100 jobs safe, says THA
The 100 employees who have been working in Tobago's reforestation programme for the past nine years have been assured of their continued employment on the island, the Tobago House of Assembly has said.
THA Secretary of Agriculture, Marine Affairs, Marketing and the Environment, Councillor Gary Melville, said on Wednesday that the Executive Council at its weekly meeting earlier in the day ruled that no private contractor or company would be allowed to go into the natural resources of Tobago to carry out any activity that may be proposed by the National Reforestation and Watershed Rehabilitation Programme (NRWRP) of the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, the THA said in a statement yesterday.
He said the Council had taken the decision based on letters the three community groups received from NRWRP's acting programme coordinator Dominique Pierre Louis terminating their agreement with effect from August 17, resulting in the workers being put on the breadline.
The programme has been carried out in Argyle, Belle Garden, Glamorgan and Speyside for the past nine years.
The ministry said on Tuesday that the programme in Tobago would be expanded by doubling the number of contractors and increasing employment by 170 people.
Melville said the THA was responsible for forests under the law and the Ministry of the Environment in 2003 had partnered with it in designing the programme to be executed by community groups, the THA said.