Minister of Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe????

A delay in the repair and servicing of equipment used by the Drainage Division has led to some crews not being able to execute their tasks effectively.

In a ???clear the air??? statement, Minister of Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe said he was aware of the situation and gave the assurance that it was being examined by his Ministry.

He was responding to an article published in the Friday, February 10 edition of the Barbados Advocate, which quoted Opposition Member of Parliament, Cynthia Forde as stating that the department was encountering problems due to a lack of equipment.

???No cutlass, no shovel, no nothing. At times they have to bring their equipment from home in order to service the jobs that they have. And, I believe that we cannot go farther without making available the necessary equipment so persons can be more productive on the job,??? she was quoted as saying.

??Following the news report, Dr. Lowe investigated the charges and discovered that, at times, crews were unable to work because some of the equipment was undergoing servicing.

Dr. Lowe explained that the problem was caused by the length of time it took before the tools were returned to the Division, and pointed out that equipment such as weed whackers and other hand tools needed to be serviced regularly. ???The crisis is there???From time to time you will also have problems with your bob cats and send them for repairs and they sit there for a while before they get back to us,??? he said.

However, Dr. Lowe explained that when the Drainage Division was established it received funding to purchase all its equipment, including heavy duty and light equipment, along with hand tools like weed whackers.

But, he said, that equipment required periodic servicing to maintain its proper function. ???One understands that hand tools like weed whackers require a high level of service. They are fragile tools. You can bump the head of a weed whacker onto a rock and that is the end of that,??? he said.

??The Minister also made it clear that: ???The public should know that the government does not hire people into a work area without understanding what is required to execute that work and to keep that workforce engaged in that service.???

??Dr. Lowe made a case for the workers of the Drainage Division stressing that he did not want them to be unfairly judged by the public. At the same time, however, he made it clear that he expected the Division to be vigilant in ensuring that there was an adequate supply of functional tools required for the work allocated.


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