Regular flooding in the Holetown and Trents, St James areas will soon be a thing of the past.
That word has come from Project Manager in the Project Management Coordination Unit, Ricardo Marshall, who today revealed that work has been started on the Water Resources Management and Flood Resilience Project.
The infrastructural work, which began today, will address flood management and drainage control along the island’s West Coast.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY following the ground-breaking launch ceremony at Sunset Crest Mall this morning, Marshall said the incidence of flooding in those areas would be greatly reduced.
He said while flooding could not be ‘fully eliminated’, the project would “significantly reduce the impacts of flooding” on businesses and residents on that section of the West Coast.
“Flooding is a phenomenon that once the watercourse cannot take the volume of water then you will get overflowing which will lead to flood conditions.
“So what we are trying to do is to reduce the incidence of flooding, to reduce the damage that flooding causes and reduce the length of time that the flood waters would impact on areas and so we’re trying to ensure that smaller events don’t result in flooding as happens now,” Marshall explained.
He said a two-year study had been completed, which provided the best solution to the problem of flooding along the popular tourist belt.
Minister of the Environment and Natural Beautification Trevor Prescod said the $7.1 million project, to which the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) had contributed $5.2 million, would address the frequency of flooding in those areas.
He said the fast-rising water usually affected persons living in low, middle and high income housing on the West Coast.
The Minister revealed that some of the key components of the programme included an updated storm water management plan; strategic flood reduction civil works to water courses between the Holetown and Trents area; the holistic management of the Holetown lagoon and comprehensive storm water and ground water quality studies.
Prescod revealed that local construction company Infra Inc had been awarded the main contract to carry out work on the project.
“This timely construction work will deliver installation and the upgrading of the necessary flood alleviation infrastructures, including but not limited to, the improvement of various drainage culverts, as well as blocked dams at five strategically determined water courses between this current location and Porters area above Trents.
“The delivery of this project also demonstrates the firm commitment of the Prime Minister of Barbados and our administration with respect to the realization of our mission critical objectives for sustainable development and enhanced productivity, especially in an active commercial regime which has been affectionately called the Platinum Coast of Barbados,” Prescod said.
The Minister called on those businesses and residents who will be impacted by the works, to be understanding and “to bear” with Government as they conduct this critical work.
Linda Taglialatela, United States’ Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the OECS, said USAID’s significant contribution towards the project showed its commitment to help Barbados adapt to the serious impacts of climate variability, water management and flood control.
She said the project, which got underway in 2013, was now in its second phase and would see the upgrading of culverts and new drainage channels to handle increased volumes of run-off water.