Fearful that persons building in water zones could have a negative impact on the health of Barbadians, Member of Parliament for St Thomas Cynthia Forde is calling on the relevant state agencies to do what is necessary to correct the issue.
Forde, during her contribution to the Resolution: Barbados National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2020, in the House of Assembly, on Tuesday, said she was concerned with the increasing number of houses being constructed on water courses and in water zones which are responsible for supplying thousands of Barbadians with the resource.
“There are aquifers and all of that there and whatever the waste is that is washing down through the water courses will concentrate there and it will create further problems for Barbadians.
“Those pollutants entering the aquifers will have an impact on us, on human beings and animals not necessarily now, but perhaps sometime in the future and we need to make sure that we really get it right and that the agency that’s responsible carries out its duty knowing full well there are repercussions down the line that will impact on the health and welfare [of Barbadians]. Millions upon millions of dollars will have to be spent on healthcare,” Forde said.
The Member of Parliament once more highlighted the vexing issue of illegal dumping. She said, persons are continuing to engage in the illegal act of dumping refrigerators, air conditioning units and other large household items, including old galvanise covered with asbestos, in St Thomas and other rural areas.
“People are now unconscionable with their actions and they are not looking at the deleterious impact it would have down the line for, not only the people in St Thomas but, the rest of Barbados.
“Mr Speaker, one day a girlfriend was in Holetown and she called me and she said ‘girl Cynthia you got real problems you know’. I say, ‘what happened?’ She said the people in St Thomas can’t hold their water.
“If you had seen the water that was coming down from St Thomas into Holetown it had caused flooding that day and I believe that is still continuing. Therefore, we have to be more conscious of the impact of our actions uphill and how it would impact downhill,” she said.
Forde also expressed concerns about the use of pesticides in the agricultural sector and how the chemicals may be affecting a person’s health. The veteran politician said Barbadians must become more environmentally conscious.
She said it is necessary for authorities to engage the elderly population, particularly those who worked in the agricultural industry, in the conversation regarding the future of the sector.
Forde noted that while she understands that a national biodiversity programme is necessary, elderly persons possess the necessary knowledge and skills in the agricultural sector and are eager to offer advice.
“They don’t possess the degrees, but they possess common sense and knowledge as well as wisdom and therefore we should work towards those generationally linkages and give them that opportunity to explain and to guide. And not everything we might be able to use, but I am sure that some creative ideas will come from them having practised,” Forde said. (AH)