Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Mobile facilities for agricultural workers

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Agricultural workers, for the first time, will have access to lunchroom and sanitary facilities while they carry out duties in the field.

Yesterday, during a ceremony at the Barbados Agricultural Management Company (BAMC) headquarters in Warrens, St Michael, Prime Minister Mia Mottley said Government was elected to make a difference in people’s lives and was committed to doing so.

Mottley said that from as far back as when she was the Leader of the Opposition, when she interacted with field workers during her rubbing shoulders programme, she realised that there was no designated facility for people to have their lunch and there were no bathroom facilities.

She said it was important that Government corrected the injustices agricultural workers faced for several decades, especially women who were forced to face the elements to answer the call of nature.

She said this initiative would enhance the lives of the workers and bring more dignity to their jobs.

Ten mobile units outfitted with toilet facilities and an eating area will be placed at various BAMC sites across the country. The units are solar powered and have sanitisation stations.

Each unit cost $45 000.

The units will be made available to the workers from next week at three sites – Redland, St John; Rock Hall, St Peter and Mount Pleasant, St Philip.

The workers also stand to benefit from proper transportation facilities equipped with safety and weather requirements.

There are 351 agricultural workers attached to the BAMC.

Minister of Agriculture Indar Weir said this was a significant occasion.

Kathy-Ann Pinder, an agricultural worker of 12 years who is stationed at Mount Pleasant Farm, said that workers, especially women, had to deal with this problem for too long. She said prior to the mobile units, there was no shelter and rain made the situation worse.

Pinder said having these facilities would provide more privacy and safety. (SB)

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