The government yesterday signed an agreement with the New Providence Ecology Park (NPEP) for a $45 million multi-phased redevelopment of the New Providence Landfill.
NPEP, which comprises the Waste Resources Development Group and Providence Advisors, is expected to take over operation of the landfill next month, according to NPEP Chairman Kenwood Kerr.
The landfill will be converted into “a purposefully engineered landfill and material recovery facility” featuring a park, he said.
“In the concept of the word ‘ecology’, we’re having green spaces being created [and] the footpaths,” Kerr said.
“We also anticipate, after we’ve capped and covered and put in a vegetative covering, we’ll have an ideal or idyllic green space. We have a mini-golf course and walking or running paths.”
The project was initially expected to cost $130 million but Kerr said the project now has an estimated total cost of $45 million over the duration of the 10-year contract term.
When asked what prompted the change in cost, Kerr said, “Well at that time the project was based on two phases. One is the operations and management of the landfill, which is what we’re dealing with now. The other aspect is renewable energy and that’ll be dealt with separately, but this immediate phase is the landfill operation.”
Kerr said the development will create 45 full-time jobs as opposed to the 75 that were initially expected to be created.
Yesterday’s signing was the result of years of challenges at the landfill.
Addressing longstanding problems at the landfill was a key campaign pledge of the Free National Movement. The backdrop was a fire that burned for three weeks in 2017, blanketing the area with smoke. At one point, several neighboring homes were put at risk from the raging fire.
Highlighting the danger of such events in its June 2017 report, the Pan American Health Organization classified the landfill as an “urgent public health hazard”, which presents a “chronic health risk” to those living and operating in and around the landfill.
Kerr said the project will apply “modern scientific processes” to ensure that the landfill will be able to remain at its location until 2053.
Minister of the Environment and Housing Romauld Ferreira said the government hopes to repeat the project on other islands.
“We are very, very pleased to be a part of what we deem as something that we want to repeat throughout The Bahamas because as you are aware our country has about 28 inhabited islands,” he said.
“We have scattered landfill sites and dump sites throughout the country that are in need of effective management.”
Education: Goldsmith, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice
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