Has a political decision been made to not repair the Graeme Hall wetlands sluice gate?
A reader sends us this quote from a government press conference carried by The Barbados Advocate and some commentary and a question: Has a political decision been made to not repair the Graeme Hall wetlands sluice gate?
“Thirty-six contractors will be awarded contracts before the end of this month for well digging and cleaning throughout the island in an effort to minimise the incidence of flooding.
Speaking to the media yesterday at a review of the wells in the St. Michael West Central area at Belfield, Black Rock, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Lionel Weekes, said that the island-wide review, which takes place during the dry season, is done at this time to also ensure that drainage systems are working…”
… from the Barbados Advocate article Flood Prevention Plan
The recently announced government programme to hire contractors to clean grates, wells and generally maintain the drainage systems is admirable and long overdue. The Thompson government should be congratulated for “pre-emptive” action rather than waiting for the crisis as was the effective policy under the Owen Arthur government.
Sometime ago the Thompson government changed the name of the Ministry to “Ministry of Environment, Water Resources and Drainage” and this indicates the DLP government recognizes how critical the drainage systems are to the overall health and economy of Barbados.
Nonetheless, one vital repair to the drainage infrastructure is missing: the government sluice gate controlling waterflow in and out of the Graeme Hall wetlands has been broken, rusted and blocked by silt for many years. This integral and important part of drainage management on the South Coast has been inoperative for years, apparently because the government is seeking revenge against the owner of a facility within the Graeme Hall watershed. Thus the environmental health of a large area of the South Coast has been put at risk against the public interest.
Will the sluice gate be repaired under the current operation as seems advisable… or, has a political decision been made to continue to not repair the Graeme Hall wetlands sluice gate?
Over to you Denis Lowe, Minster of Environment, Water Resources and Drainage…
Further Reading at BFP