Tag Archives: Barbados Environment Minister

Lowe out, Kellman in as Barbados Environment Minister: Still no laws or standards

The shared DLP and BLP legacy continues

Denis Kellman, MP for St. Lucy, was sworn in on Tuesday, January 4th as the new Environment Minister. The post was previously occupied by Denis Lowe, who was hospitalized a few days ago in critical condition with respiratory problems.

Barbados does not have any Environmental Protection Act or standards for the handling, use and disposal of hazardous substances because successive DLP and BLP governments haven’t bothered to enact any in 44 years of independence.

Each year for the past 20 years successive Environment Ministers promised to implement an Environmental Protection Act but did not do so. Minister Denis Lowe promised the act would be made law in 2009 and again in 2010. BLP Environment Minister Liz Thompson told the same stories throughout her tenure and then wasted some 200 million dollars on a doomed-from-the-start foolish project to build a landfill on shifting soil in the Scotland District.

This lack of environmental laws, coupled with government policies that do not recognise the importance of green space and environmental planning has led to wholesale development on the west and south coasts. The blockage and destruction of much of the natural watershed has resulted in serious and continuing flooding in many areas at the slightest rain.

We have no mandatory recycling or local pickup. There is jet fuel contamination of wells on the south coast and we’re dumping raw sewerage into the RAMSAR wetlands while selling off green space to politicians’ developer friends. Previously protected environmentally sensitive land at Graeme Hall has already been re-zoned by the DLP to allow development. Continue reading

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Barbados Environment Ministers have been making the same speech for 15 years. Here it is…

“…strengthen enforcement measures and encourage national laws and regulations regarding chemical management.”

… Barbados Environment Minister Denis Lowe on February 5, 2009 speaking at the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) Workshop, Bridgetown Barbados (link here). A year and a half later Lowe and the DLP government have accomplished less than nothing for the environment.

Bull crap Speech by Environment Minister Denis Lowe on February 5, 2009

Barbados Environment Minister Denis Lowe making a speech...

Okay folks… here we are coming up on a year and a half after Environment Minister Denis Lowe again again told us how important environmental laws and regulations are in preventing harm to our people. Same speech every year for the past 15 years at least. Doesn’t matter who is Environment Minister, they just dig out that same old speech and let ‘r rip. The Bajan news media reports it like it’s real news and then they go back to their pate and champagne at the conferences.

Okay Doctor Lowe… where’s the environmental legislation you’ve been promising since 2006 when you were an underdog candidate for the DLP?

Where is it? You forget? Did Shell Oil buy you off? Did you forget? Get drunk? … what’s your excuse? Too busy eating lunches at the Hilton?

Why is it that every time Environment Minister Lowe speaks, all we smell is cow dung?

Excerpts from Dr. Lowe’s February 5, 2009 speech…

“THE absence of legislation to govern the disposal of chemicals in this island, including those categorised as chemical waste, needs to be addressed.”

Illustration of the full text of Dr. Lowe's speech

Speaking at the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) Workshop, Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, said there are several gaps in the existing legal infrastructure for chemicals management, while pointing out the need for the implementation of relevant regulations.

(snip)

“Pollutants that had the potential to harm the respiratory systems of those who inhaled them, and impact negatively on our water quality,” he stressed.

He stated that incidents such as these underscored the adverse affects that chemicals, including those persons used everyday, could have on the environment and therefore on human health.

“More importantly, these incidences have accentuated the need for us to review, evaluate, reform and, where necessary, develop mechanisms to minimise any threats posed by the use or disposal of chemicals to the environment,” he added.

Commenting on the current state of chemicals management in the island, Lowe pointed out that there was room for improvement regarding its practice and its framework.

(snip)

“All too often, persons can be observed spraying pests control agents around their homes wearing shorts, without protective clothing or equipment, seemingly unaware that contact between some of these chemicals and the skin can lead to medical conditions such as nausea, dizziness, vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhoea,” Lowe said, adding “This lack of awareness has even been exhibited by pest control professionals and others who perform such functions.”

“…strengthen enforcement measures and encourage national laws and regulations regarding chemical management.”

Read the February 2009 BFP story Do-Nothing Barbados Environment Minister Highlights DLP Government’s Impotence

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