Speaking at yesterday’s post Executive Council Media Briefing, THA Chief Secretary Orville London told reporters that the budget exceeded the planned $3M, however there were some positives.
“In my last discussion with the office of the Chief Administrator indicated that they would have expended or committed somewhere in the vicinity of $4M. What the final figure is I do not know but we were committed to bringing relief to the people of Speyside and environs, to the business community and of course the assistance of all the agencies and all the truckers who would have risk their equipment operating in fairly harsh conditions. So I think one positive thing that came out of this is what can be achieved when there is collaboration among the assembly, among the private sector with the communities to treat with a common problem, so I think there were some positives.” He noted that he situation has not been abated as the seaweed continues to come into Speyside on a daily basis.
London added that though the situation is not unmanageable and as untenable as it was, assistance will now be adopted from both the CEPEP and URP gangs.
“Our intention is to expand the CEPEP and URP gangs so that they would clean on a daily basis to ensure that it does not become as overwhelming as it was. Based on the information that I have a total of 1983 truckloads with approximately 12,000 cubic feet of the seaweed were removed from Speyside and this does not count those removed from Blue Waters Inn and Magdalena so it has been quite an achievement.” On August 14, Director in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment Linford Beckles reported that an estimated 6,000 cubic feet of the seaweed had been removed so far to nearby disposal sites at Murchiston and the Laow Estate. This represents “65 to 70 per cent” of the seaweed in the area, according to Beckles.