The Ministry of Transport Works and Water Resources is strongly refuting claims made in the May 12th edition of the Barbados Today online newspaper, where a family occupying an area of land directly behind the Ministry’s headquarters in the Pine, is “questioning the bulldozing of their home and destruction of full-grown fruit trees”.
For the past two weeks, personnel from the Ministry of Transport Works and Water Resources have been clearing the water course in the Pine Basin as part of their flood mitigation programme.
The water course which was cleared, flows from the ABC Highway, behind the former Barbados Water Authority headquarters, the Barbados Licensing Authority, behind the Ministry’s headquarters all the way down to the playing field and into a culvert.
The Operator who has been working on the job stated he has been clearing heavy bush and debris from the water course, which included old tyres, poly blue pipes and pieces of wood. He added they were trees in the water course which had to be removed as they were obstructing the path of the equipment.
The work is not fully completed as more heavy equipment is needed to remove some of the trees and debris. The Operator observed a barricade that had been erected which prevented access to the Ministry’s Prince Road depot, this structure was not removed. The Operator stated he had to go around the structure to reach the depot.
The Ministry is committed to flood mitigation, and has taken early steps to ensure that there is minimal flooding. There is a programme to clean the major water courses and in some instances widen the course to spread the water flow.
With the onset of the hurricane season in a couple weeks, the Drainage Division of the Ministry has been clearing water courses and constructing retention and detention ponds to assist in an effort to control storm-water flow. To this end, more than twenty-five (25) detention ponds have been completed. The reduced run-off will allow for greater percolation and enhanced recharge of the aquifer.
The Ministry encourages citizens not to place debris in water courses as this has the potential to exacerbate flooding during heavy rainfall events. The Ministry also categorically states that at no stage during the cleaning of the water course in question was any structure removed by any of the Ministry’s equipment.