No time for games!

Estwick warns blp about gambling with people’s lives

Don’t play politics with people’s lives!

This was the stern warning issued by Minister of Water Resource Management Dr David Estwick today in response to a strong call made yesterday by the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) for affected residents and businesses along the south coast to take the state-run Barbados Water Authority (BWA) to court over losses incurred over the past year, as a result of a persistent sewage leaks.

During a tour of some of the worse-affected parts of Worthings, Queen’s Counsel Ralph Thorne, who is the BLP candidate for Christ Church South, freely dished out the legal advice, while his colleagues Dr William Duguid and Wilfred Abrahams warned that the worsening stench was a national health and environmental hazard waiting to happen.

Dr William Duguid, Ralph Thorne, QC and Dr David Estwick

However, speaking to Barbados TODAY outside Parliament this morning, Estwick, who has direct responsibility for the BWA and has been charged with coming up with a lasting fix to the sewage problem, today accused the BLP of preying on the frustrations of businesses and residents in an effort to score cheap political points ahead of the next general election.

Responding to threats of legal action, Estwick cautioned that this “would solve nothing”, while warning that the BLP was embarking on a “dangerous game of finger pointing when there was plenty of blame to go around on both sides” in terms of the sordid mess.

“It is unfortunate that political games continue to play,” Estwick told Barbados TODAY while making it clear that as a trained physician “I don’t mess around or play with people’s lives or their livelihood”.

However, he said what was most dangerous about what BLP was attempting to do was that “they are casting blame”, even though he suggested that they would first have to point the accusing finger at themselves for not having the foresight 20 years ago to build a sewage plant that was capable of handling the current sewage load.

“The first thing I would tell them is that they should have built a tertiary plant from the first time and not build a plant that is only primary and sending sewage out to the ocean,” he said, adding that “there are also a whole lot of other things that I have to say, but now is not the right time.

“So I am not going to get involved in pointing fingers. I can tell you that I have all the files on all of the mistakes to point to where so many people who were brought in as contractors were fired. But what purpose does that serve to rehash those sort of things when the problem is sitting in your lap?” he said, in taking responsibility for the current problems.

With the awful stench of sewage ever present, and strong signs of overflows still visible in patches along the streets, Estwick also reiterated his call for residents and businesses to exercise patience, while assuring that Government understood the urgency of the situation.

However, he said the authorities remained restrained by the complexities and scale of the problem. He also revealed a technical support team from outside had arrived in Barbados to begin diagnostics.

“These are big jobs and people need to understand that it is not that we are procrastinating, but it is because you have to do it right and make sure that you have applied the correct diagnostics and correct technology,” he told Barbados TODAY.

“We have a team of persons that came in today that have the experience of dealing with similar problems in Trinidad and Tobago. I know the technical persons have also been in contact with persons from Europe and the United States so that we could apply the technology now. It can’t be no guessing game now because once we go to repair and replace we have to know for sure,” he stressed.

14 Responses to No time for games!

  1. hcalndre December 9, 2017 at 4:19 am

    Now this minister is saying that the problem is 20 years old, has the DLP ever taken the blame for anything for the last 10 years that they were in power or ever got anything right. Sorry for who ever takes over from them, the mess is going to be knee deep, everything is going to surface but they would be gone their merry ways with the 10% en al.

    • The Truth December 9, 2017 at 6:18 am

      This poor government never takes the blame and responsibility for anything. This government has blamed everyone and everything except themselves. Hush yuh mouth Minister. Get the problem fixed. Full of sorry excuses. We are sick of it.

  2. harry turnover December 9, 2017 at 7:09 am

    If the DLP had the foresight to build a SEWAGE PLANT when they BROKE TIES with ENGLAND in 1966 ,NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED.
    Wunna going back 20 years ,I gine back 40 years when Barrow made us INDEPENDENT…ALL of Barbados troubles STARTED AFTER INDEPENDENCE.

