By Theresa Blackman
Plans are on stream to bring relief to residents of the northern parishes, after last week's heavy rains. Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Denis Kellman, along with technocrats from the Drainage Division and the Environmental Special Projects Unit, gave this assurance after visiting a number of areas in St. Peter and St. Lucy yesterday.
"Over the years, we've been having a lot of complaints about drainage, and last week we had rain for 12 hours straight, which caused significant damage to these areas. Therefore, we wanted the technocrats to come and assess what harm has been done to the drainage system," Mr. Kellman explained.
Pointing out that they were also seeking to address the issue of flooding by installing more drains and proper wells in the areas, he said this was a top priority, as tourism was this country's main foreign exchange earner.
The environmental head noted that the parish of St. Lucy could contribute significantly to community tourism because of its unspoiled infrastructure. However, recognising that government could not tackle the drainage problem alone, as Barbadians had a pivotal role to play by ceasing to indiscriminately litter, Mr. Kellman added that this was one of the cause of clogged drains.
"We have to stop dumping money because garbage in Barbados is now money. And, we have to recognise that everything we dump is saleable. One of the things we are doing is educating our children, as we need to start from young. In addition, a lot of garbage that persons put into the wells can be sold or used as fertiliser for the ground, once it is done in the proper way," the Minister underscored.
Meanwhile, Director of the Drainage Division, Keith Barrow, expressed concern over the number of drainage watercourses that were currently being blocked by residents constructing or moving debris into the watercourses and thus causing problems downstream.
He further elucidated that some of the wells and drains were in dire need of cleaning and the Drainage Division was working steadfastly to resolve some of the ongoing problems. Nonetheless, he called for more consideration from Barbadians in terms of disposing their garbage.
"We have teams working throughout these areas and we are working on these concerns. However, our countrymen have a crucial role to play as well," Mr. Kellman stressed.
The areas visits included: Rock Dundo, St. James; the Drainage system at the Whim, St. Peter; Sherman's, St. Peter; and Colleton, Moontown, Fryer's Well, Maycock's Terrace, Connell Town, Crab Hill, Avistown, Archers Bay, Lamberts and Checker Hall, St. Lucy.