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    September 22

  • 07:53 PM

Does the Drainage Unit deserve a "thumbs up"?

CAROL MARTINDALE, carolmartindale@nationnews.com

Added 06 October 2010

carol13

Deputy Prime Minister Freundel Stuart must be one of the very few people in Barbados who has heaped praise on the Drainage Unit. Oh, add the new Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Chris Sinckler to that. On Monday evening after a tour of some areas affected by the bad weather, Stuart gave the Unit a “thumbs up”. This unit has once again been under the microscope, as it is around this time every year since its establishment. It is hurricane season and while we expect bad weather, heavy rains, gusty winds and probably even storms or worse yet hurricanes, what we do not want is the extreme flooding after only a couple hours of rain, as was the case last Friday. One may understand flooding after the constant downpour from Sunday night well into Monday.  Our online readers have been giving the “thumbs down” to the Drainage Unit. Why? Because many of them feel that drains need to be cleared of debris to prevent situations like what existed Monday. Many were so vocal that when they read and heard what Mr Stuart said, they were in shock. In his words, Mr Stuart said “I think the Drainage Unit has performed creditably ever since it has been established. I think generally speaking Barbadians have seen an improvement in the drainage situation but we must not forget that we still live in a Barbados where . . . if there are unusually high levels of rainfall people do not expect it to flood”. “You cannot always know what the shortcomings of a unit like the Drainage Unit are until you have unusually high levels of rainfall such as we are having now” he added. The one positive that came out of the bad weather was a return to the age old practice in Barbados - being your brother's keeper. Our teams on the road witnessed residents and neighbours banding together to clear drains and roads thus making them passable for themselves and others. So no Mr Stuart, some of our online readers, as well as this writer would not give the Unit a thumbs up on this occasion.   In a Nation online poll posted on our website on Monday we asked readers if they thought the recent floodings was because of the lack proper drainage and the majority of respondents voted yes.  Of the 718 votes so far (up to Wednesday at 12:45 p.m.) 580 (80.78 per cent) said Yes, and 138 (19.22) said no. The good thing is the hurricane season runs until November and the Unit has a chance to step up their work and and pay more attention to drainage across Barbados  I think the praise was misplaced. I do believe that kudos should have been heaped on the civil minded people of this country who came out and helped each other.  You only have to look at the people in Arch Hall St Thomas who rushed to help neighbours whose houses lost their roofs to gusty - or residents in Lowlands Christ church who came out and cleaned debris from the road there, or even in Weston, where some residents were out cleaning the drains.. Now that deserves a Thumps UP!   

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