  3. fedup December 9, 2017 at 7:53 am

    you cannot build a plant and not service the pumps etc and take parts from one pump to fix the next etc and expect it to work, It is time that this government take responsibility for something and get the damn thing fixed before we lose the only foreign exchange earning business we have left, because the tourists are fearful of catching some dreaded disease from our leaking sewage. Stop blaming and looking back. Put Barbados first for once. BAJANS DESERVE BETTER!!!!!!

  4. John Everatt December 9, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Dr Estwick is quoted as saying “play with people’s lives or their livelihood”. It seems to me that he has been doing just that for the last 2 years while the sewage continued to gush out all over the road. It is only now that the media has begun to treat this as a national emergency and the people have risen up to actively protest the non action of the BWA that he has seen fit to even make statements on this disaster. He attributes the problems to the age of the system however it is only 20 years old. It has simply not been maintained.

  5. milli watt December 9, 2017 at 10:07 am

    dem better becareful estwick don’t pull something on dem…….like he do well let me keep my mout shut

  6. seagul December 9, 2017 at 10:08 am

    We must be builders. We must be bold, independent, and open minded to the facts. We must strive to be dependable, very down-to-earth and well grounded at home and at work. We cannot be only persuasive in achieving goals just for a quick tourist buck. To gain our objectives we may appear stubborn and overly critical like the dear Dr. minister, but our practical approach to life and productivity expose us for who we really are. Yes, he has been doing just that for the last two years while the sewage continued to gush out all over the road–‘playing with peoples’ livelihoods. This is another example of blatant finger pointing politics. But, some heads should be rolling right about now.

  7. Lorenzo December 9, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Dr Estwick have you even visited the area?These people deserve better from the BWA which you lead.Perhaps instead of building a new headquarters ,that money should have been spent on the sewerage system.I have heard a lot of talk from Ms Inniss on the solutions to the problem but still nothing is happening,maybe she is in over her head and needs to go.

  8. straight talk December 9, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    On election nite I want David Estwick to be the first to be skin out, David Estwick have no shame when can’t get his way he goes under a rock for months for months for month shows no interest and no contribute nothing nothing nothing and now he want to pretend that he is doing something simply because it is coming close to that time. Mr Estwick it would be best if you go back under the rock where you were.

  9. Helicopter(8P) December 9, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Tears fell from my eyes to see the condition of my home land! I know it’s a bit of task but those persons who were directly responsible for the designed performance of the sewer system never took into account; expansion of development scenerios, which all civil and industrial enginees adopt for a maximum servicable plan of 30 years!

  10. Bajan Critic December 9, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    If you believe this viewpoint drawing attention to the problem is “playing politics with people’s lives”

    But then he goes on to say it is the BLP’s fault for building the wrong plant 20 years ago. No it wasn’t ignoring maintenance issues at the sewerage plant until it became a national health crisis.

    “Well I’m not going to get involved in pointing fingers”

  11. Ann Thomas December 9, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    You must be talking to yourself and the members of your Government, Dr. Estwick. You really could not be talking to another fella.

    Not one word from you in 2016 on this matter. People ain’t forget.

    After the Minister of Finance, you have presided over the biggest failures in this country, no water for nearly two years in the northern part of Barbados, so Bajans up there could be dying from thirst. For two years, Bajans on the south coast dying from the stench and more of sewage. For nearly two years the multipurpose sugar factory held up in court and financial knots. And you have the gumption to be telling people no time for games! You have hit the ball right out of the park!

  12. straight talk December 9, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Every damn thing that happen before dem deal with it dem got to blame thee BLP stop thee stupid blaming and fix thee country .

  13. Darson December 9, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Just Curious : Where in relation to the Greame Hall Swamp is the affected areas? what is the level of retention of the swamp at this time? Who is now managing the Swamp ? if my memory serve me correctly ,was part of that swamp sold? and who own it ? and if so could this be part of the cause of the high water levels now affecting the area? as I recall this was debated before , have we forgotten. please look into it and see if we have a related problem.
    Why blame the Dems , that was a Dove nest from Inception : like so many other Dove nest around . But Drought was predicted and now so much of water : We are not thankful to our Creator? we are playing politics with Nature ? Be warned . Dove Cant Complete Nest all Now .


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