Senior Technical Officer at the Drainage Division, Charles Yearwood (left) with Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe; Administrative Officer, Angela Newton-John Baptiste; and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Edison Alleyne during today’s site visit.(C.Pitt/BGIS)
Work done on traditional flood prone areas across Barbados is expected to significantly reduce the impact of heavy rainfall on communities.
And, after touring some of the areas usually affected by flooding as a result of heavy rains, Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, today stated that he is satisfied that the island’s drainage system was ready to face the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season.
The Minister, accompanied by Permanent Secretary, Edison Alleyne, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Daphne Kellman, Director of the Drainage Division, Keith Barrow, and other officials visited Brathwaite’s Gap and Headley’s Land, in St. Michael, and Thorpes and Holetown, St. James, to view the areas where money was spent on adaptation to alleviate flooding problems.
"I can give the country the assurance that we have resolved the issues of flood for a one in 25-year storm," Dr. Lowe said. He added that Government had invested nearly $1 million to ensure that there were good storm water systems at Headley’s Land, which also opened the door for the further development of the area.
"I am completely satisfied with the quality of work and the aggressiveness of the Drainage Division to ensure that Barbados is safer for all," he said, noting there was still more work to be done.
The Minister also voiced his satisfaction at the work done during the off season. "This tour is an opportunity for the public to see that areas which ordinarily would create challenges were attended to, which speaks to the diligence on the part of workers to get things done," he said.
Senior Inspector at the Drainage Division, Terrol Inniss, said maintenance on the drains at Brathwaite’s Gap, St. Michael were scheduled to start from today with the clearing of grass to ensure that there were no blockages.
He explained that this was where the Headley’s Land resolution started through a project which cost over $800,000 in infrastructural work and installed by the Drainage Division.
"Since the Drainage Division responded to the challenge and resolved it, there has been no more flooding in the area," Mr. Inniss said.
Over at Headley’s Land, the Senior Inspector pointed out that the major challenge there was the effects on the drain by the urbanisation of the area. He explained that with the developments in the area, which occurred after the problem was rectified, there was a lot of household and domestic waste going into the drains. "We have even experienced problems with people dumping garbage into the drain and then we have to come and clean it," he said.
However, he noted that without the garbage the cost of maintaining the 20-foot storm drain would be significantly less.
Meanwhile, Mr. Barrow told members of the media that the drainage system at Thorpes, St. James which cost just under $80,000 was yet to be tested as it was completed three months ago.
He added that flooding interventions at Holetown would continue, but noted that they were awaiting the outcome of plans for further developments in the area.