CARPHA report says the Registry is unhealthy; lawyers want government to release the report

When about a dozen lawyers dressed in long, flowing black-and -white robes leave their comfortable chambers and walk in tandem, in the blazing sun, from the Dame Eugenia Charles Boulevard to Government Headquarters to "complain", you can bet the matter is serious.

The subject of the complaint is the condition of the post- Maria Registry and the High Court building in Roseau and the release of the contents of a report issued by a Caribbean environment agency.

(The Sun reported on the state of the environment at the Registry on its front page of the February 26, 2018).

"We are … concerned about the Registry staff who operate there and the magistracy and also babies who are in (parents') arms go there to be registered," said Mary Roberts , the President of the Dominica Bar Association (DBA) following the "walk" last week to deliver a letter to Justice Minister Rayburn Blackmore on the matter.

"We need remedial action as suggested in the report to take place," Roberts said.

The report, kept secret so far by the authorities, but obtained by the Sun, is based on an analysis of the quality of the air at the Bay-Front building; it was prepared in January 2018 by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).

The Agency reported that quantities of cladosporium, a species of mold, in the building were at elevated levels.

"Elevated temperature, improper/inadequate storage of files and termite infestation are among the issues to be addressed at the Registry," said the 20-page report entitled "Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Assessment Report for the Environment Health Department, January 2018"

The presence of insects, termites, heat, dust and high humidity make the Registry unhealthy, the CARPHA report added.

"Outside the vault is a book stand with old books and records that is heavily infested with termites. Although termites may bite and sting, these wounds are not toxic," the report stated. "However, occupants in spaces infested by termites may suffer from allergic reactions or even asthma attacks; ventilation system can also contribute to the spread of irritating particles and dust from termite nests".

The report contains a number of specific recommendations, to be administered only by professionals, to improve the quality of air at the building.

The DBA, Roberts said, wants Blackmore to release the CARPHA report "to the major stake holders in the Ministry of Justice who go to the court and also to the members of the Bar so that we can take the necessary action for the safety of our staff and clients and also the general public who frequent the area."

She added: "The Registry may have to be moved and we have suggested that already".