Drainage Kudos

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The Drainage Division has been given a passing grade for its work to date.

The kudos have come from Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, who has credited staff and management for exemplary work, done under challenging circumstances.

"I must tell you that I am totally enamored at the extent to which the Drainage Division has taken off. ??Mr. Barrow is doing a fantastic job, and his staff is really working hard to achieve the kinds of things we have asked them to achieve, particularly before the rainy seasons sets in.

"They are working, in some cases, under extraneous circumstances, because of the resource shortage. But, what is most welcoming is that they have dug in, and are achieving some remarkable benchmarks," he said.

Observing that flooding continued to be a perennial problem in Barbados, with the capacity to dampen the economy, Dr. Lowe pointed out that substantial work was being done all around the country, and not just in certain areas.

Singling out the department’s?? success in alleviating niggling?? problems with water settlement at the Rockley Beach, Christ Church location, in particular, Minister Lowe indicated this problem had also been addressed in other areas, along with ongoing work?? in cleaning existing wells and sinking new ones where required.

The Environment Minister added that another thing the Drainage Division had been focusing on was cleaning along curbs and immediately removing the debris to avoid it falling back into the network.

"They have had a lot of time to do some work, however, the real test of it will come when the hurricane season [fully] sets in. I am confident that a lot of what they have done will be pleasantly received by the public," he maintained.

In reflecting on the attention paid to the City through the ???Operation Clean City’ initiative, which started last year, Minister Lowe noted that the programme was now in its second phase.

"You cannot just clear a drainage system and think that the job is done. You have to go back and continue clearing, as well as conduct persistent inspections," he explained.

With regard to the overall state of the country, the Environment head?? intimated that there was still need for more "well-work" to be done.

??"There are still several queries that come in from the public which suggest that the current well accommodation for water flow in their area is inadequate. So, in response to those needs, we will need to selectively sink some additional wells to ensure that there is sufficient catching capacity for extreme weather situations in those particular areas," he revealed.

Dr. Lowe also underscored the need for the creation of a national grid of all the existing wells on island, so that records could be kept of their condition, as well as for?? a comprehensive drainage study, to allow the Division to be more pro-active in its services.

"I remind staff that it is not just about going into a hole with a shovel. It is a far greater science than that. Moreover, the Division is going to be a very important plank in our Water Resources Management System as well.

??"They are going to have to secure our water courses; they are going to have to monitor water flow from different areas in the country and they are going to have to help advise on Town Planning decisions. In order to achieve those things it means that they will have to be on par in terms of technology," the Minister advised.

Citing the need for additional vehicles to allow the department to better monitor and respond to emergencies, particularly during the hurricane season, Dr. Lowe observed that drainage crews were constantly deployed around the country, and could be found working on any given day.

"So certainly, I will give the Drainage staff a passing grade for the work they have done, and Mr. Barrow an exceptional performance grade for his leadership and persistence in ensuring that certain standards are brought to bear on the work of the Division," he concluded. cgaskin@barbados.gov.bb

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