Prove it, Donville!

Businessman wants Inniss to back up ‘nasty Bridgetown’ comment

Chairman of the Revitalization of Bridgetown Initiative Lalu Vaswani has taken Minister of Industry and Small Business Development Donville Inniss to task for his comments that The City was nasty and that businesses should take the lead and pay to clean up the capital.

Vaswani said while he agreed there were some “pockets” in Bridgetown that were in need of improvement, it was unfair to make such a blanket statement about the entire city.

During a wide-ranging address at the launching ceremony of the Small Business Association’s week of activities and Solar Transport Project in National Heroes Square on Friday, Inniss raised concern about the state of Bridgetown.

“We can all do better in terms of tidying up our city,” Inniss said then, pointing out that “Bridgetown is looking nasty”.

“I would like to see each enterprise in Bridgetown making an effort every month with their staff and families to come and just clean their surroundings. Don’t tell me you need a subsidy from Government to do it. I believe that if you really care about the environment you will do something about it without having to depend on Government,” Inniss said.

President of the SBA Dean Straker later told Barbados TODAY he had agreed that Bridgetown was “quite filthy”, and he recommended the establishment of a special committee to oversea the revitalization of The City, with contributions from area businesses.

However, Vaswani told Barbados TODAY it was a disservice to businesses to call on them to clean up The City because it was filthy and nasty.

“I think it is unfortunate and I would hope that they can be more precise in where they are speaking of. That has not been my general experience, so I am not aware what they are speaking of,” Vaswani said, adding that both Inniss and Straker should offer workable solutions.

Lalu Vaswani

Vaswani said businesses would be going against Government’s “established policies” if they were to pull their pocket to clean up the capital.

“If the established policy of Government is to have Sanitation Services Authority, which undertakes to provide sanitation services, and in this case to Bridgetown, then that must be respected,”said the business leader, who also noted that some city businesses were already paying for the disposal of their own solid waste out of their pockets.

Vaswani said far from “crying out from a pulpit”, one should seek to provide opportunities for stakeholders to discuss the issues and possible solutions while seeking to “promote a consensual approach with specific activities and deliverable outcomes.

“That is what I need to be done and not just generalizing,” he insisted.

Vaswani also pointed out that the rehabilitation project, established by the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2008 to stimulate increased economic and social activity in The City, was in the process of discussing specific projects with stakeholders to increase economic activity in the area.

He explained that there were several activities in train since last year, but they had to be deferred due to the focus on the 50th anniversary of Independence.

The businessman said, however, one of the challenges prohibiting businesses from doing more to spruce up the capital was the “depressed” economic climate, pointing out that businesses were focused on trying to survive and keeping staff employed.

8 Responses to Prove it, Donville!

  1. John Everatt September 13, 2017 at 12:27 am

    I agree that both sides have a point here. The city is indeed not the cleanest (to put it as gently as possible) but to ask the business people to clean it goes against this government’s own policies. To illustrate this I recall several years ago an incident near Batts Rock beach where locals were cleaning up the beach. They had been doing this for several times when they were approached by NCC officials and told that they could not do this as this was NCC work. So they all went home. So you can’t have it both ways.

  2. Adrian Loveridge September 13, 2017 at 5:30 am

    Only this Government could first impose a Municipal Solid Waste Tax, in our case $8,600 a year, then withdraw it and simply ADD the exact same amount to our Land tax bill. This despite, as a business NOT having a single state waste collection service. We pay for a skip, to be emptied and recycle everything we can.

  3. Roger Headley September 13, 2017 at 6:03 am

    The whole country nasty, not just the city. Bush and garbage eveywhere. Many roads in the country reduced to one way because of all the over hanging bush.

  4. Alex Alleyne September 13, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Bridgetown has been nasty and smelling of pee for eons. Minister Innis is correct in calling for the business owners to clean up the city.
    If my neighbor has a plot of land next to me and it was over grown with bush and rats running out and I visit the Ministry and lay a complaint, they will tell me to go cut the edges close to my property.
    They never say “and send the owner a bill”. Soon the people in Bridgetown will be doing exactly what the minister is saying, They will be asking the TAX payer to pay to clean up their mess.

  5. Seless Semore September 13, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Ask Mr. Vaswani to go to Independence Square pass only yesterday it nasty. Garbage on the ground cans are over flowing. Grass needs to be raked and trees need to be pruned. Bridgetown is nasty some of you need to take a walk around in order to see what is really going on.

  6. Ann Harding September 13, 2017 at 10:17 am

    This is not leadership. If, instead of saying “can’t”, Inniss and Vaswani rolled their sleeves up and joined Clean Up Barbados, or spent any other day cleaning up, people see that and follow the example. If they keep saying “can’t”, the people keep saying “can’t”, even as they toss their litter into the streets they frequent.

  7. Leroy September 13, 2017 at 10:35 am

    You will not solve any problems pointing fingers, if Donville Inniss is not presenting solutions then he is a problem.

  8. Greengiant September 13, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    The city includes both commercial and residential properties and waste is created by both. The residential waste however is created from domestic purchases from the said commercial sector. The minister is correct in his assessment.


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