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Relief from sargassum seaweed for River Bay residents

by Barbados Today
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Residents of River Bay, St Lucy, will soon have relief from the stench of sargassum seaweed in their area, as workers from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy as well as the Ministry of Transport and Works (MTW), will undertake a massive clean-up in the area, over the next several days.

Minister of Maritime Affairs, Kirk Humphrey, toured the area on Saturday with St Lucy MP, Peter Phillips, as well as other officials, in response to the massive build up and stench of seaweed.

The seaweed has also blocked the flow of water connecting the location to Spring Hall.

Humphrey revealed that though the area is no stranger to seaweed deposits, the situation had escalated over the last few weeks, with the clean-up operation from MTW being already underway.

“Our solution today, is for us to clear right here at River Bay, to use machinery to clear the build-up. Yesterday we had a meeting with MTW, their representatives were here, and we had the Chairman of the Barbados Water Authority, the General Manager [Keithroy] Halliday, there were representatives from the private sector, Peter Bynoe [who owns land in the area] has [also] been speaking to us as well about a long term solution. We had kind of a whole government conversation, and our response will be a whole government response – what we are doing here will alleviate this problem here,” he explained.

Currently, sargassum seaweed is used by farmers on the island as fertilizer for some crops, as well as by some for general purpose gardening.

The Minister also revealed that more conversations will be had with the Barbados Water Authority, which has been laying a new pipeline in the area, and other stakeholders on how to best remove future influxes of the seaweed in a timely manner.

“We are going to have a conversation with the [BWA], with MTW, with all the various agencies. It is our intention, and we have already started talking to the Water Authority, about how we can resolve the issues in this area.

“What we have to do is develop a response that will allow us to remove the seaweed faster, that as it comes in, before it becomes anaerobic, we are in a position to be able to remove it, and remove the smell that emanates from here.” (SB)

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