Acting Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart talking to residents??at Murphy’s Pasture, Chapman Lane about??flooding in their area.??

Acting Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is urging Barbadians to stamp out indiscriminate dumping in some districts across the island and to assume greater responsibility for protecting their environment.

Speaking to the media following a tour of some flood-prone districts, which began at Murphy’s Pasture and ended at Chapman Lane, he stated: "We have some work to do.?? We cannot pretend that if there are high levels of rainfall that there is not going to be flooding and back-up of water.?? But it is evident that the problems that we have been experiencing could be lessened, if citizens played a more participatory role in protecting their environment.

He was accompanied by the Acting Minister of Drainage, Haynesley Benn, Minister of Transport and Works, John Boyce, Minister of State in the Ministry of Housing and Lands, Patrick Todd and other officials.?? They observed first-hand, the trail of destruction left as a result of the persistent heavy showers that drenched the island over the last couple of days.?? Also on tour was head of the Department of Emergency Management, Judy Thomas and other officials, including representatives from the Barbados Defence Force, the Barbados Fire Service and the Drainage Unit.

Alluding to comments made earlier by a resident during a tour of Murphy’s Pasture with respect to random dumping in the district, Mr. Stuart conceded that alleviating flooding in this densely populated district had been a focal point of successive governments for several years.????

The Acting Prime Minister warned that government must maintain its trustworthiness by addressing the residents’ woes. "I do not think that we can sustain our credibility as a government if we leave this problem untouched for much longer.?? It was evident from the animated exchanges with residents that they are losing their patience and that something serious must be done to alleviate their distress."??

While speaking to residents at Chapman Lane, Mr. Stuart gave the assurance that teams from the Drainage Unit, the Ministries of Health and Public Works, would be dispatched to the area to address this challenge.?? He also disclosed that a group would be mobilised to keep the district clean.

He also gave an undertaking that their flooding woes would be tackled in a comprehensive manner, with the help of several Government agencies.?? "That is why we brought along Minister Boyce from the Ministry of Public Works, the Barbados Fire Service and the Coastal Zone Management Unit, … to get a holistic view at some of these problems and go back to the drawing board to try to tackle them with determination and with the view to ensuring that by this time next year, …that we are not discussing these same problems with nothing being done."

The touring party also visited the Holetown Police Station, St. James, where a private cleaning firm had been contracted to clean up the debris and water which flooded into the the station during Sunday night’s torrential rains.

They touring party also visited Marigold Row, Sunset Crest, where mopping up operations were under way after some homes were completely flooded, trees uprooted and perimeter fencing destroyed.

After a stop at the Discovery Bay Hotel, the tour culminated with a visit to flood-affected residents at Weston, St. James. jwilson@barbados.gov.bb

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