Category Archives: Disaster

Grenville Phillips II: Thousands of new Barbados houses vulnerable to collapse due to lack of building standards


“It is a national disgrace that strains the limits of irresponsibility that the Government of Barbados, against all expert advice, allowed an entirely unregulated 14-year building boom with respect to building standards. Of the thousands of houses built, almost all of them are vulnerable to collapse in a major earthquake. It is to Barbados’ tragic misfortune that it would not have cost any additional money to have constructed the life-saving shear walls that the Building Code specified.”

Grenville Phillips II

Every Bajan or foreigner living in Barbados should attend at Grenville’s Weighed in the Balance website and have a read of Put Your House in Order.

Do it now.


Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Disaster

Remembering Campus Trendz and Arch Cot – years later Barbados still doesn’t have a building code

Passersby heard the screams from Campus Trendz store: no back door and bars on the windows.

“The criminals threw the firebombs, but it was an irresponsible government, building owner and shop owner that made the firebombs inescapable death.”

Barbados Free Press, September 5, 2012 Campus Trendz deaths: What criminals allowed bars on the windows, no fire exits?

by Cliverton

Almost five years after the Campus Trendz slaughter, sleep does not come easily for my friend. In her mind she still sees the weeping desperate men in the smoke at the rear of Campus Trendz – cursing and yelling as they used hand sledges to break through the brick wall all too slowly. She couldn’t watch any longer, she couldn’t listen to the screams any longer and there was nothing the girl could do so she walked away. That haunts her to this day.

Pearl Amanda Cornelius, 18, Kelly Ann Welch, 24, Shanna Griffith, 18, Nikita Belgrave, 23, Tiffany Harding, 23 and Kellisha Ovivierre, 24, burned to death because two evil men robbed the store and smashed flaming bottles of petrol. That is one of the causes of their deaths.

The other cause of their deaths is that Barbados has no enforceable building code. Folks just build as they want to, with no standards as to amount of steel or how rebar is connected. No standards as to fire exits or alternate fire exits through windows. Campus Trendz was a deathtrap from the moment it was constructed, and six young women died because Barbados had no building code to protect them.

Similarly an entire family died at ArchCot when a powerful family (BLP leader Mia Mottley’s family) invested in land over a known cave. How the prohibition against building over the known cave was lifted was never really explained to the public. Just another of those magical Bajan processes very similar to how a BLP Government Minister came to live in a house built on private land that had been expropriated for government purposes.

That Barbados has no building code makes it easier for the corruption and the corrupt to thrive and profit.


Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Corruption, Crime & Law, Disaster, Politics & Corruption

DeBajan on the latest ZR crash


“You might think it unfathomable that the Ministry of Transport would license (for a fee) a random group of people intended to take care of the crucial mass transit sector without first ensuring the content, the level or the frequency of their training. Unfortunately this is the case in Barbados.”

More well worth reading at DeBajan Public Transport Matters


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Barbados Transportation, Disaster

BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Boyceterous Catamaran crew member says Barbados Coast Guard caused capsize by pulling too fast, too hard

Barbados Catamaran CruisesBarbados Disaster

In the small hours of Sunday morning, the Boyceterous Catamaran Cruises vessel capsized and sank while under tow by the Barbados Coast Guard. Fortunately none of the 45 to 50 passengers and crew drowned, although we hear that some were injured. One of the tour boat’s engines failed and the boat had been drifting for an hour off the harbour until the arrival of the Coast Guard.

Today a person associated with Boyceterous is telling BFP and anyone who will listen that the boat was not taking on water or sinking until the Coast Guard vessel HMBS Excellence started to tow the boat to the harbour. Our source says the boat was towed too fast and too hard for the sea condition, and that the crew tried to tell the rescue boat to slow down but it was too late. It happened quickly, but not suddenly. The crew and passengers could see what was about to happen. (Bear in mind that BFP is an anonymous blog, getting information from someone who won’t give their name to print.)

50 people on this small boat is too many!

50 people on this small boat is too many!

News accounts and the Barbados Coast Guard are directing the attention and responsibility for the sinking to the crew, and not mentioning that the cause was the faulty towing procedure by the Coast Guard.

Seeing as nobody died there probably won’t be any public inquest or public inquiry, but Barbados should learn what it can and take all steps to prevent it happening again. Because if five or twenty tourists drown next time, that will be a national economic disaster.

We’ve said before (and so did Prime Minister Arthur) that we are not an “enforcement society”. That’s all fine when we are talking about nitpicking folks to death with government regulations – but not so good when we’re talking about having no Building Code, no enforcement of vehicle insurance regulations, and training, standards and equipment for emergency personnel that falls way short of international standards.

Here’s a list of factors that any real inquiry should look at. (MORE SINKING PHOTOS BELOW)  Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Disaster

The Bridges of St. Vincent: Unnecessary deaths and destruction likely to continue.

