THE PRESIDENT of the Asthma Association of Barbados, Rosita Pollard, last week pleaded with Barbadians to stop the practice of backyard burning as it was a major trigger for the respiratory ailment.
She said it should have been added to legislation to stop smoking in public places, and asked Barbadians to speak to their neighbours who indulged in the “bad habit”.
There was lots of support for Pollard on The Nation Barbados’ Facebook page. Many of the respondents, including asthma sufferers, said it was a daily occurrence in some areas, but the culprits rarely responded to requests to extinguish the fires.
Here are some of the views:
Cheryl Patricia Best: I cannot wait. I live in a district, with one day off from work, and as early as 6:30 before I get out of bed, the wicked people burning stuff and got all the smoke pelting coming through the house. You have to get up because you cannot breathe. Please stop it now.
Nrea Taylor: Hallelujah! Finally! If you ask me, this should have been done years ago. Some neighbours burn fires at all hours of the day without regards for the sick, elderly, those with respiratory ailments and so on.
Ali Johannes: Only on Sunday I had to complain to a neighbour about how his burning tree was affecting me. He said “it gine soon out”. Yeah, sure. It’s now three days later. All day and night Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, we have been breathing in this polluted air from his smouldering tree. People are too inconsiderate and it would be great to see an end to these nuisance fires.
Itz Queen: Everyone here is going to agree. Let me ask how many have put pen to paper and ask the MOH [Ministry of Health] to bring legislation against this health hazard?
Rachelle Allamby: I see a trend in crop time when plantations would burn canes before cutting. I don’t know if it’s to get rid of cow itch, but it needs to stop. It caused my mum to seek medical attention after having to inhale smoke for at least the entire day. It needs to stop before something tragic happens.
Arlington Andrews: Too many people here like to burn things; many don’t even take out the offensive items like plastic, rubber and a host of containers for industrial chemicals. It is sad when they know that people living downwind would be affected and just selfishly not give a hoot. Composting and recycling should be taught in schools so that future generations of residents can enjoy the benefits of clean air.
Charming Forde: From your mouth to God’s ears, I am sooooooo tired of having to close all windows to avoid smoke getting in to prevent an asthma attack.
Beverley Ashby-Grant: I cannot wait. Right now I’m in a state because of two neighbours burning and a grass fire. It is a serious problem.
Monica Hall: Thank you, Ms Pollard. I hope your voice is heard and relevant authorities will now act on this deadly nuisance the public has to endure on a daily basis.
Tamesha Padmore: Every day, religiously. I hope it get banned.
• Sherrylyn Toppin is The Nation’s Online Editor.