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Govt has not abandoned White Hill – Sinckler

A senior Government official today offered a verbal assurance to the people of White Hill, St Andrew that they have not been abandoned by the Freundel Stuart administration.

However, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler warned that there was simply no easy fix to the problems affecting the rural community.

Sinckler told reporters even though funds had been earmarked for the restoration of White Hill, there were environmental and engineering hurdles to overcome.

“I know that the Ministry of Transport & Works has commissioned a major engineering assessment before we go in and try to put in a permanent fixture.

“We have done some temporary stuff there with some of the resources, but that’s not going to hold because, as you in Barbados know, the Scotland District area is always subject to slippage.

“So the question is, engineering wise, ‘do spend those resources in there, then an event [occurs] six months from now or a year from now and the entire thing washes away?’”

While receiving a cheque for

US$1.72 million from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility at Government Headquarters today, Sinckler also told reporters that the option of relocating residents had not been taken off the table. However, he said that too needed to be carefully assessed.

“Do you just abandon and seek to relocate?” he asked, while pointing out that there had been varying opinions on the matter.

“They used to talk about lawyers . . . [and] we also know that we have gotten that too from engineers and geologists who are studying the topography of the area and advising Government. Their simple advice so far is, ‘you don’t rush and do anything in there because you may not get the result that you want long term’.

“So we are holding on [the major road work in White Hill], but while we are doing that, there are other roads which have been affected by recent rainfall that we have utilized those resources. Fortunately, where they are going to be applied is not as challenging because of the flat roads in Barbados,” he added.

It is now two years since a large chunk of the main road leading into White Hill collapsed under the weight of waters from heavy rains.

To mark the anniversary on Tuesday, Opposition Leader Mia Mottley and other members of her Barbados Labour Party journeyed to the rural community in a show of solidarity with residents in the BLP stronghold, who said theywere now at their wits end.

While bemoaning the absence of regular public transportation and the reluctance of emergency personnel to travel to the area, residents had accused Government of abandoning and “making a fool” of them.

However, Sinckler said the perceived slow response time was due to Government’s careful weighing of geographic, financial and engineering considerations.

5 Responses to Govt has not abandoned White Hill – Sinckler

  1. Brien King
    Brien King November 25, 2016 at 3:22 am

    It seem to me that you have abandoned the idea of fixing that area because it can not be permanently fixed, being base from the studies done on the area, so what’s holding up the relocation of the residents there? Is it their lawyers ? They have to understand that the area is becoming too dangerous to live there and that they HAVE TO MOVE, less their very lives will be at to great a risk, which don’t make no sense whatsoever. If need be, remove them by force and relocate them or start digging a mass grave should anything serious occurs in that area that causes a large land slide, either by heavy rains or earthquakes.

    Reply
  2. Bajan Sebastian
    Bajan Sebastian November 25, 2016 at 3:26 am

    White Hill a gold mine but can u see gold if ur blind,an them people in white have been bless too endure the fact that the land is alive/living around them,but what I came to realize is not everyone have the same gifts an talents,mines isn’t urs urs isn’t his an hers is different from us….

    Reply
    • Brien King
      Brien King November 25, 2016 at 3:40 am

      White hill is a gold mine? Gold mine of what and to who ?

      Reply
  3. Santini More
    Santini More November 25, 2016 at 6:35 am

    Not abandoned, the DLP have merely turned their backs and ignored the plight of the White Hill residents…Everybody see the difference?…#BringOnTheElections

    Reply
  4. Glenn Damon Clarke
    Glenn Damon Clarke November 25, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Why are people still living out there? Just move them all and demolish all the houses so no one moves back there. Don’t give a rats behind how long ya been living there, it’s time to move and never go back.

    Reply

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