Fix the Blasted Sluice Gate!

Images submitted by Nostradamus

The problem which Barbados faces in 2013 is vividly illustrated in the images above. We have a medical doctor and a mechanical engineer seeking election to the House of Assembly on the 21 February 2013 to represent Christ Church South. Smack dab in the constituency they aspire to represent and in the heart of the tourist belt – a stones throw from St. Lawrence Gap and the gold coast – is the canal which leads to the sea from the Graeme Hall wetland and Ramsar site.

A sweet irony many will agree!

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0 thoughts on “Fix the Blasted Sluice Gate!

  1. Here is a suggestion for Owen and the BLP.

    Given that you will be building flyovers ( if you win ) how about building a flyover at Graeme Hall and widening the canal so as to allow for the natural interaction between the sea and the wetland.

  2. @Hants

    Is it not amazing we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to travel to Rio and deep into Africa to attend conferences about the environment. We just spent 2 million dollars on a walk over at the Pine. PM Stuart has been heard preaching about Barbados being a green economy. The BLP has been preaching all campaign their strategy to put money in the pockets of Barbadians. The irony is that many of those dollars will find a path to Chefette and other businesses for Barbadians to drop the garbage that will result from consumer purchases.

    While this is happening the Vector Unit in the ministry of health will be out fogging those pesky mosquitoes.

  3. David I really don’t understand how after the last 50 years of development we can’t find a practical solution to this problem.

    Instead of simply repairing and making the Sluice gate work our brainiacs should find a better solution. The Coastal Zone managers, the Ministry of Health and MTW got nuff professionals with degrees.

    What do they do when they go to work each day?

  4. If the Government has not got the staff to do certain jobs or find that a certain section/s are delinquent to do the jobs why don’t they outsource the jobs and pay a Company or Companies to do them.

  5. @Hants

    What is the value in the paper trophies we call degrees if the people who earned then cannot apply and leverage the learning to enrich life about them? All those at the Coastal Management Unit, Ministries of the Environment and Health should hang their heads in shame at the state of the Sluice Gate and Canal.

  6. Further update:

    Remember our International superstar Rihanna will be showcasing her awesome talent through a free ” Barbados I love you : Thank you ” concert at the Garrison Savannah on 20th February, 2013.

    Please attend and do not wear or a bring any paraphenalia that is associated with any political party as polling day would be the next day. Please wear WHITE.

    By Order of Management

  7. There is a benefit from making Graeme Hall swamp interact with the sea.

    Sport fishing for Tarpon. Learn from the Cubans.

  8. @David
    I saw several of those ubiquitous foam containers floating in the canal in the pictures displayed, Bajans really dispose of these things in an environmentally friendly manner. Sometimes Gov’ts are really short sighted and these Depts. and operate at Polar opposites. If someone is “hatching” a plant in a container of water the Sanitation Inspector will instruct them to get rid of it as it can “harbour” mosquitoes, but here is a pool of stagnant water and nothing is done to alleviate the problem.

    Here is the issue, Gov’t saves money by not fixing/repairing the Sluice Gate, but it will pay dearly in terms of medical costs, lost productivity, not to mention the adverse publicity that would arise if there is an outbreak of a mosquito borne illness. I didn’t even take into account the ongoing “fogging” and the side effects for people who suffer from respiratory ailments.

  9. I have followed this situation – admittedly on the blogs – for a few years and the situation is not as simple as it first appears. It is very complex and the complexity has little to do with the opening and closing of the Sluice Gates, as that is NOT the major factor.

    • @Yardbroom

      What is this complexity to which you refer? Are you referring to the Peter Allard connection to this issue? How complex can a problem be that it would lead to jeopardizing the health of Barbadians as well as to threaten our key industry? Always remember that any problem can be solved, it just requires the will! In this case it comes back to bloody politics. If anger is leaking into these comments it is because we are absolutely seething at this state of affairs.

  10. @ David
    “How complex can a problem be that it would lead to jeopardizing the health of Barbadians as well as to threaten our key industry?”
    I understand where you are coming from and I am not without sympathy. However, my comments only stated how I viewed the situation in light of what has transpired before. It is now obvious I have not interpreted the situation as you have. . . at least we can agree on that.

  11. At the height of the election campaign,when most of the politicians have taken to legging it around unfamiliar territory, their own constituencies, promising the moon, stars and meteorites, I was taken back to see the posters of both candidates for a city ward, on poles and pailing, in close proximity to tons of rotting stinking garbage blocking some of the road . And they have the guts ,and noses, to step around this pile of festering stuff to elicit a vote from the residents.

