Davis explains unkempt state of New Providence
ROYSTON JONES JR.
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: Oct 10, 2013
The overgrown weeds, small trees and high grass in many of New Providence’s medians and verges will be addressed within two weeks as the government brings more “transparency, order and accountability” to its maintenance program, Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis said yesterday.
Davis, who is also the minister of works and urban development, said the public should expect significant improvement.
He asked for a couple more weeks of patience.
“I would like to thank the Bahamian public for being a bit tolerable in respect to the state of the roads, verges and parks,” he told The Nassau Guardian outside the House of Assembly.
“The system that was in place required some reworking to bring more transparency, order and accountability in the process.
“That has just been completed and you should see in very short order the people back on the streets.”
Davis said the upkeep and maintenance of New Providence is conducted by around 400 private contractors.
He said many of those private contractors would likely hire two to three people under them.
Asked how the Ministry of Works brought about more accountability and transparency to the process, Davis said, “I think it was just ad hoc.
“This program and government initiative has enabled us to employ that segment of our community that are either unemployable or [have] had challenges and problems keeping jobs.
“We are trying to accomplish several things. One, employ those people...and at the same time getting them to understand the fundamentals of entering in business and being entrepreneurs.”
In recent months, the areas surrounding many of the island’s new roads, highways and roundabouts have remained in an unkempt state.
In the last week, some areas such as the Blake Road and John F. Kennedy roundabout have been cleaned up.
But other areas like the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre remain surrounded by high grass and thick weed.
Pressed on why so many areas were allowed to get to the state seen in recent months, Davis said in certain areas where construction is ongoing it is the responsibility of the contractor to maintain that particular area.
“They have been allowed to grow high because again bringing order to the process took longer than we expected,” the minister said. “We are back on track.
“We ask the Bahamian public to be tolerable.”