Barbados Labour Party (BLP) leader Mia Mottley is accusing Government of ignoring a Chinese offer to finance rehabilitation of the South Coast Sewerage System, while expending energy on a hotel that is slow in coming.
The Opposition Leader told a party meeting at Top Rock, Christ Church last night that Government had failed to acknowledge a proposal made two-and-a-half years by a leading Chinese bank for hundreds of millions of dollars to fix the problematic south coast effluent system, along with the Bridgetown system, and to build one for the west coast.
“In July of 2014, six months after the sewerage plant stopped working, they had a proposal from the Chinese Government . . . first given on the 21st of July to the Barbados Water Authority from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China . . . to lend them [over] $200 million, 85 per cent of the cost for building of a west coast sewerage plant, a Bridgetown upgrade, and a south coast sewage treatment upgrade for the plant here.” Mottley told supporters.
She said that the proposal was valid for 12 months up to August 2015, but, “the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has never received a response from the Ministry of Finance in relation to that term sheet for the sewage treatment plants of Barbados”.
Mottley charged that Government’s failure to respond to the offer was indicative of the “poor choices” it made, complaining that the administration had opted instead to construct the new Wyndham Hotel on the site of the Sam Lord’s Castle, a project she said that ought to have been undertaken by the private sector.
She said this had put “the public health and the well-being of the citizens of this country at risk”.
At the same time, she charged, after “two groundbreakings and some buildings knocked down” little had been done on the new hotel project in St Philip.