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There’s an ‘entity’ that doesn’t care about the people- Premier Fahie

- prompts Hon Fraser to say ‘Governor should only be seen, not heard’
Premier and Minister of Finance of the Virgin Islands Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) told the House of Assembly on July 25, 2019 that there is an ‘entity’ that appears to be insensitive even to the emergency needs of the people of the territory. Photo: VINO/File
The flames, smoke and fumes from landfill fires at Pockwood Pond on Tortola have caused undue stress, discomfort and health concerns to those affected. Photo: Facebook
The flames, smoke and fumes from landfill fires at Pockwood Pond on Tortola have caused undue stress, discomfort and health concerns to those affected. Photo: Facebook
Opposition Member and Third District Representative Hon Julian Fraser RA has expressed concern that it took five months for funding to be approved through the Ministry of Finance and that it took eight months to get a contract signed for the repairs of the incinerator that was damaged by fire in November 2018. Photo: Youtube
Opposition Member and Third District Representative Hon Julian Fraser RA has expressed concern that it took five months for funding to be approved through the Ministry of Finance and that it took eight months to get a contract signed for the repairs of the incinerator that was damaged by fire in November 2018. Photo: Youtube
 The incinerator at Pockwood Pond has been out of operation since November 26, 2018 when fire destroyed the control panel and electrical wirings and fittings of the facility. Photo: VINO/File
The incinerator at Pockwood Pond has been out of operation since November 26, 2018 when fire destroyed the control panel and electrical wirings and fittings of the facility. Photo: VINO/File
Minister for Health and Social Development Hon Carvin Malone (AL) has said the incinerator at Pockwood Pond, Tortola, is expected to be back in operation between the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2019. Photo: Youtube
Minister for Health and Social Development Hon Carvin Malone (AL) has said the incinerator at Pockwood Pond, Tortola, is expected to be back in operation between the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2019. Photo: Youtube
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Saying the government and people have to fight it, Premier and Minister of Finance of the Virgin Islands Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) told the House of Assembly on July 25, 2019 that there is an entity that appears to be insensitive even to the emergency needs of the people of the territory.

Hon Fahie was at the time speaking on a point of information during the Question and Answer segment of the Fifth Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands on July 25, 2019.

Why 8 months to get a contract signed?

Opposition Member and Third District Representative Hon Julian Fraser RA, who was at the time grilling Minister for Health and Social Development Hon Carvin Malone (AL) on the Pockwood Pond Incinerator repairs, had expressed concern that it took five months for funding to be approved through the Ministry of Finance and that it took eight months to get a contract signed for the repairs of the incinerator that was damaged by fire in November 2018.

Since the incinerator has been out of operation frequent landfill fires have broken out, severely affecting residents in the area but more so in the West End area.

“Is that what I am hearing, Mr Speaker? And if that is the case how irresponsible can a Government be, having the incinerator creating such a nuisance.

“The Premier knows, because he has been around, that if you want to do something like that you go to Cabinet with a paper and get the funding for it. Financial Secretary can’t tell you no. Premier, we have done that in the past. When you have an emergency you deal with it, you don’t actually sit back and wait for tendering, wait for this and wait for that. Eight months to get a contract and now you telling me, Mr Minister, that hopefully in September it might be up…. That’s ten months and you not even sure if that’s going to happen. That is not the way.”

They complained to UK on us- Hon fahie

Not too comfortable with Hon Fraser’s comments, Premier Fahie reminded the Member that he (Hon Fahie) is “dead in the direction” of where the smoke comes from the incinerator. “So I get it every time but I need to remind you that we are only here for months and change and the problem has been going on for six years. I have had to move out my mother from there sometimes in the night.”

Hon Fahie continued that Hon Malone was being mild with his answers but his Government “went to Cabinet so much times on waiver till they complain us to the UK.”

Further emphasizing on the need to fix the incinerator with haste, Premier Fahie said every time a fire breaks out at Pockwood Pond he is bombarded by persons affected and frantically responds by calling the Minister for Health, the Attorney General’s office and Financial Secretary for a progress report.

“But there is an entity, no matter what emergency we have when we go look for those waivers they don’t seem to care about the emergency the people of the territory have. And we have to fight that entity also to get that thing done…All the Ministers know what is that entity I talking about.”

‘Governor should only be seen, not heard’- Hon Fraser

Hon Fraser then said he has long contended that the Virgin Islands has a ministerial system of Government, “a Cabinet Government”, and “the Governor should only be seen, not heard. You run the country.”

Premier then rose on a point of information, saying he did not call anyone’s name. “So if the Member speaking, he speaking for himself.”

“You could run, I aint running. I telling you, you run the country, Mr Speaker, and I am telling you from past experience when you have emergencies like these this is how you deal with it. You can’t sit back there waiting five months to get finance. You are the Minister of Finance,” Hon Fraser responded.

Premier Fahie then said the Member was misleading the House since the parts for the incinerator have been ordered. “There are parts on which we are waiting on money but the part for the incinerator has been ordered and has to be manufactured. Mr Speaker, we are coming off the heels where 400 odd thousand dollars were spent on a scrubber.”

“Where is it?” Hon Fraser asked.

“When you find it let me know,” Premier Fahie quipped.

The Premier said he didn’t want the language to be crafted in the House that his Government is not doing anything to bring relief to the people constantly affected by landfill fires at Pockwood Pond.

Incinerator to be fixed between 3rd & 4th quarter of 2019- Hon Malone

Meanwhile, Hon Malone had earlier said the incinerator at Pockwood Pond is expected to be back in operation between the 3rd and 4th quarter of this year. “Text book was saying by the end of September but we would know, given again the matters beyond our control, we are going to have it done before the end of September but clearly within the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2019.”

Hon Malone explained that since the incinerator was damaged by fire in November of 2018, the equipment manufacturer Consutech Systems LLC conducted an inspection of the plant and presented three options for the restoration of the control system.

He said in December 2019 three quotations were received and a formal request was submitted to the Ministry of Finance for approval for the necessary funding and urgent award of contracts to enable the repair works to begin forthwith. “That process took a while.”

It was in April 2019, according to Hon Malone, that funding was finally provided in the 2019 budget estimates to facilitate the repair of the incinerator.

The Minister continued that in April of 2019 Cabinet decided to waive the tender process and award the contract to Skelton Electrical Company and Consutech Systems LLC for electrical repairs to the incinerator building and procurement of the control panel respectively.

In May, a contract was signed with Skelton Electrical Company and in June with Consutech Systems.

“Because we know the process. It has to go through the AG’s [attorney General] chambers and every word and letter has to be crossed before it can be completed. It took a while.”

Hon Malone said in July mobilisation payments were made to both companies and that Consutech had maintained some of the parts necessary to rebuild the control panel, which is why the lead time will be even shorter than if they were starting from scratch. He said it was estimated it would take 4 to 8 weeks to get the control panel completed.

“As soon as the panel arrives it would be ready for installation and Consutech can come and commission the plant,” Hon Malone stated.

2 Responses to “There’s an ‘entity’ that doesn’t care about the people- Premier Fahie”

  • fish (13/08/2019, 12:11) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    Well the people do not trust the last set of politicians with independence so you still need the white man to rule


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