POND ISLAND–Nature Foundation St. Maarten has launched a petition with the aim of getting Government to address the constantly on-fire landfill.
The Foundation urges residents to sign the online petition at www.change.org/p/st-maarten-government-take-action-about-the-worrying-situation-of-the-st-maarten-dump. The direct link to the petition can also be found on Nature Foundation’s Facebook page.
The petition has been developed by the Foundation urging Government to effectively protect the health of St. Maarteners by immediately taking action to prevent any further dump fires and to arrive at a sustainable solution for the dump and waste management.
Government should also take action to decrease garbage and waste input into the dump through significantly increasing recycling, ban disposable plastics and styrofoams, and to promote reusable products, Nature Foundation said in a press statement.
Nature Foundation conducted a survey in early 2016 about the effects of the landfill fires on residents and the results show very worrying health concerns associated with the fires. All districts have been affected by the smoke caused by the landfill fires. Of the respondents, 35 per cent frequently experience negative effects throughout the year from fumes coming generated by the landfill.
Fifty per cent of all respondents complained about trouble breathing due to the fumes coming from the landfill. Seventy-three per cent of all respondents mentioned burning in their eyes, nose or throat and 50 per cent experienced burning, watering eyes because of the toxic fumes.
Thirty per cent of respondents experienced nausea combined with vomiting, 50 per cent experienced uncontrolled coughing and 40 per cent have sought medical assistance because of health complications arising from the fumes caused by the landfill.