Barbados Environment Ministry Blows It Again – Graeme Hall Sluice Gate Problems Could Have Been Solved Years Ago


Who Has Been Releasing The Sluice Gate At The Worst Possible Times?

We’d like to hear from the folks at the Ministry of the Environment (or Minister Liz Thompson), the Ministry of Public Works and the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary as to what is going on with the release of pond water through the sluice gate during prime beach-going time. This is a recent change from the normal routines and if you didn’t know better you’d think that someone was trying their best to create as much trouble and ill-will as possible.

There was an article in the Nation News today that documents the problem but provides no answers. (link here)

Did The Environment Ministry Refuse Funds To Upgrade The Graeme Hall Sluice Gate?

We also heard a story that the Ministry of the Environment under Minister Liz Thompson was approached by the folks at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary some time ago with an offer of funding to upgrade the sluice gate that regulates the waterflow from the mangrove watershed to the sea. As the story goes, the offer was refused or ignored – once again by a government that would rather see AIDS & cancer patients without a hospice rather than accept assistance from Canadian philanthropist and nature sanctuary benefactor Peter Allard.

So let’s hear from someone at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary or anyone who knows…

a/ Why is the mangrove watershed flow now being released at prime sea bath times?

b/ Did the government refuse or ignore an offer of funds from philanthropist Peter Allard to upgrade the sluice gate at the Graeme Hall mangrove watershed?

Related stories…

SCANDAL! – Barbados “War On AIDS” – How Owen Arthur And His Government Refused The Donation Of A Free AIDS & Cancer Hospice

Spurned and Abused By Barbados Government – Philanthropist Peter Allard Spending His Charity Dollars Elsewhere


Filed under Barbados, Environment, Politics

29 responses to “Barbados Environment Ministry Blows It Again – Graeme Hall Sluice Gate Problems Could Have Been Solved Years Ago

  1. Green Gage

    What our premier newspaper chose not to mention was that the “foul water” from Graeme Hall wetlands is perfectly clean, but discoloured, effluent that has to drain out to sea periodically.

    Frauds like Anonymous would like to suggest it is sewage water, such as happened when the sewage plant had an emergency a year or two ago.

    The drainage from Graeme Hall is no more of a disaster to our beaches than when a lot of seaweed washes up on the beach, making it less attractive for a few days. A normal ecological cycle.

  2. Pogo

    Yo people why can’t this type of run off be controlled done at night so it has washed away during the day when people want to use the beach?

  3. Waterboy

    Pogo, it should be done at night and at regular intervals when necessary during the rainy season. That is called management. Unfortunately there really is no management and the Ministry of Public Works does not let the water out until residents near the swamp complain that their backyards are flooded.

    If you take a look at the sluice gate you will see that it does not operate. Letting the water out is done by MPWT sending an excavator to remove sand dumped in the canal and in front and behind the gate. Then they use the same equipment to dump the sand back in the canal to stop the flow of water.

  4. Anonymous

    close the stupid swamp down and tell mr allard go bck where he came from he is not welcome in barbados

  5. Wishing in Vain

    Anonymous you a disgustingly sick person Mr Allard is welcome in Barbados anytime unlike the ones like you.

  6. evironment baby

    I second the poster asking why run off not done at night? Why pipes not further out to sea to lessen effect on bathers? This problem been around too long. Liz Thompson talks a lot delivers little. Cant she see its harming the vital tourist industry.

  7. Red Lake Lassie

    They dump sand when Allard was going to pay to fix the sluice gate? For years?

    What that H*** IS GOING ON HERE?

  8. akabozik

    Why didn’t The Nation News report on the broken sluice gate and the sand?

    Why didn’t they just walk over to where it is and take a photo or ask someone who lives nearby?

    Why did they set the story up like this was a problem with the Graeme Hall nature sanctuary and not the government’s incompetence?

    Strange way of reporting this story.

  9. Wishing in Vain

    Maybe because they are on the payroll of Owing not to delve too deeply into matters that affect his popularity.
    Liz Thompson is a blabbering saying nothing doing nothing idiot of immense proportions, have you all not seen and learnt abouth her over the years remember she got fired once already and was then recycled because the gang of les operating in cabinet ganged up on Owing and made him back down before he loss Mottley (not that I would consider her a loss) and Millar. He reinstated her but with the same effect uselessness in extreme.

  10. Red Lake Lassie

    I see a new story today in the paper saying that the water is not dirty only discoloured by the mangroves, but listen to this: the Public Works deliberately ruined the beach to save on overtime!!!!!!!

    “Our responsibility is flood mitigation. “Because the water was so high on Thursday and Friday, we made a determination that it had to be done over the weekend. We choose Sunday because we thought it would be less busy than Saturday,” Yearwood said.

    Another factor was the timing. “There were budgetary constraints. It (opening the gate) is generally done at night, but due to expenditure we had to change the plans, as overtime has to be paid.”

    He added: “We have costs and an income and have to be prudent with overtime funds.”

  11. Friken D. Darke

    “Did The Environment Ministry Refuse Funds To Upgrade The Graeme Hall Sluice Gate?”

    Do they know how to upgrade it?
    This isn’t Guyana, you know,
    where sluice-gates are in everyone’s back yard.

    Barbados has no sluice-gate technology and would have to import it from……….
    Guyana (oops) – not good.


    As regards releasing the frumpsy water AT NIGHT,
    when tourisses doan go to the beach.
    For the same reason that busy roads can’t be fixed at night,
    is the same reason that the sluice-gate can’t be operated from 7 p.m. until 5 a.m.
    because Government is incapable of working at night, no matter what.

