The Ministry of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, is setting the record straight concerning the flooding situation at Trents, St. James last Tuesday.
Permanent Secretary, Lionel Weekes, maintained that there were adequate funds in the Ministry’s budget to tackle issues of flooding and drains maintenance.
He was responding to an article published in the Wednesday, August, 11, edition of the Daily Nation, which quoted Supervisor of the Drainage Division, Terrol Inniss, as saying: "The solution was a costly half-million project that Government could not afford to undertake at this time."
The Permanent Secretary revealed that over one million dollars had been allocated in the Ministry’s budget for the fiscal year 2010/2011, to facilitate the construction of new drainage structures.?? Additionally, a further $500, 000 had been earmarked for the maintenance of existing drainage structures.
In response to the residents’ charge that nothing was being done on their behalf, Mr. Weekes disclosed that a team from the Drainage Division was dispatched the following day (Wednesday) to pump off the water, clean the road and the drains.
The Permanent Secretary also explained that the Drainage Division had already constructed a drain 100 yards north of the area that was flooded on Tuesday.??????
He further stated: "We are in the process of building a second drain – 1.2 metres wide, to cross Highway One in the vicinity of the Colony Club Hotel.?? At the moment, the Drainage Division is seeking to collaborate with the hotel in this regard and we have asked Parliamentary Representative for the area, George Hutson, to facilitate that meeting to discuss the construction of a drain on that side leading to the outfall to the sea."
Over the longer term, the Permanent Secretary indicated the Ministry was working assiduously to address the flooding woes in Trents.?? To this end, he announced plans to commission a special drainage study of the Holetown area.
"We are seeking funding for the commissioning of a National Drainage Study, since the last one was carried out in 1996.?? This is necessary to deal with the changes to the drainage system in light of major housing, hotels, condos and other infrastructural developments on the west and south coasts during the last 14 years.
Mr. Weeks apologised to the affected residents and urged the public to report any problems of flooding by calling the hotline at 426-1709 or 426-9695 Monday to Friday, from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. firstname.lastname@example.org