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Sewerage problem worsens – Penn mulls loan

Penn. File photo

Penn. File photo

While indicating that the sewerage problem in East End/Long Look has worsened, representative of the Eighth Electoral District Marlon Penn said the government should consider borrowing money to complete an ongoing sewerage project in the area if financial setbacks are being faced.

He lamented that ‘all manner of things’ that started after the sewerage works in his constituency have been completed.

“We need to support this project premier; we need to find a way. If we need to borrow the money – whatever we need to do, we need to support this project. This project cannot go another year without completion; it cannot…” Penn recently told the House of Assembly.

“Our people don’t deserve this. We’ve done all manner of things since that [sewerage project started in East End/Long Look], and that still is left wandering.”

Penn also noted that he, along with representative of the Seventh Electoral District Dr Kedrick Pickering, has been pushing for the said sewerage problems to be addressed for many years.

“We know the challenges and concerns that our community has endured as it relates to sewage for over 20plus years. Minister [of Communication and Works Mark Vanterpool], I will not relent until we finish this project. I will come here [in the House] if needs be every House sitting talking about sewage and funding for sewage to ensure that we get this done Premier [Dr D Orlando Smith.”

“It’s really long in coming. The problem of sewage in our community is so bad now. When it used to be an issue of Long Look and Greenland, it has now manifested in all other areas in the community,” added Penn.

He further lamented: “Right now in Parham Town, God bless we build that Caribbean Development Bank [infrastructure] project. Right now, the sewage is literally running through the ghut… I can’t eat my Doctor fish in peace and I have to hear about sewage, sewage, sewage. It can’t continue like this premier; we have to get this finished.”

Meanwhile, responding to Penn’s concerns, Minister of Communication and Works Mark Vanterpool said the sewerage project in East End/Long Look will be completed by the end of March next year.

“East End/Long Look; there is nobody in the country who drives through there who is proud of it [as a result of the sewerage problems].”

“The premier has instructed me to make sure that we work on the programme to make sure that we get the sewerage completed hopefully by the end of this year, but certainly if not [this year] by the first quarter of next year it should all be done,” Vanterpool said.

He, in the meantime, stated that the BVI Ports Authority has started to repay the $8 million that the National Democratic Party government had diverted from the said sewerage project. The money was instead used to help develop the Tortola Pier Park. According to Vanterpool, the Port Authority, so far, has managed to repay $1M of the $8 million that was diverted. He added that full payment should be made by the year 2019.

Vanterpool also told journalists previously that there is enough money available to complete the East End/Long Look sewerage project, which was previously halted for a protracted period mainly as a result of financial constraints.

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