly on the Wall (01/10/2012, 19:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      She may be better off without a space in Craft Alive due to the rediculous high rental fees proposed and the limited space. Ms. Daniel deserves better than that as her crafts are MADE IN THE BVI and not imported to the BVI for rebranding and resale.
  • BREAKING NEWS (01/10/2012, 10:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I honestly do not believe in this drastic cut as well. It should be half, 13 cents minimum. Not a good move NDP!
  • jessebel (01/10/2012, 10:57) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ms Daniel them never thankful for little, they always want big.
    • keep it real (02/10/2012, 11:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      kishment you pay taxes so you have a right to work in your country so do not ever mek them haters and cow birds try to make you feel like you are begging for something
  • DarkVader (01/10/2012, 11:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Too much money was spending on these bush cutting jobs. Imagine a man getting $6,000 and he hiring two or three persons for three days the most, paying them the most $100 a day,,job done in three days...come on man..I agrere with the drop in price..and I also agree that the retired men, solid waste and prisoners should be doing this work.
  • ausar (01/10/2012, 11:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    If aryo could find 85 grand to give to a rich lawyer to write a book, then find monies to pay the contractors to cut the bush.

  • Lee (01/10/2012, 12:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well this is it, Mama said there’ll be days like these, but she did not say how soon. Women are actually interested in bush cutting and fussing about government’s decision to reduce the value of bush cutting contract. I will continue to promote my belief, “whatever a man can do woman can do it too”. This is a strong black woman.
  • hmmm (01/10/2012, 12:13) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    if you no want um....lef um. Thats the problem with this country, every body wants govt to cut costs, just not when it comes to their money. Its chopping bush for gods sake, you want to build house off that? I agree they could do a better job notifying people of the decrease in earnings BUT if no one take it then the price is too low, if some one else snapped it up, then YOUR price was too high. Law of supply and demand. Further more, why we have a PWD department and a SWD department and we still giving out these contracts is beyond me
  • weed (01/10/2012, 13:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    thanks for speaking out kismet you are our queen!
  • sea cows bay massive (01/10/2012, 13:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I agree with kiskmet for its not about the money it’s the principal and if any knows kishmet knows she is a people person she is a hard working always donating her own stuff and is about justice and equality. She is real and what she say is on the money!
    • joke (01/10/2012, 14:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      i totally agree with u kishmet for u is indeed a people,s person a giver and a hardworking woman . don't let no craft alive spot or no teaching of knitting stop u from advocating and speaking out for what is right . It was wrong for them to cut the bush work fees and give merchants free freight and insurance .all of us who is here blogging u have family members and friends that this is affecting i support u kishmet 100%keep being a voice for the voiceless . . is one thing u represent yourself and the people
  • lil man (01/10/2012, 13:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    So this is how the NDP treat the lil people with distain but 2016 around the corner
  • lil man (01/10/2012, 13:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    So this is how the NDP treat the lil people with distain but 2016 around the corner
    • Spinx (01/10/2012, 14:16) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

      'distain' is in your mouth my friend. Learn to spell from chatting nonsense. The government is not forcing anybody to do anything. If the price too low for you then find a higher paying job. I never hear more $h!t in all my life. This is a talented artisitic young lady here belittling herself and people cheering her on. Her talents can bring her thousands or hundreds of thousands, I can see her arguing with Government and their Trade dept/National Bank for something like that. But is it really worth crying over bush? Our minds are too small in this place, we need to think big. You already have your craft and skill, stop the bs and try to make those work for you.

      • get up (01/10/2012, 16:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        She is come this could happen and the Minister does not know??seems like that Skelton bouy doing as he please
  • Disinterested (01/10/2012, 19:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Though brush/bush clearing is unskilled work, it is vital to the health, safety and well-being of the territory. Specifically, it provides work for unskilled workers, it removes vision and other obstructions along roadways and it presents an aesthetically pleasing environment. The question is how it should be done and how much it should cost.

    Do PWD and WMD have the capacity(labor and equipment) to perform the work? Or the work has to be contracted? And if so what is the market rate for brush clearing? The price like any price should be determine by supply and demand. The price should be fair and reasonable. Is $0.10 or $0.25 a fair and reasonable? The work should be competed and awarded based on market prices.

    Though some other bloggers suggested using prisoners to do the work, this is an option but it needs closer examination. Additional supervisory cost aside, prisoners should not be competiting with law abiding citizens for work. Prisoners should be assigned work that does not crowd out or displaced law abiding citizens. Additionally, there was a comment made about the salary of a book writer. Well, professionals are paid based on what they know, not necessarily what they do. No slight intended to unskilled and skilled workers.

  • Truth (01/10/2012, 21:13) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I bet it was cut down for "her" only.... Isn't she from the 3rd district? I done!
    • talk girl talk (01/10/2012, 23:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      well we done know the NDP hate the 3rd district and tek it out of the people to get at Frazer how sad!!!
  • Real (01/10/2012, 21:13) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I agree with the fact that they should notify people but everybody is cutting cost even the biggest companies, so as far as i c take it or leave it, the government is trying to give all them young man around the place a lil eat so dont expect to get rich off of cutting bush.
  • What? (01/10/2012, 22:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Is no-one shocked at the amount originally being paid? $1500 for 330 metres of road? That's insane! You can cut that with a strimmer and machete in a couple of hours. That means the bush cutters are paid more than anyone but the highest trust company earners per hour!
    • Our Business (02/10/2012, 08:45) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      You ought to go back where you came from and leave issues like this to Virgin Islanders, the story says 960 feet, but your foreign a** had to inject that metric siht bout meters. What was being paid is the standard rate for bush cutting, and it has been that way for years. Matter of fact that same road was recently cut at a higher rate, but I guess because it is Kishmet they feel they can squeeze her and get away with it.
  • release (02/10/2012, 07:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ms. Damile girl you not easy let me see how jeffey deals with this one!
  • Dem Say (02/10/2012, 08:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    At least she had to balls to speak out as many others were saying the same thing but afraid. GO MS. D you remain our voice
  • Kinder (02/10/2012, 12:45) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Kishma, with all do respect i can understand how you feel, but the government have to cut back on this, bush cutting is a piority but it does not take any special skills, i agree 100% with the person that mentioned a prsion should this job, for the shame and cost they put us thru i think its a good idea to keep them busy while being active so they dont go crazy sitting down up there. And as for you (Kishma) even though you cant stand me, i think you have alot of talent and if you have not already done this, i thinkyou should try to get your art and cooking into the school syulub or raise fund so you cna provide the school with your taleny. We dont have to depend on the governemnt. I see the guy for BSAFE raise thousands of dollars to provide safe cycling to kids, you can do this too.
  • broke again (02/10/2012, 14:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Maybe the VIP did leave them broke so they have to cut back on the bush cutting..he he
  • question (02/10/2012, 17:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    How do I get one of these bush cutting work?

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