Tobago on dengue alert

Tobago is on a dengue alert although there are no recent reports of cases of the fever, Secretary of Health and Social Services Claudia Groome-Duke told villagers of Belle Garden on Tuesday night.

She said the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) has been brought into the fight to prevent any emergence of dengue on the island. She disclosed that from last Monday the agency has employed youths to visit communities throughout the island to sensitise residents on preventive measures. Se urged the residents to get rid of anything that can contain water on their property especially old tyres, cans and other receptacles. She also advised residents to ensure that the guttering on their buildings were clean for water to flow freely into drains.

Groome-Duke who was speaking at the THA Executive Council “Meet the Communities” stop at the Belle Garden Community Centre in east Tobago advised residents to apply to the Assembly for covered water tanks instead of using the customary barrels for storage.

The meeting was well attended and gave residents of Belle Garden and surrounding areas an opportunity to raise issues relating to their welfare, while Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries headed by Chief Secretary Orville London were able to speak of his administration’s plans for the area. Among the concerns raised by the villagers were inadequate drainage, landslips, access roads and the lack of a cemetery.

London told listeners that the Meet the Communities stops were about service since they were reporting to the people who were their employer. “You put us here and therefore you are our employers,” he stressed.

He said while the past ten years were challenging and exciting the next ten months would be even more challenging. “We have not been perfect, we could have done better,” he said.

Secretary of Infrastructure and Public Utilities and Deputy Chief Secretary Hilton Sandy disclosed that final touches were being done to new facilities for the fisherfolk including cold storage; and a new floodlit hard-court and recreation ground and these will be commissioned within a month’s time. He said a pavilion will be built at the ground in due course while agricultural access roads were being developed to service farmers.

Secretary of Agriculture, Marine Affairs, Marketing and the Environment Gary Melville told the villagers that extension officers will be visiting farmers and fisherfolk to sensitise them on the subsidies available to them. He urged the villagers to support Tobago farmers by purchasing their produce instead of going after produce not grown in Tobago and being sold at $2.00 less.

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