  12. David just remind the jackashes involved that mosquitos do not discriminate.

    The health of the country should be Job 1

  13. the gate been so since 1960.
    what is in the swamp water?????????????
    parasites?other bacteria?
    anyone have any idea.
    i know bajan garbage and run off from the roads would be in it.
    in barbados that could be from inner of dead animals.shit,spit,various cups and plastic bags,condoms.
    has the water in the swamp be tested by a independent company?????????
    to mix the swamp with the ocean would be ludicrous. some day some one will introduce alligators ,Piranha and such like to that area.
    when i was a child i used to play in the quick who knows if bodies are down there .or missing persons .because that would be the perfect place to dispose of bodies.
    there is quick sand back there in the swamp for your information.

  14. Having multiple degrees signed by individuals in Bim, England, US, or wherever, does not automatically equate to having common sense.

  15. With local politicians continually being mean spirited, small minded, vindictive as well as spiteful minded, I will bet that not one of them have considered that Allard being ex-pat and wealthy means that though they think they are harming this guy, he has enough money to have several houses around the world and is not forced to remain in Barbados to be bitten and killed by dengue infested mosquitoes, but the local people living around Graeme Hall, have nowhere to go and are at risk of dying in the hundreds from dengue fever, I have not even gotten to the tourists yet. I can guarantee you that not one of those clowns, including the minister of health, even let this enter their little minds.

  16. On checking the Ramsar website it seems that Mr Steve A. Devonish, Director, Natural Heritage Department, Ministry of Environment and Drainage has been nominated by the Barbados Government as a “suitably qualified technical expert” to act as a focal point for STRP matters as well as Communication, Education, Participation, and Awareness (CEPA) . See below.

    Ramsar National Focal Points for the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP)

    Contracting Parties have been asked by the Conference of the Parties (Resolution VII.2, para. 8a) to nominate a “suitably qualified technical expert” to act as a focal point for STRP matters. The following experts have been nominated by their governments to assist the STRP in its work by advising directly on STRP matters and by providing a liaison between the STRP and the network of other relevant experts within each of their countries. The terms of reference for the STRP National Focal Points is available here.

    Mr Steve A. Devonish, Director, Natural Heritage Department, Ministry of Environment and Drainage, No. 1 Struges, PO Box T25, St. Thomas BB220022 (Tel +1 246 438 7761, Fax +1 246 438 7767, Email

    Ramsar National Focal Points for Communication, Education, Participation, and Awareness (CEPA)

    Contracting Parties have been asked by the Conference of the Parties (Resolution X.8) to nominate a Government Focal Point and a NGO Focal Point for CEPA activities. As of January 2013, the following nominations have been sent to the Secretariat:

    BARBADOS – Government Focal Point – Mr Steve A. Devonish, Director, Natural Heritage Department, Ministry of Energy and the Environment, No. 1 Sturges, PO Box T25, St. Thomas BB220022, Barbados (Tel: +1 246 438 7761; Fax: +1 246 438 7767; Email:

    Maybe this “suitably qualified technical expert” may be able to throw some light on what’s happening at the Graeme Hall/Ramsar site?

  17. @David
    You think the e mail works? Or anyone monitors it? From the looks of it (see below) they don’t seem to keep their website up to date.

    From the Natural Heritage Department website.

    The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

    The Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty adopted on February 2, 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar, the Convention entered into force in 1975 and covers all aspects of wetland conservation and wise use recognising wetlands as ecosystems that are extremely important for biodiversity conservation in general and for the well being of human communities. To date the Caribbean countries of Bahamas, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago are parties to the Convention.

    The Graeme Hall Swamp is the last major intact mangrove remaining on the island of Barbados and is home to a large number of resident and migratory birds, fish, reptiles, mammals, crustaceans and other invertebrate species. Barbados is considering accession to the Convention and is considering sites for designation, which is a requirement for accession. Please refer to the official Ramsar website for further information.

    – Background information pertaining to the wetlands in Barbados and the overall importance of their presence. A list of some of the species that reside in wetlands will also be included.

    The above must not be up to date. An excerpt from above says:
    “Barbados is considering accession to the Convention and is considering sites for designation, which is a requirement for accession.”

    But based on what the Ramsar website says Barbados acceced on April 12, 2006

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