An increase in backyard burning in the British Virgin Islands has begun to cause health complications for young children, elderly persons, and asthmatics living in the territory, the Environmental Health Department has said.
Chief Environmental Officer, Lionel Michael said the department has been receiving ‘numerous complaints’ from residents being affected.
He is now appealing to firestarters to put a stop to backyard burning.
Meanwhile, Michael said the practice is not only affecting residents with vulnerable immune systems.
“Backyard burning is also harmful to the environment and [is] a potential fire hazard,” the environmental health chief said.
He then urged residents engaged in the practice to allow fallen branches, leaves and trees to decompose on there own.
Michael added: “If persons cannot manage their yard or any other type of waste that they may have on their property, they should contact the Department of Waste Management for assistance with removal.”
He underscored that proper disposal of waste is important to local health overall.
“It [also] helps to improve aesthetics and reduces pests’ infestation,” Michael added.
News of an increase in local backyard burning comes months after last year’s category-five hurricanes, which levelled lands and dumped countless amounts of debris across the territory.
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