  12. Waterboy

    See follow up story in Today’s Nation 14.08.04.

    It quotes Charles Yearwood, Senior Technical Officer at the Drainage Unit with the Ministry of Public Works (MPW), the department responsible for the operation of the gate.

    “Water from the swamp was regularly drained, but according to Yearwood, it was done either at night or in the early morning, and, based on last year’s operations, about three times per week during the rainy season. ”

    Three times a week during the rainy season? That has got to be a joke! They wait until the neighbours complain about being floodeed.

    How many times have the done it since June 01, 2007? I would guess that this is the third time, maximum 4th time. I may be wrong but ……

  13. Govern-mental Logic

    “We choose Sunday because we thought it would be less busy than Saturday,” Yearwood said.”

    THAT makes a tonna sense, don’t it?
    NO-one goes to the beach on Sundays.
    That’s just the ideal time to drain the swamp – Sunday.

    Pinch me..please.
    Tell me I’m dreaming?

  14. Tudor

    The facts are that the blockage was removed on SATURDAY evening at approx 6:30 and replaced on SUNDAY morning at about 10:30. Had it been blocked earlier say, 6:30 the problem may have not occured at all.

    In past there was an arrangement with the hotels that when the gate was going to be opened, notice was given to them and their guests were then bussed to another beach. A sign was also placed on the beach warning both locals & visitors alike.

    We have to realize that the water has to be released from the swamp, and just as important fresh seawater has to rejunivate the swamp. That runoff water comes from as far away as the highway, Big B, and Amity Lodge so it is a fine balance to manage the situation.
    In the past when the entire Graeme Hall swamp was under private ownership, the sluice gate was maintained and there was an old gentleman who looked after the opening & closing of the gate, there was never a problem. Take a look at the eastern side which is behind Mrs. Burke’s home, overrun with with weeds breeding mosquitoes never used to be in such a unsanitary condition when it was owned by Manning.

    I thought that Charles Yearwood’s comments were unfortunately he should have known better.

  15. Anonymous

    get rid of the stupid swamp and that moron allard and all will be well

  16. VAT

    How is it that the Director of VAT has non authorised workers working overtime in monitoring public entertainmnet shows

  17. Stupid is as stupid does

    Maybe the sluice gate was opened by government to stick a knife in the back of the Graeme Hall environmentalists.

    Anonymous says the swamp is stupid, and he says an icon of the conservation movement is a moron. Shame.

    But who opened the gate?

  18. Tudor

    Stupid is as stupid does, the drainage unit “removed the blockage” in the channel to allow the water to flow.Despite being taken off and repaired the sluice gate cannot & does not operate in the manner it is supposed to.

  19. Anonymous

    isay again no swamp no more problems rid our island of allard and barbados will be a better place

  20. Isam

    The gates at Graeme Hall should not be there in the first place. This is the swamp’s natural cycle and access to the sea. These gates were put there to accommodate a few Hotels and home. Why don’t they put up gates in Holetown at the mouth of the Hudson ? This natural cycle has been taking place since the begining of time, and the only way is to allow the water to continue it’s natural path to the see.
    The swamp serves as the breeding ground for various speices of fish, which later migrate to the ocean, via the flooding that occurs during the rainy season.
    Later in the year these fish migrate to the swamp to spawn and continue the life cycle.

  21. Anonymous

    You mean to tell me this highly sensitive environment of the bird sanctuary is still alive with the floodgates closed for many months. Oh my God, I thought if you passed wind within the sanctuary the habitat would collapse. According to ” The Secretive Friends of Graeme Hall Committee ” better known as the ” Graeme Hall Ridge Gang “.

  22. Anonymous

    i wish the hurricane had blown away that moron allard who isnt welc0me in this island any how and his nasty birds

  23. Crusty

    Anonymous, you are free to write opinions for yourself, but please do not suggest that I (or anyone else) holds the same opinion.

    In my opinion, Mr. Allard is VERY welcome in this island and it will be a sad day indeed if he, and others who hold such altruistic beliefs, come to feel they should go elsewhere.

    I hope other readers will contribute their opinions so that the weight of opinion is visible for all to see and not distorted by the writings of the few.

  24. Thistle

    Crusty: …”opinion is visible for all to see and not distorted by the writings of the few.”

    Which “few”, Crusty? There is only one, and I don’t think it is wise to encourage him/her/It. Just ignore IT. It is sick.

  25. Anonymous

    yall r sick supporting a nasty swamp and calling it a sanctuary jeez mr allard should pack his bags and go barbados would be a better place without him and a cleaner place too

  26. Anonymous

    Simply put you are a total idiot

  27. MeToKnow

    All of you who tink they should close it down…
    All of you are a bunch of idiots… do yall kno that there is a species of bird that only exist there?! there is bird called the Golden Warbler that only exist in Barbados and most, almost all exist in that sanctuary.. therefore makin it extinct, also Mr Allard does not do anything bad to the swamp! i think yall should give him the entire thing… but thats my word against yalls.

  28. Thistle

    Me To Know is right. The only known habitat of the Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia) – sometimes called Canary or Yellow Bird – in Barbados is Graeme Hall. It used to live in what was the strip of woodland leading down to Batts Rock from the Lazaretto, but since that became an “abomination of desecration” (words of the late Errol Barrow) the Yellow Warbler fled to Graeme Hall. I think that’s where all the landcrabs fled to as well!

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