Health Minister Dr. David Estwick
New Barbados Government Takes First Steps Towards Modern, Responsible Waste Management
Barbados Minister of Health and Social Security Dr David Estwick announced yesterday that Greenland dump will not be used as a sanitary landfill because of the risk that garbage posed to aquifers in the area. (See Nation News article Dump Halt)
Wise decisions become relatively easy when our government ministers are intelligent and honest. It certainly beats stupid and corrupt anytime.
The previous BLP government wasted almost 60 million dollars or more trying to make the site work in the face of 150 years of overwhelming evidence that the soil at Greenland is unstable, prone to landslip and that it would be an ecological disaster to continue.
Both outside and Bajan experts warned of massive damage to coastal areas and beaches if the project continued and no engineer could be found who would sign off on the design of the leachate holding tanks because they were sure to crack on the unstable soil. Yet, the BLP government continued to spend tens of millions more dollars having their construction friends move sand and rocks from one area to another for no purpose other than profit.
Richard Goddard Carried The Flag For Us All
For almost two decades Richard Goddard sounded the clarion about Greenland dump. He organised, wrote letters, sought out experts, took photographs, lobbied the government and the media and researched the long history of landslips and disasters in the area surrounding the Greenland. When the Barbados news media would not print the truth, he printed flyers and sent emails in a person-to-person campaign to educate and warn his fellow citizens.
When the Barbados Labour Party persisted with the folly, he took the government to court. And when the courts did the government’s bidding and many others gave up, Richard Goddard continued the battle.
This is not to take away anything from the many others who fought the war of ideas and truth about Greenland dump, but it was Richard Goddard who was the public face of that war, and as such he was ruthlessly attacked by the government of the day.
Harassed, Vilified, Crops Torched, Business Audited…
Goddard was vilified by many BLP Government Ministers. His crops were burned several times to the point where he no longer planted because he knew his fields would again be fired. His business was audited in a manner that left no doubt that the BLP government was sending him a message. On national television, BLP Cabinet Minister Liz Thompson dismissed Goddard as being “Caucasian” in a racist attack that had nothing to do with the issue of the Greenland dump. (BFP article & video here)
And still he persisted in his campaign to stop a national disaster in the making.
The Work Must Continue
At this moment it appears that Richard Goddard and his fellow citizens have won a great and just victory for all of Barbados. And, judging by the new Health Minister’s comments about the need to stop the dumping of cooking oils and other liquid waste at Lonesome Hill and to start treating garbage as a resource, the message of environmental responsibility has been heard loud and clear by the new government.
We must remain vigilant and active to ensure that the new government does not falter on the path, and there is still concern about what will happen to Greenland and other irreplaceable natural areas on Barbados…
… but for a few days we can take the time to say prayers of thanks, to celebrate this victory – and also to say a sincere thank you to the man who stayed the course.
Every person on this small island owes Richard Goddard a great debt.
Some Previous BFP Articles About Greenland Landfill
December 31, 2006 – Greenland Fiasco Dooms Barbados – Professor Machel Replies to Comments
December 20, 2006 – Greenland Fiasco Dooms Barbados
March 9, 2006 – Barbados Government Silences Own Greenland Experts
To list all the Greenland Dump articles at Barbados Free Press, type “Greenland” into the search box in the upper right.