Dumping still flood danger
by LISA KING
This year’s Atlantic hurricane season, which started on Tuesday, is projected to be a fierce one. One of the concerns will be how well our drainage system in known flood-prone areas will handle any major rainfall.
In this, the final of a three-part series, we examine what has been done to militate against flooding in certain rural flashpoints.
GARBAGE and other materials have been blocking drains and water courses in Barbados – and could undermine efforts to minimise flooding this year.
The clogged water course at Lakes and Belleplaine, St Andrew, is a prime example of this, with disused styrofoam and plastic containers littering the area.
Such garbage, said Terrol Inniss, supervisor of wells with the Drainage Division in the Ministry of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, gets into gratings and well openings and hampers water flow, which can lead to flooding.
However, Inniss said the division had been working to ensure that the drains were kept clean and other areas of concern dealt with.
In Speightstown, St Peter, the drain under the Sands Street Bridge was partially cleared of sand deposits that led to the development of the sand pond adjacent to the Fisherman’s Pub.
Inniss noted that the outfall in that drain usually came from Sailor Gully, which is at least two miles east of Speightstown. He said the drain was of great concern because the sand deposits built up quickly.
This work was halted before completion because the equipment had to be pulled away from the job to be used within the Ministry of Transport.
A proprietor operating in the area said: “Before the drains could be cleaned properly the garbage piles up again. Despite the pleas from Government to dispose of garbage properly, persons are still not taking heed.”
Another Speightstown businessman pointed out that there was an area at Gordon’s Alley that flooded every time there was heavy rainfall, and it was because garbage had been dumped into the drains and tunnels in the surrounding areas.
The Drainage Division also undertook the clearing of two blocked culverts on the East Coast, where land slippage from Cambridge had blocked the exits.
Inniss said this work, too, was done in conjunction with the Ministry of Transport and Works and also had to be halted because the equipment was needed elsewhere.
In other parts of the island, drainage work continues.
Inniss stated that cleaning was constantly in progress on the Constitution River and the River Road area. In and around Bridgetown, Operation Clean City is ongoing each Sunday. Last week, the culvert under Bridge Street and Fairchild Street was cleaned.