Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, presenting Supervisor of the Year 2011, Sonia Shorey-Howell, with her award.??(C. Pitt/BGIS)

There is a remarkable improvement in the quality and delivery of work being undertaken by the Drainage Division around Barbados. And, Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, in recognising this, has showered staff of the Division with "the highest praise" for their service and work.?? His comments were made during the Division’s 2011 Awards Ceremony at the Ministry’s Hincks Street, the City headquarters, last Friday.

"Over the last year, particularly the last eight months, I have recognised a steady improvement in the delivery of drainage services around the country. My ministerial colleagues have [also] been expressing their delight in how the Division has been delivering service across Barbados," he said.

??In expressing his satisfaction with the work being done, the Minister pointed out that a number of outstanding problems were resolved since the establishment of the Division in November 2008.

Among those highlighted were areas along the West Coast, Brathwaite’s Land, commonly referred to as Headley’s Land, St. Michael; Rockley, Christ Church, and streets in Bridgetown, where work carried out resulted in longstanding drainage problems being rectified.

In addition, Operation Clean City, launched some time ago, continues periodically when members of the Division revisit City structures to ensure they are cleared to avoid flooding.

"We were able to bring relief to some areas. We can’t fix the whole of Barbados at one time, but I believe as we go along we will do the things that we need to do," Dr. Lowe said, adding he was satisfied with the progress made.

Going forward, the Minister told those present that issues related to equipment still needed to be addressed, particularly for basic hand tools, to ensure all groups were fully equipped to do their work.

He also hinted that there would be an increase in the Division’s numbers shortly, and told staff efforts to find a "home" for them were ongoing.

Declining to go into further detail about likely staff increases, Dr. Lowe indicated that the Division needed its own home so its people and equipment could be housed adequately, and have a service bay to conduct minor work on vehicles.

"It is not a good thing when workers don’t have a place to call their own, where office staff don’t have enough room, where there is not enough space for records keeping. We need to get that sorted out," Dr. Lowe stated, giving his commitment to provide whatever assistance necessary to ensure that it happens.

However, workers were told that while there were some improvements, challenges would still exist. "When there are challenges that you believe are beyond your ability to respond to correctly, I urge you to source those issues through the correct channels, to ensure that you get the correct response," he advised.

He commended those receiving awards for their achievement and success. "To those who may not receive an award, I want to encourage you to continue to give of your best in service to your country. It is important to all of us," Dr. Lowe said.

During the awards, Ricardo Springer received the Director’s Award for 2011; Sonia Shorey-Howell, Supervisor of the Year 2011; Alexander Yarde, Driver of the Year 2011; Anthony Yarde, Operator of the Year 2011; Junior Johnson, General Worker of the Year 2011 (North); Haddan Hinkson, General Worker of the Year 2011 (Central); and Simona Olta-Murrell, General Worker of the Year 2011 (South).


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