“The ability to move from landless existence, with annual rental expenses in excess of $60,000 per annum, to one which is a fixed asset of a corporation that is now broadened significantly by the investment of over $4 million, that is indeed a commendable fact and feat,” said Hon Hamilton.
“In fact I am advised that the market value of this new edifice is estimated in excess of $5 million. Moreover, for a property that was acquired for $290,000 through self-financing, the return on investment is indeed promising.”
Hon Hamilton who is the Minister of Agriculture, Health, National Health Insurance, Human Settlement, Community Development, Gender Affairs, Social Services, Cooperatives and Lands, made the remarks Thursday July 2, at a ceremony held to open the new corporate headquarters of the Solid Waste Management Corporation at Taylor’s Range in Basseterre.
The colourful ceremony, which was held under the distinguished patronage of the Acting Governor General, His Excellency Tapley Seaton, CVO, QC, JP, was attended by a cross-section of invited guests who included Federal Minister the Hon Ian Patches Liburd, Attorney General Hon Vincent Byron, Minister of State for Health, the Hon Wendy Phipps, and Advisor in the Ministry of Health Mrs Eugenia Condor.
Others included the resident ambassador of the Republic of China on Taiwan, His Excellency George Gow Wei Chiou, Commander of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force Lt. Colonel Patrick Wallace, Assistant Commissioner of Police Ian Queeley, incoming Chairman of the Corporation Mr Randolph Edmeade, former Minister of Health Hon Marcella Liburd, General Manager of the Nevis Solid Waste Management Corporation Mr Andrew Hendrickson, and a former Director of Agriculture Dr Jerome Thomas.
Minister Hamilton commended the corporation’s General Manager Mr Alphonso Bridgewater, who he said had become the face of garbage disposal in St. Kitts. He also praised Mr Bridgewater’s role in nation building through national sports.
“Ladies and gentlemen what you have come to join us in celebrating today is the culmination of an endeavour that began several years ago, when the board of directors and staff of the Solid Waste Management Corporation first yearned to have a home of their own,” said Hon Hamilton.
“The corporation’s longing to acquire its own premises was the starting of a short journey. It was borne out of the desire to build a lasting legacy for the people of our Federation in so far as the corporation commitments to the health and safety of our environment are concerned.”
The Minister admonished the staff of Solid Waste Management Corporation to continue in their maintenance of high standards in so far as the collection of the disposal waste is concerned, and the general cleanliness of the island of St. Kitts.
“It is one thing to have a spanking new building, one which one can be proud of, but it is another thing to ensure that the corporation maintains its vision, and the corporation maintains its drive, that the corporation maintains its social responsibility to our people and to our communities,” commented Hon Hamilton. “It is only when waste management systems break down that we realise waste really does matter.
“I also use this platform to express to our people, all of our people, the need to cooperate with the corporation and its workers as they endeavour to keep our surroundings clean, safe and healthy via efficient systems of garbage collection, garbage management, and garbage disposal.”
The Acting Governor General, His Excellency Tapley Seaton joined Ministers Hamilton and Wendy Phipps, in cutting the ribbon and declare the new building officially opened, as the Hon Ian Patches Liburd, the General Manager of the Solid Waste Management Corporation Mr Alphonso Bridgewater, incoming Chairman of the corporation Mr Randolph Edmeade, and Project Manager Ms Arlene Edwards looked on.
Visitors were taken on a guided tour of the new building by fifteen-year-old Miss Zaida McCall, a granddaughter of the corporation’s Operations Supervisor, Mr Wilmon McCall. On reaching the upper level of the building, they witnessed the launch of the corporation’s website, which was carried out by its designer, Mr John James, an IT Consultant of Kittitian descent from Canada.