Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 8th 2014 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, February 8, 2014
The South West
Regional Health Author-
ity (SWRHA) formally
commissioned a new $9
million state-of-the art
incinerator at the San
Fernando General Hos-
pital yesterday, several
months after the old one
CEO of the SWRHA
Anil Gosine welcomed it,
saying the last one was
30 years old and had no
longer met international
including those of the
World Health Organisa-
Gosine said the envi-
M1000 Medical Waste
Incinerator was designed
and built in France to
meet European stan-
dards, which had higher
parameters than those
which obtained in T&T.
"It is capable of
destroying 250 kilo-
grammes of waste mate-
rial per hour and will be
put to use immediately,"
"Aside from reducing
the sheer amount of
quantity of solid waste
by roughly 90 per cent,
the incinerator is also
used to manage certain
materials that cannot be
disposed of properly.
With a daily destruction
capacity of 2.5 tonnes,
the incinerator here at
There needs to be new legislation
to deal with the management of
national emergencies and disasters.
This was one of the recommenda-
tions in a report presented by President
Anthony Carmona at a meeting with
members of the newly appointed
National Environmental Assessment
Task Force at the Office of the President,
St Ann s.
The report was the result of consul-
tations held by a multi-disciplinary
panel that Carmona convened in Jan-
uary to provide insight into the causes,
nature, extent and impact of the oil
spills which took place in the south-
western peninsula in December.
Eleven oil spills resulted in approx-
imately 7,000 barrels of oil being leaked
into the sea off south Trinidad. The oil
washed up on beaches and affected
marine and human life.
The panel of 25 experts from the
University of the West Indies (UWI)
and the University of T&T (UTT) was
chaired by UTT Provost Fazal Ali and
Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at
UWI St Augustine, Prof Brian
Yesterday the report was handed over
to the task force, less than an hour after
the ten members received their appoint-
ment letters from Environment Minister
Ganga Singh at Tower D, Waterfront
Centre, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain.
Three additional positions of the task
force need to be filled by two interna-
tional experts and one local expert.
Singh said he expected these posi-
tions to be filled within two weeks.
Carmona, who said things had gone
"woefully wrong" in December when
the oil spills occurred, said information
reaching the public had not been cohe-
sive and was often conflicting.
Environment Minister Ganga Singh
yesterday said parallel water lines are
needed in this country but added that
this could not take place without an
increase in water rates to fund the
Addressing reporters following a
meeting to appoint ten members to the
National Environmental Assessment
Task Force, Singh said the project would
cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
Early this week, a ruptured Water
and Sewerage Authority (WASA) main
pipe in Trincity resulted in some
400,000 customers in north Trinidad,
from St Augustine to Cocorite, being
left without a pipe borne water supply
for almost three days.
In a release, WASA said the main
was ruptured on Wednesday during
piling work being undertaken by con-
tractor Jusamco, who had been hired
by the Ministry of Works and Infra-
structure to reconstruct and widen
the Arouca River Bridge as part of the
overall Churchill Roosevelt Highway
As of midday yesterday, the release
said, the supply to 50 per cent of the
areas that had been affected would have
The water delivered to citizens was
discoloured but the authority said it
would be conducting "flushing" exer-
cises to relieve the system of this dis-
Singh said the ministry was still com-
puting the cost of repairs before for-
warding it to the Ministry of Works
Asked if there were any discussions
to install parallel lines, Singh said:
"We are currently replacing the Hollis
line which is 80 years old. We replaced
the Navet line which is 50 years old.
We are in fact running a parallel line
to Point Lisas. It is something that was
taking place but required significant
investment," he said.
The Navet line cost $117 million while
the Caroni water line cost about $200
Assessment Task Force findings...
New laws for disaster
Ganga on parallel water lines ...
Higher water rates
needed to fund project
CEO of the South West Regional Health Authority Anil Gosine examines the control panel of the new state-
of-the-art incinerator at the San Fernando General Hospital during the ribbon cutting ceremony, yesterday.
PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
the SWHRA is the only
one of its sort in public
health in Trinidad."
Gosine also said the
incinerator is the only
system able to eliminate
highly infective micro-
organisms which other
processes cannot destroy.
"This includes biohaz-
ard waste, including
medically used trash con-
taminated with blood or
other infectious materials
like needles, syringes or
similar objects," he said.
He noted that incin-
eration of biohazard
waste requires an oper-
ating temperature in
excess of 1,000 degrees
Celsius, for which the old
incinerator was not
designed. The SWRHA s
chairman, Dr Lackram
Bodoe, said the unit was
another example of the
authority s commitment
to patients, staff and
He also said the new
incinerator is fully auto-
mated, with a monitored
air-scrubbing and emis-
sion system that exceeds
European standards and
has benefits over other
types of waste-treatment
"We are also doing our
part to minimise damage
to the environment," said
He praised Water Tech,
the company that han-
dled the procurement
and installation of the
incinerator, for complet-
ing the project within the
budget and the specified
time frame. (SR)
New $9m incinerator
for Sando hospital
• Need for policies, measures,
mechanisms and systems to detect,
counteract and treat with disasters.
• Systems should be put in place to
ensure the immediate and future well-
being of those affected by national
emergencies and disasters and society
as a whole.
• Modernised legislation.
• Effective co-ordination of agencies
responsible for the management of oil
spills was also highlighted.
Chairman of the Environmental
Management Authority (EMA) Allan
Bachan, whose agency played a key role
in monitoring the oil spills, accepted the
report on behalf of the task force.
Bachan was also appointed as chairman
of the new task force.
He said his role at the EMA would not
conflict with his appointment as
chairman of the task force.
One of the 17 directives given to the
group is to evaluate the response of all
agencies, including the EMA.
Asked whether or not the task force
would be carrying out a similar function
to the EMA, Singh said this was not the
"The EMA is a regulatory body. The task
force will make recommendations, and
if it is for legislation, then that is
something we will do." Singh said.
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