Stuart tours flooded areas
Barbadians must take responsibility and protect their environment to reduce the kind of problems experienced with last weekend’s flooding.
After touring several affected areas yesterday, Acting Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said: “We cannot pretend that if there are unusually high levels of rainfall that there is not going to be flooding and back-up of water, but it is evident that the problems we have been experiencing could be lessened if citizens played a more participatory role in protecting their environment”. He cited indiscriminate disposal of garbage as one of the problems.
The Acting Prime Minister’s comments were made in reference to areas like Murphy’s Pasture and Chapman Lane in the City, where an over-flowing canal forced some residents from flooded homes to be evacuated to shelters.
Stuart spoke after completing a tour of the two city areas, Holetown, Sunset Crest and Weston in St. James to get a first-hand look at the fall out from the unusually high level of rainfall which deluged the island over the weekend.
He was accompanied by Minister of Public Works John Boyce, Acting Minister of Drainage Haynesley Benn, Minister of State and City representative Patrick Todd. Also on the tour were Director of Emergency Services Judy Thomas as well as representatives from the Ministry of the Environment, the Fire Service and the Coastal Zone Management Unit.
After listening to desperate pleas for assistance from residents of Murphy’s Pasture and Chapman Lane the acting Prime Minister admitted “there were problems in Chapman Lane to be resolved”.
He said there were some residents “whose faith has been so damaged by successive years of inconvenience as a result of flooding that they have very aggresively discussed the possibility of relocation”, an option that ought to be coonsidered.
“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”, Stuart told the press.
He said there had to be a collaborative effort on the part of the Ministry of Public Works, the Drainage Unit and the Ministry of Health to aggressively clean up the area, clear the canals and “get the buy-in of residents” to keep the area at Murphy’s pasture and Chapman Lane clean.
At the Holetown Police Station and at Marigold Row, Sunset Crest where mop-up operations were still in progress, the acting Prime Minister was given a first hand look at the devastation caused by the flooding in that area.