|Acting Minister of Environment and Drainage, Senator Haynesley Benn??|
A call has gone out to the United Nations (UN), the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and hotels with golf courses, to assist the Government of Barbados to build dams inland to trap excess run-off water.
This plea has come from Acting Minister of Environment and Drainage, Senator Haynesley Benn, who stressed that the building of dams was necessary not only to mitigate flooding and alleviate soil erosion but also for the human development progress of Barbados.??
Accepting the 2011 Human Development Report on behalf of the Government of Barbados today at UN House, Senator Benn explained that this excess water could also be used for the maintenance of golf courses and agricultural development.
Pointing out that Barbados was considered to be a water scarce country, he noted that damming water inland could be used to combat water scarcity and accelerate the island’s development progress.
"We need to have an integrated approach to water management in Barbados.?? A programme needs to be put in place to trap a lot of the water inland.?? Build a dam or dams where there is water finding its way down through the [water] courses.?? It will stop the flooding and we can use that water to pump to the golf courses, agricultural lands and other areas, and stop having to use the domestic supply," Mr. Benn said, while also urging UN and FAO representatives to consider funding the initiative.
He remarked that while government might have to take the lead, private sector involvement would also be necessary because of high costs.
??"I suspect government would have to take the lead in it (building dams), but if we can get some private sector involvement, especially from those hotels that have golf courses, they can have a joint partnership with government to [share] the cost of the dam.?? It is fairly expensive but I am sure it can be done," he added.
Commenting on the 2011 Human Development Report, in which Barbados ranked at number 47, Mr. Benn said he was pleased that Barbados’ human development was in a good place, but lamented that increasing environmental damage such as rising sea levels and sea temperatures could easily reverse those achievements.??
He noted that fish migration and the reduction of food yields, possibly a result of weather extremes and climate change, were examples of environmental destruction that affected human development.