Tag Archives: St. Vincent Flood Death

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

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

Stop building on Buccament Bay flood plain – Death is coming again

Ricky Small cries for his dear wife Joselle, who was taken by the raging waters at Buccament Bay Resort.

Ricky Small cries for his dear wife Joselle, who was taken by the raging waters at Buccament Bay Resort.

by Peter Binose

The private housing development along the Buccament River, in fact beside the Buccament river in the flood plain, was going full speed when I visited last week. Express work is taking place on finishing about a dozen further units, with all stages in progress from start up on.

I walked with a family member of the land owners and builders, who told me the family is worried that they may be stopped from building. But he thought perhaps because of the relationship between them and the ULP leadership they had some considerable protection.

Considering the devastation caused by the December 2013 flooding it is unbelievable, perhaps even criminal, that the government has not stopped further building in an area which has been recorded as a disaster zone for centuries. The area is an ancient and modern floodplain, as shown by the follow records going back to 1876!  Continue reading

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Filed under Building Collapse, Disaster, Environment, Offshore Investments, Real Estate

Harlequin Buccament Bay flood deaths caused by neglect, dereliction of duty?

Harlequin Buccament-floods-deaths

“Seeing as the government knew about the need to carry out river flood protection, why did they give Harlequin’s Buccament Bay Resort permission to build in a known flood plain on a river that required river bank flood defences installed?

Why did they approve of building private houses in a flood plain, next to a dangerous river requiring bank and river base restructuring and defences?

Why? Why? Can they tell us Why?

Why did they fail to install those defences?”

by Peter Binose

(Photo courtesy of I-Witness News)

Whilst researching the Christmas Buccament floods I discovered that both Ralph Gonsalves and Julian Francis as government ministers were both informed as early as 2001 that Buccament was likely to flood. They were instructed to carry out urgent river defenses but almost every year for about 13 years just got more and more reports on the matter. They had the reports done because the World Bank was paying for the reports, they cost us nothing. But after getting the reports they failed to act – and that failure to act proved to be fatal  for a number of people.

In some of the reports it is even quoted that Buccament is in a flood plain. As such they allowed new building in a flood plain next to a river that was almost certainly going to flood, and it did.

PM Ralph Gonsalves

PM Ralph Gonsalves

Remember the videos of Gonsalves walking through Buccament with tears in his eyes? Was that all an act? He must of been terrified that the people would find out that he was pre-warned and failed to act, thus being a direct contributor to the loss of all those poor people.

The piece below is something I have submitted to all the newspapers and online publications. We will have see if the SVG newspapers have the courage to publish what I have written, regardless of the fact that its all verifiable as the truth.

Buccament Bay flood deaths neglect, dereliction of duty or something worse?

On December 24 and 25, 2013, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines was hit by a low-level, high-impact trough system which caused severe infrastructure damage to the country. The trough brought high winds, torrential rains and floods. Local rainfall stations reported between 200mm and 310mm on the windward side of the island and 153.3mm in the leeward side of the island.

As a result of the disaster event, there were 11 confirmed deaths and 3 persons were never found. The final disaster assessment concluded: 77 homes were completely destroyed or severely damaged; approximately another 300 homes were damaged; and 500 people were displaced and housed in temporary shelters.

Since their first year in power there is unequivocal evidence that the Unity Labour Party [ULP] government have been fully aware of the vulnerability to serious flooding at Buccament and in other places. They were aware that Buccament is generally a flood plain area.  Their studies from 2001 to 2014 show just that. They have had thirteen years to put river defenses in at Buccament, but failed to do so. The Christmas 2013 Buccament flood tragedy occurred and lives were lost.

For thirteen years the government had dragged their feet and carried out numerous studies for Social Assessment Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Projects, at Buccament and elsewhere.

Here are some of the official references to studies regarding the flooding danger from Buccament river. From them it is most obvious that the government were fully aware of the dangers of doing nothing.  Continue reading

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Filed under Disaster, Government, Offshore Investments, Politics

BFP Reader warned in 2010: Harlequin’s Buccament Bay Resort built on a flood plain – Death and disaster predicted 3 years ago!

Buccament Bay Resort Flood Plain Death (click on photo for large)

“Alot of tricks. That Buccament Bay project in SVG is a disaster waiting to happen, it is constructed in a low lying flood plain between two mountains.

I expect to read any day that torential rains have washed the entire project, people and all, into the bloody sea.

Cellate and ICE Group could not build a pig pen for me.”

Barbados Free Press reader Gorillaphant comments July 25, 2010 on BFP’s Buccament Bay Resort: Harlequin alleges fraud, unsafe materials use…

Although BFP hasn’t heard from Harlequin Resorts solicitors, we see that Peter Binose and some other news outlets who published Peter Binose’s letter received some nasty communications indeed.

In for a penny, in for a pound and all that – and let the truth out.

“The greedy developers and government valued money over everything. They gambled with Joselle Small’s life – but it was Joselle, her husband and family who lost.”

Over three years ago on this very website, BFP reader Gorillaphant declared what any fool could see for hisself: Buccament Bay Resort is built on a flood plain between two mountains, so close to the sea and sea level that death and disaster was bound to come.

It was only a matter of when, not if.  Continue reading

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Filed under Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate

Harlequin Buccament Bay flood tragedy – Caused by Vincentian Government’s and developer’s greed and stupidity

Ricky Small cries for his dear wife Joselle, who was taken by the raging waters at Buccament Bay Resort.

Ricky Small cries for his dear wife Joselle, who was taken by the raging waters at Buccament Bay Resort: a tragedy predicted by writer Peter Binose. (photo courtesy I-Witness News, link at bottom of article)

“Several times over the last couple of years water has run through peoples houses in the village, something that had never happened before Harlequin resort was being built, this should have been a warning…”

“The original engineering has been compromised and the government planners are fully aware of such.”

“I knew as day follows night this was a tragedy waiting to happen.”

One Man’s Opinion…

by Peter Binose

Buccament Bay Resort was built on a known flood plane and areas that were known as swamp. Flooding of this area has been happening since the very beginning of the valley, which acts like a great funnel draining into the bay itself.

Everyone knew that, certainly the locals and most certainly the planners and government surveyors knew that.

The resort area had the richest soil of the whole island, silt carried there from present day and over millions of years. The farmers that farmed the area were used to seasonal flooding, their crops grown in the ultra fertile soil were the best produce money could buy.

Then along came a series of rich developers and they were driven from their land. Most of the farmers had purchased the land from the government. But that didn’t matter, the prime minister sought to regain the land and to sell it to developers. The farmers initially refused to give up such wonderful agricultural land, fully well knowing they would never find anything like it anywhere else on the island. Prime Minister Gonsalves took to shaming them into parting with their land by telling them they were standing in the way of progress of the island, by progress he meant destroying their farming practices and replacing them with a tourist product.

It was becoming obvious that agriculture was becoming less and less important to the ULP government, who considered tourism their crowning glory as an administration.

“I knew as day follows night this was a tragedy waiting to happen.”       Continue reading

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Filed under Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate