Months ago leader of the Opposition -in guarded language- hinted that all was not well with the South Coast Sewage plant. Barbadians on the ground who have interacted with the workers would have been aware of the unavailability of parts and tools to perform required maintenance on the plant. As expected the government remained loyal to its tried and trusted MO -to be silent. The few times it broke silence was to issue denials.
Successive governments have struggled with implementing effective maintenance programs. What is unraveling on the South Coast should therefore comes as no surprise. The latest report is that a part that is required to fix the sewage problem will take about three months to be installed.
Enough is enough!
Blaming the BLP will not resonate with Barbadians. This government through its agent the Barbados Water Authority found the resources to construct a 60 million dollar edifice on St. Barnabas Hill, the Sanitation Service Authority is currently constructing its headquarters at Vaucluse, YET, a few parts to fix the sewage plant on the South Coast and to make the Sluice Gate at Graeme Hall operational remains undone. How many blogs have been posted on BU to highlight the ramshackle sluice gate? The very gate the government refused assistance to make operational?
The BU household will continue to pray that the players charged with correcting the problem on the South Coast are able to move with haste. Already there are reports of cancellations by tourists and locals who traverse the area have has to tolerate the putrid smells emanating from one of our main tourist resort areas. All the gains accrued from the 50th anniversary have dissipated.
We now turn to the matter of accountability.
The PR stunt undertaken by Minsters Richard Sealy and John Boyce although understood given the threat to our tourist product trivialized the seriousness of the matter. Whether there is fecal matter leaking into public spaces or stagnant water and decaying matter from Graeme Hall swamp the average Barbadian and tourist who travel the area know there is a problem. There is the very bad smell AND the ‘weeping’ manholes. Then there is the video posted by the owner of a property on the South Coast.
The problem on the South Coast is indicative of how as a country we have managed several others. There is Combermere Secondary School now closed for 1 month because someone sabotaged the sewer covers IF we are to believe the principal. There is the Barrack transaction that has costed the taxpayers over 100 million dollars. What about the NCC and Employment Rights Tribunal matter? Alexandra Waterman Commission and CAHILL???
Against the forgoing shouldn’t Barbadians be calling for the immediate retirement of this government? At worse a few heads should roll.
Today’s Nation newspaper is recommended reading -here is an extract:
Abracadabra connotes a sense that by mere pronouncements, great things take place. For instance, in this year’s budgetary presentation, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler told Barbadians that “with a concentrated effort by all parties we can at least have the City of Bridgetown ready for this type of business (duty-free shopping) before Christmas”. Just eight days shopping left, sir. Sinckler is particularly prone to over-promising in his Budget speeches as we can see in four extracts taken from presentations in 2010, 2011 and 2013 in addition to this year’s.
2010: “Reductions (of fees for public service vehicles) will be performance-based as operators will only be able to access these benefits if they have demonstrated proper standards on the public roads. Some of these will include the wearing of uniforms by employees while on the job; a drastic reduction in traffic violations; the elimination of the playing of loud and offensive music and generally good deportment.” Proper standards? Good deportment?
2011: “…Following months of analysis and consultation, this government has decided to move ahead with the construction of a brand new multi-purpose, state-of-the- art cultural and performing arts centre. It is expected that the centre will be financed and constructed through a grant from the government of the People’s Republic of China and it is proposed that it will be located, once the Town Planner approves, on the land at Spring Garden opposite the Brandon’s Beach facility in the constituency of St Michael North West….” That was over four years ago, sir.
2013: “The National Housing Corporation, along with a private developer, is expected to begin work on the Exmouth Housing Complex in October of 2013. This is expected to inject Bds $33 million in investment in the housing market over the planning period with another 75 jobs to be created.” Not so fast, Mr Minister.