Health Minister Marlon Penn has implored government officials to move on with sewerage works in his Eighth District constituency that have been neglected for decades.
Nearly 10 years ago, some $8 million in funding was diverted from the East End/Long Look Sewerage project and re-routed to the Tortola Pier Park (TPP) Project under the previous National Democratic Party (NDP) Administration within which Penn served.
But the lawmaker pointed out that there is now funding in this year’s budget for the project and suggested officials have no excuses for further delays.
“We talk about sewerage, the issue of sewerage — I’m not even going to talk about sewerage today because, I mean, what can you say to your people after the years that we’ve promised,” Penn said.
Alluding to the upcoming general elections, Penn argued that it is the proverbial ‘talking season’, therefore persons will have something to say about the re-routed $8 million originally set aside for the sewerage project.
“But the money was returned, the money was returned to the ministry save for $1 million dollars,” Penn contended.
He argued that this is the fifth budget since the last general elections and said nothing significant has been done in the Eighth District.
“So they talk about the the sewerage money. The money is there. The money is there to do the work. We just have to get on with the work,” Penn urged
The Health Minister noted that there is major piping work to be done from Parham Town to Long Swamp, but said it cannot be an excuse for not getting the roads done. He urged that the two projects have to be done simultaneously.
Penn commended residents of the district and said he wanted them to know he has been fighting for them and will continue to do so. He further suggested that the added monies to this year’s budget are reflective of that fight.
“I want to thank my colleagues for their cooperation in ensuring that those funds are there to be able to execute those works within the Eighth District and to defend and create a quality of life that my people are deserving of. They’re no less off and no worse than any other district in this territory,” Penn said.