Christmas 2013: Body bags are the natural result of building on flood plains and failing to clear bridge obstructions.

Christmas 2013: Body bags are the natural result of building on flood plains and failing to clear bridge obstructions.

The future is as dark as the silt-laden waters

by Peter Binose

(Photo courtesy of I-Witness News)

The 3rd Duke of Bridgewater and perhaps even Isambard Kingdom Brunel would turn in their graves if they could see how the Unity Labour Party have neglected our little island’s waterways and bridges to the extent that bridges are destroyed on a regular basis.

It’s ever so simple to comprehend really – streams, rivers and tributaries have to be kept clear of obstructions and siltation on a very regular basis. If this procedure is neglected even for one season,  flooding will ensue which will cause river bank and bridge damage, if not total loss of bridges. Everyone with half a brain knows that, but obviously not the ULP leadership.

Over the last fourteen years just about every bridge on our tiny island of Saint Vincent has suffered serious damage. The rivers are allowed to collect tree trunks and roots and other debris and rubbish without regular round the year maintenance and clearance by teams of work men clearing and burning such vegetation waste. When it rains heavy this debris floats down river and blocks under bridges.

Of course the silt level under bridges is allowed to grow to such an extent that between the debris and the silt, an effective dam is created.

When the silt and debris effectively blocks the water flow under the bridge the water builds up to an enormous pressure that damages the bridge and attached road. The sudden release of a large volume of water rushes down river taking with it the next bridge, if there is one, where the bridge dam sequence and sudden release is repeated on a magnified basis, also taking river banks on its way. Eventually this torrent overflows into the ancient flood plains as has happened for hundreds of thousands of years.  Continue reading


Filed under Building Collapse, Disaster, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Almost one year since Forbes called Barbados ‘Cyprus West’ – have we changed for the better?

Barbados Finance Minister Sinckler

Has Finance Minister Sinckler done the right thing… or is the situation so far out of hand that no government could be effective now?

Barbados, “the Jewel of the Caribbean,” the tiny easternmost island in the Lesser Antilles with 288,000 year-around inhabitants and lots of very rich foreign visitors and investors, is in the throes of a financial meltdown.

While its entire GDP is now only worth about $4.2 billion, and its population is smaller than that of Duluth Minnesota, this crisis is worth examining closely. For here we have a very precise example of the “finance curse,” where excessive dependence on high debt, an aggressive offshore haven industry, very low tax rates for high-net worth investors, foreign companies, and banks, and high tax rates for everyone else, have essentially brought this little country to its knees.

… from the December 2013 Forbes online article Postcard From Barbados — a.k.a. ‘Cyprus West’

See BFP’s January 2014 article Happy New Year 2014: Forbes announces that Barbados is on its knees, in a financial meltdown.



Filed under Barbados, Disaster, Economy, Offshore Investments

Barbados mother says “I’ll breed ’em. YOU feed ’em!”


“Government is shortly to ask Parliament for a supplementary, around $100 000, to ease the distress of mothers who trek daily to the courts for child maintenance only to be disappointed because a special account was overdrawn.

The move comes against the backdrop of angry cries by frustrated women earlier this month that some had not received the child support for September, while others claimed they had not received any payments since July. Some called for a return to the cash payment system instead of the current cheque mechanism.”

… October 30, 2014 Nation News Child Money

Barbados makes single motherhood a viable career choice and then we wonder why we have so many young women, girls really, popping ’em out like Marcia does grill fish, peas & rice, and beer at Oistins.

Half the time it’s a guess to name the father… make that fathers. Plural.

This free ride, this “guvment look after everyting” is coming to an end, as it must.

The cupboard is bare, and as BFP’s Shona said back in 2006

“Government child maintenance payments empowers young uneducated women to perpetuate further generations of young unwed mothers and young men who lack the steady hand of a father.

The current trend towards making unwed motherhood a societally sponsored career choice marginalizes the role of fathers and men in general – and can do no long-term good.”

Originally posted on Barbados Free Press:

Story #1,243 in a continuing Nation Cultural Series…

by BFP reader Passin thru

Jacqueline Blunt is 40 years old and has five children (by how many different men we’re not told). She’s long-term unemployed and lives with her mother; who has served notice on Miss Blunt that she and her five children are out on the street as of Tuesday.

According to the newspaper article, Mother of 5 needs house Miss Blunt contributes nothing to household expenses and keeps such hours and personal habits that her long-suffering mother sought to impose an 8pm curfew on the 40 year old. That really says it all when an unemployed and unemployable mother can’t be bothered to tuck her children in each night. It’s not as if she’s out working or looking for work – she’s partying.

Miss Blunt is featured in The Nation newspaper looking for her next meal ticket. She doesn’t…

View original 285 more words


Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Disaster, Economy