For Bim’s sake

by Emmanuel Joseph

 Sir Charles, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Environment and Drainage Ministry, Daphne Kellman and her Minister Denis Lowe admiring an artist’s impression of the Apes Hill Club facility.
Sir Charles, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Environment and Drainage Ministry, Daphne Kellman and her Minister Denis Lowe admiring an artist’s impression of the Apes Hill Club facility.

Considered one of the most water-scarce countries in the world, plans are in the pipeline to build four dams in Barbados, designed to change all that.

During a tour of the eco-friendly Apes Hill housing, polo and golf facility this morning, Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr Denis Lowe heard owner, Sir Charles Williams announced that the proposed dams were to be constructed in the Scotland District, St. Andrew.

Lowe, who wanted to see the green sites of Apes Hill, was also informed by Sir Charles that he was interested in working with the Government on this initiative.

The leading land owner, who already has a dam at Farmers to supply his golf course, said: “There are four more conceptualised by Stanley of Canada. There are all in the Scotland District. One is noted to be able to supply Barbados and any other two islands and all the cruise ships touring the Caribbean.

“When I look at it, that would call for a lot of relocation, which as you know, socially is, upsetting and is very expensive, because you got to be rebuilding houses and so forth.

Sir Charles Williams, Minister Lowe and other officials on tour of Apes Hill, St.James today.

“There isn’t a dam in the world that is being built, that doesn’t end up in a discomfort to people… I’ve seen three others…, two wouldn’t require any relocation at all — one, may be four or five houses…,” pointed out the Executive Chairman of C.O. Williams Construction.

He said he would need to have discussions with Lowe and Minister of Agriculture, Dr. David Estwick to see if the Government would buy the water.

“In other words, what I would look at, is any identical arrangement of what we did with the desalination plant; supply water. As you know, St. Peter is short, and the line goes through from St. John, which is at New Castle; we would cut into that. But that’s a project that I am very excited to do,” declared the construction magnate.

Lowe committed the Government to supporting all of the projects being proposed by Sir Charles once they provided jobs and brought in vital foreign exchange. “Anyone would be excited about the possibilities of these development efforts taking off; and I know that the Government stands ready to support in any way it can and should to ensure that these projects come off the ground and that they lend to the national effort in terms of the development of Barbados, along these different service areas,” he added.

“There would always be converations about how land should or should not be used. I don’t think that these conversations should be discouraged. I believe that the Government is conscious enough to know that when decisions are taken, that those decisions are taken with the best interest of Barbados and the use of the land of Barbados.

He said believed the relevant agencies were doing their homework to ensure that these decisions were taken with the highest level of sobriety possible.

“And therefore I have no doubt in my mind, that that level of conscientiousness would continue and that as developers and investors, Barbados continue to conceive project ideas, that those projects should be given the highest level of priority by the Government, and the highest level of support wherever necessary.”

Lowe backed Sir Charles’ efforts to establish dams, pointing out that the Government would have to relocated some homes.

“That programme has to be supported and it has to be escalated, because there is a lot of water coming to the west coast, and if we are not careful in managing it up stream, we are going to get problems. And what it would cost the Government in the absence of a programme like this programme, that we seen today, is a tremendous amount of rehabilitation,” he asserted.

“Perhaps we have to look at the relocation of some of the persons living on the coastal areas because of the damage that would be caused, and then of course, that blended with the overall climate change factors, is going to be a challenge for Barbados.

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