A local civil and structural engineer is calling on authorities to urgently put a sewerage system in place on the west coast of Barbados.
At the same time, Senior Engineer and Managing Director of Mahy Ridley Hazzard Engineers Ltd Gregory Hazzard told Barbados TODAY he believed the time had come for several upgrades to be made to the island’s road network.
Hazzard said the west coast was in urgent need of a sewerage system given the damage that was currently being done to the reefs on that part of the island.
“The west coast project is necessary . . . the reefs are already dead. You go diving out there and there are a lot of lionfish now as oppose to what you had before. But you can rejuvenate reefs as well . . . but one important component is to get the pollution out of the reef to begin with. It is not just organic pollution that ends up out there it is also more persistent chemicals,” said Hazzard.
“So if we were to put a west coast sewage system in, it would go a long way to protecting the sealife along the west coast and that is our calm coast where our nicer beaches are. So it is urgent and it needs to be a key priority,” he explained.
More than five years ago, the idea of government undertaking a west coast sewerage project was floated but authorities are yet to make a decision.
Pointing out that Barbados was being hampered by a lack of funds to do all the projects that were necessary to lead to a more developed country, Hazzard said projects such as a sewerage system on the west coast and improvement in the road network were simply too important to keep putting off.
He said such projects would benefit both locals as well as the vital tourism industry.
“That would be an example of something that should have happened 10 or 15 years ago that hasn’t happened yet that we need to find a way to get done,” he said.
In relation to the road network, the engineer for over three decades said while it was well built out, “we have reached the point where we have so many roads that we need to look at rationalizing the road network”.
He explained that the time had come for Barbados to decide what it wanted the overall transportation sector to look like in the next 50 years, taking into account various aspects including lighting, car pooling, and use of electric vehicles, in order to support both residents and tourists.
“There are probably dozens or hundreds of little things that can be done. It may be adding a slip lane, a left turning lane at a junction or filling in gaps between two lengths of sidewalks,” he said, adding that there was also a need for more driver education.
“Some roads may no longer be necessary, some new roads may be necessary, and some existing roads may need be beefed up,” said Hazzard.
He told Barbados TODAY he was anticipating a lot more work for engineers in Barbados later this year as confidence returned to the economy and more investments are made.
“We are ready and raring to go, ready and raring to take on the coming work. Barbados has a lot of infrastructure that needs repairing. It has a lot of further development to do so that we can compete,” he said.