Prime Minister Mia Mottley says the reduction in the level of flooding in Holetown during recent heavy rains is an indication that the island’s Water Resource Management and Flood Resilience Project has delivered.
She told attendees at this week’s St James Speaks town hall meeting that the Barbados Meteorological Services (BMS) has been keeping the government informed and data suggest an improvement in the flooding patterns normally reported in that part of the country.
“We have a Chief Meteorological Officer who keeps us up to date . . . and one of the things he said to me – because we now have water level radars and he sent me the graphs this afternoon – [was] that the water in the Holetown canal really only rose by two feet, which is unusual because it would have risen by far more had we not done the work before and then the other work that USAID [United States Agency for International Development] had been helping us with here in Holetown,” Mottley reported.
In 2020, USAID in collaboration with the Government of Barbados, completed the seven-year Water Resource Management and Flood Resilience Project to alleviate flooding in the communities of Trents, Holetown, and Speightstown.
It included upgrading culverts, erecting new drainage channels, and managing stormwater flows.
Though Mottley acknowledged that the scenes of flooding in the parish on Thursday afternoon would be a concern, she stressed that the intensity of the rainfall was to blame and not poor drainage.
“Water will build up with the intensity of rainfall. The question is, will it run off quickly, and if it does not run off quickly . . . where it can last for two and three days, then we have a problem. But we would expect that [with] any level of serious intensity of rain, the water will build up, that is the truth,” she said.
“The level of water that we had this afternoon – we had four inches here in Holetown – that is crazy within the timeframe that it came. We also had in St Lucy 30 millimetres in 30 minutes,” the Prime Minister noted. (SB)