“We are not complaining we are making do…”
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
September 11, 2009 (CUOPM)
The Commanding Officer of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force, Colonel Patrick Wallace, has blasted opposition Member of Parliament, Hon. Shawn Richards for his “outrageous statements” on conditions at the Defence Force Headquarters.
Colonel Patrick Wallace told Sun St. Kitts/Nevis Thursday it is unfortunate that the lone elected PAM official in the 15-mmber lawmaking body that did not request to visit the camp to verify for himself the conditions under which the men live.
Public Relations Officer for the Defence Force, Captain Kayode Sutton, said, “The conditions at Camp Springfield are not the very best because the properties are old, but we do everything to ensure their upkeep, they are kept clean but of course age is going to tell on them.”
He said, however, it is very wrong to say that the conditions are deplorable because the officers all live there and “we do not have the worst of conditions we are making do with what we have (as) we all understand what the financial situation is around the world.”
Further, Captain Sutton said while they would love to have all brand new buildings, they are not the only entity the government has to look after and “we are not complaining we are making do and getting by.”
“The condition is not all how it has been put, the barrack rooms are livable, the mess hall, kitchen, everybody eats from the same kitchen and it is not at all right to say the facility is rat and termite infested; it is an outrageous statement to make,” Captain Sutton continued.
He said if they have pest control problems, they would have taken care of it, noting that the facilities are maintained by the Public Works Department. “It is ridiculous to say that conditions are deplorable,” he exclaimed.
Meanwhile, Colonel Wallace added that it was strategic considerations why construction on the new barracks is put off until the latter part of 2009, explaining they had to choose between starting the new barrack construction and refurbishing the Coast Guard vessel, Stalwart. He said the priority was the Stalwart to ensure better border patrol.