With the massive Cox Heath fire still fresh in the minds of many, residents of Jost Van Dyke believe proactive steps need to be taken to prevent what could be another massive dump fire in the British Virgin Islands.
The dump now causing concern is located in eastern Jost Van Dyke near The Bubbly Pool. It comprises a mixture of metallic waste, old household appliances, glass, and other debris from last year’s hurricanes.
Residents said authorities urgently need to have the items at the dump organised and made safe.
“It is an accident waiting to happen – a fire waiting to start,” said a well-known businessman who preferred to remain anonymous.
He told BVI News: “Similar to Cox Heath, everything is dumped there and nothing is separated. Should this fire start, it is a real health hazard to the people of the island.”
He said he fears authorities would not have sufficient manpower or equipment on the island to extinguish the potential blaze.
He further raised concerned about potentially thick clouds smoke that would be emitted if the Jost Van Dyke dump were to ignite.
“It is going to kill us,” he argued. “Even if we try to close up [our doors and windows] to prevent it, it would [eventually] bottle inside because it is right there,” he said referring to any possible fire and smoke at the dump on Jost Van Dyke.
“It is a very dangerous thing for us. Our government needs to take that role in moving this debris off the island as quickly as possible,” he added.
JVD suffered from Cox Heath fire too
The businessman said even the four-week fire at Cox Heath, Tortola affected Jost Van Dyke residents. With that argument, he said Jost Van Dyke residents would not survive a major blaze on their island.
Meanwhile, another resident said the abandoned vehicles and boats from last year’s weather events also need to be cleared.
He said the territory should have been debris-free; now nearly a year after the 2017 hurricanes.
“For an island that tourists coming to, they (the government) making money but none of it coming back to the country,” he complained.
Up to press time, attempts to contact the territory’s Fire Chief, as well as the Manager of the Department of Waste Management, was unsuccessful.
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