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Gov’t workers battling mould on VG too; building in disrepair

The Government Complex on Virgin Gorda. (BVI News Photo)

Some employees at the Government Administration Complex on Virgin Gorda reportedly have been forced to abandon their once sound office spaces and seek refuge on the outside because of a mold infestation at the facility.

BVI News sources said while some persons continue to work indoors, others who are ‘sensitive to any kind of mold’ are using the lobby and outside areas of the building to perform their duties.

The building houses several government departments such as Immigration, Water and Sewerage, Inland Revenue, Social Security, and the Post Office.

The said building sustained considerable damage during last year’s hurricanes and has a large section of its roof missing.

Waiting for Funds

Sister Islands Programme Coordinator, Vincent Wheatley, who spoke to our newsroom on Monday confirmed the unfavourable working conditions government employees were enduring at the Administration Complex.

He said repair works at the facility will begin soon and will be partly funded by the $65 million government is borrowing from the Caribbean Development Bank for hurricane recovery.

He said he did not know how much of the $65 million would be allocated for the repair project because project estimates are yet to be completed.

Wheatley went on to describe repair works that will be done on the facility as a major project.

“It’s not going to happen overnight,” Wheatley told BVI News.

However, the Sister Islands Coordinator said designs for the roof are currently being drawn.

“We are now waiting on some monies to refurbish,” he noted.

Tortola too

Just recently, Acting Chief Immigration Officer Geraldine Ritter-Freeman called on the government to intervene in the mould issue plaguing public servants on Tortola.

She said the problem was so bad that an increasing number of public servants were not showing up for work.

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7 Comments

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  1. Gumption. Official says:

    Why not used the $100,000 party money and put it meaningful into our community? Our leeward road or just pay off the teachers why we still owe for past payments. (we as the government)

  2. E. Leonard says:

    Mold/mould infestation is a manageable issue. Mold typically thrive in warm, damp and humus environments. Generally, for mould infestation to thrive, three primary factors are needed: mold spores which are prevalent indoors and outdoors, food source that is also plentiful, and moisture. It can be looked at as a mold triangle; controlling any leg of triangle can control mold infestation. Exposure to mold can result in illnesses. Of the three legs of the mold triangle, the easiest and most practical to control is moisture.

    Moisture can come from leaking roofs, walls, plumbing leaks, high humidity, defective air conditioning system,……….etc. In the universe of indoor air quality (IAQ), two terms come to mind: building related illness (BRI) and sick building syndrome (SBS). BRI may be an issue in the VG building. Simply, controlling moisture in the VG government building and in other public and private buildings can go a long way in preventing mold infestation. Stop/fix the leaks. Relocate workers from exposure to mould infestation. All employers are responsible for providing a safe, secure and healthful working environment.

    • Consultant says:

      And to your very sound advice, I would add that building owners need to maintain their buildings in proper operating condition through a documented preventive maintenance program.

      • E. Leonard says:

        @Consultant, true preventative maintenance/preventative maintenance inspection are vital processes in facilities/building lifecycle. Benefits include 1)life extension, 2)slow/retard deterioration, 3)reduce operational cost, 4)enhance reliability and functionality, 5)reduce replacement cost 6)enhance customer service delivery and 7)identifying deficiencies and repairing them. No doubt Hurricanes Irma and Maria would have cause property damages.

        As such, condition assessments should have been conducted(assume it was) on all damaged facilities to determine extent of damages and if they were safe and secure for occupancy.

  3. Albion says:

    Why is it the the mould only (or at least overwhelmingly) seems to affect Government offices and workers. You never hear of private sector workers or offices as being affected.

  4. Island Eyes says:

    Who is the landlord of the building?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I am afraid mold is everywhere

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