If Chaguanas Mayor Gopaul Boodhan has his way, the owner of a Felicity duck farm would have been ordered to relocate to a place where the stench would not affect the health and well-being of residents.
Residents of Greenidge Road Extension, Felicity, Chaguanas, have been up in arms against the big stink which has made life unbearable for them, crippling many of their community activities for almost six months now. Recently, a bar-b-que event that was carded to be held at the Felicity Recreation Ground hosted by the nearby presbyterian school, had to be cancelled due to unbearable stench.
Mayor Boodhan said yesterday that at last week’s statutory meeting, the coporation noted a petition with hundreds of signatures objecting to presence of the farm. The mayor said, “Over a couple hundred persons have indicated that the farm is creating a major health problem to persons down wind of the farm.” In addition, he added, the farm is in close proximity to the Felicity Hindu primary school.
Boodan said, “We, through our public health department, had several discussions with the person. The matter has gone higher than us; it has gone to the County Medical Officer of Health-Caroni. They have served notice to the person. We have also raised the issue with the EMA, but it so happens that the person continue to operate the farm. We have done everything in the corporation and I think the higher authorities should fine the person through the EMA.”
In a media statement on Saturday, the Ministry of Health stated that it was exploring its legal options in treating with the duck farm. The ministry recounted that an official complaint had been lodged at the Public Health Inspectorate and recalled that on July 4, a site visit and investigation were conducted at the farm.
The release stated, “Although it was stated that the land was agricultural land, there was no documentation stating such.
The owner of the farm was advised to provide documentation of land use and reduce the number of animals and establish a waste treatment system.” The release stated that a follow-up visit was conducted on October 26 and on November 8, but there was no one present at the farm.
The ministry said that the farm is own by a senior public servant employed at the Board of Inland Revenue and managed by his wife. On Friday, an emergency response team from the Environmental Management Authority visited the farm and reported that a breach had been committed by the non-compliance of obtaining a Certificate of Environmental Clearance prior to commencing operations of the duck farm.