By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff
More than nine months after the government declared that the major fire at Cox Heath was extinguished, the temporary dump site is, even now, still smouldering.
General Manager for the Department of Waste Management (DWM) Greg Massicotte told BVI News on Monday that they are now awaiting funds to address the issue.
“There is a misconception that money was paid to out the fire … But, basically, the bulk of the funds were for the pre-fire from January 1 to May 9 last year,” he said.
Massicotte further explained that some of the funds went to private companies who assisted in containing and extinguishing the flames.
“After the flames dissipated, their equipment was removed from the site, but you still have that underground fire/smoke that needs to be addressed. And it can only be extinguished by getting heavy equipment out there with extinguishers and pumps.”
He said if left as is, the smoke will continue for months.
Another $682,548 went to the DWM to procure new equipment to properly deliver and dispose of waste at the Pockwood Pond based-site.
Communities in western Tortola still affected
In the meantime, residents of the West End on Tortola is still being affected, Massicote said.
“It has been affecting them from day-one because the direction of the wind takes the smoke to the western area. So if you drive past Cox Heath, you will smell it.”
During the peak of the Cox Heath fire months ago, it
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