Barbados has 'sick' buildings "from Parliament to schools"
Barbados parliament buildings
A lack of maintenance is being blamed for the number of 'sick' buildings across the length and breadth of Barbados.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley called this issue to the fore during her first address to the nation for this new decade. Having spoken about improvements necessary to the infrastructure for electricity and water and proper maintenance plans going forward, she turned her attention to sick building syndrome.
Speaking to Barbadians almost two weeks after one member of her Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration Sonia Browne, Member of Parliament for St Philip North confessed to the country that she has been away from parliament sittings due to illness from that 'sick building', the Prime Minister last night said:
"This too is a subject of the lack of maintenance for the last decade is the sick syndrome in our public buildings, in our public schools, from Parliament to the schools we have the problems, lack of maintenance, lack of capacity to clean on a regular basis as a result of an inability to have the cash flow. And that is why restructuring the debt was so critical, to allow us to do the things that keep the wheels going."
Referring to work done in 2019, Mottley, who is the Minister of Finance, shared that "This year already we fixed more primary schools", and some secondary schools but "it is nowhere near enough to make up for the gap in the last ten years, but we will continue to the task."
During 2019, there were school closures due to environmental issues at Sharon Primary School, Maria Holder Nursery - Sharon, Lester Vaughan Secondary School, Milton Lynch Primary, Coleridge and Parry School and Blackman and Gollop Primary School. Meanwhile, Barbados' parliament was constructed in the 1800s between 1870 and 1874.
Not going into detail about how the 'sick building' issue will be resolved though, the country's leader said that next week Estimates will commence and she assured that they will decide how to split the "limited resources" across "all of the different genuine competing demands".