Pit Latrines – No Environmental Danger to West Albion Relocation Site


The Ministry of Water and Housing wishes to allay the concerns of residents of West Albion about the erection of pit latrines on the West Albion relocation site in St. Thomas.
In a recent televised report, concerns were expressed that the erection of the pit latrines would have an impact on the water table in the area.
However, the Ministry wishes to assure the public that the type of latrines to be constructed, known as Double Ventilated Improved Pit (VDIP) latrines, are sealed latrines that employ a dry system. As such, they are actually much safer to the environment than flush toilets as there is no
In addition, approval to build the latrines was received from the Environmental Health Unit of the Ministry of Health. It should be noted however, that the construction of the latrines is a temporary sanitary measure in the event that persons to be relocated wish to occupy the site at this time.
In the near future, the Ministry will be upgrading the sanitation facilities at the relocation site to a permanent centralized sewage treatment facility.
Permission was also received from the National Environment and Planning Agency for incremental infrastructural works to be carried out on the relocation site to accommodate the units that have already been constructed.
Regarding the concerns raised about the vulnerability of the area to natural hazards, the Ministry wishes to categorically state that the relocation site is being constructed within the safe zone indicated by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) which is also funding the project.
Work on the West Albion Relocation site was halted abruptly earlier this year, due to the hostile reception of the residents in the area to the project.
Once completed, the relocation site is expected to accommodate some 179 households from Kingston, St. Andrew and Spanish Town that were totally destroyed by the passage of Tropical Storm Gustav in 2008.

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