Weeding it out
NATIONAL CONSERVATION COMMISSION (NCC) workers were out in force yesterday cleaning South and East Coast beaches littered with sargassum seaweed.
Supervisor Stephen Reid was in charge of the South Coast clean-up, which ran for more than a mile, from Accra Beach to Coconut Court, Hastings, Christ Church.
He said NCC personnel and a number of lifeguards were taken from Rockley, Hastings Rocks, Independence Square and the NCC yard to gather the seaweed for collection.
“We had seaweed right down. There is a lot of moss and we can’t leave it behind,” he said.
Foreman Ansel Layne estimated they had collected more than 100 bags of the seaweed.
Acting general manager Michael Thompson said in a telephone interview the effort was a concentrated cleaning to deal with the most affected areas of Barbados. He said around 50 NCC personnel had been utilized between Bathsheba, St Joseph, and the East Coast.
“We may have to consider holding these concentrated cleanings once or twice a week until this seaweed problem abates but we haven’t really planned any more [right now].
“However, as the need arose we would have to look at it,” he said.
Chairman Tyrone Lowe, also speaking via telephone, congratulated the staff for coming out. He estimated around 300 NCC workers had been participating in the clean-up, which ran from Bay Street to Silver Sands and the East Coast.
“We realize the beaches along Bath, St John, and River Bay, St Lucy, have to be cleaned as well and we can’t ignore Bottom Bay, St Philip. Also, we are paying particular focus on cleaning Long Beach, Christ Church, and will be there tomorrow,” he said, adding that the seaweed came in so often some beaches needed cleaning daily.
Lowe said a number of organizations were pitching in to help, mentioning the National Task Force spearheaded by the Department of Emergency Management and the Coastal Zone Management Unit and smaller efforts by the parish ambassadors, the police training school and others. (CA)