The Adrian Loveridge Column – Automated Passport Kiosks and Sargassum Seaweed

Have we reached a crossroads or what the more sceptical may refer to as an almost insurmountable hurdle in our tourism development?

Returning on a near capacity Virgin Atlantic B747-400 from Gatwick last week, I was initially surprised that just before landing a member of the flight crew advised over the PA to try and get off the aircraft as soon as possible. It was explained a British Airways flight was landing right behind us and the hurry up was to to try and minimize the long queues in immigration. In fact, not only the British Airways B777-200 followed us but also an American Airlines B738.

By now, under not one but two Governments, we would have thought the millions of dollars spent on the Automated Passport Kiosks be fully operational for all arrivals. But no, over two years (November 2016) after installation they are restricted to a very few, seemingly just Barbadians and those with permanent status in Barbados.

Even before the British Airways plane had barely opened its doors the long line of Virgin passengers were already out the terminal door. If the other two aircraft had been close to full that would have meant up to almost 1,000 passengers (depending on model) would be standing in line, within seconds of arrival. Among them of course, many small children and elderly persons!

What seems amazing is that the carrier – in this case, Virgin Atlantic  fully understands the challenges our limited Immigration facilities pose.  Why are our own tourism officials and Government (s) appear not to be able or willing to correct the problem?

The naysayers will point out that this is not a situation unique to Barbados and delays will be experienced in other destinations like entry airports in the United States including Miami, Charlotte and New York. Other Caribbean territories have addressed this by implementing US pre-clearance in their own states but sadly, not so far, Barbados. Even where this had not been introduced, everyone has to stop and think for a moment that the United States in not a tourism dependent country and similarly, neither is the United Kingdom or Canada.

Staying with the ‘dependency’ issue, the Prime Minister, recently highlighted the existing and potential treat of Sargassum seaweed and is quoted as stating it could be ‘as devastating to national economies as a strong tropical storm or category 1 hurricane’. Few can argue with her conclusion, especially if you have witnessed the consequences as I recently did on the French West Indian island of St. Martin.

Our visitors largely comprehend the nature driven challenge, but need to know that we are seriously trying to cope with the problem, even on a localized basis. Some do not understand why our comparatively large ‘Defence Force (BDF)’ cannot be mobilized, at least in public areas,  where a positive even if temporary difference could be made.

Naturally, it is not what they are trained for but if this is really the threat that is portrayed by those in the highest office, doesn’t it make sense?

98 comments

  • These people cannot even get a camera to work at eh Licensing Authority, do you really expect them to get automatic passport booths to function properly?

    Like

  • This was reported in May 2019.

    Airport self-service up and running

    Davandra, davandrababb@nationnews.com

    Added 04 May 2019

    Grantley Adams International Airport (FILE)

    The 16 self-service kiosks in the arrivals section at the Grantley Adams International Airport are fully operational and can be used by locals.

    Minister of Home Affairs Edmund Hinkson said the switch over from the tedious ED cards is an ongoing process. The 16 kiosks were purchased in 2016 and the pilot programme started last August.

    There was a concern that not many Barbadians were using the available kiosks and still crowding the Immigration lines.

    “As a Barbadian citizen, when I come into the airport, you don’t need to know what’s my address. The state has all of that information. Right now, as far as I am concerned, Barbadians can safely use these kiosks without having to fill out any ED forms. I am speaking from personal experience. (DB)

    Subscribe now to our eNATION edition for the full story.

    Liked by 1 person

  • YES as I said in the column ‘restricted to a very few, seemingly just Barbadians and those with permanent status in Barbados’.

    So was that the stated objective of spending MILLIONS of Dollars in being able to process locals only?

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  • These people cannot even get a camera to work at eh Licensing Authority, do you really expect them to get automatic passport booths to function properly?

    Apparently they can’t keep the airport’s ILS (Instrument Landing System) working either. I understand from a comment on facebook that because the ILS was out of service, a Jet Blue flight just about to land here at GA diverted to St. Lucia during yesterday’s bout of bad weather. Oh well, every cloud has a silver lining, at least it should have helped relieve the congestion in the immigration queue.

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  • I have written extensively on Sargassum seaweed on this blog and else where and explained the biochemical problems associated with utilization of the product. I have also pointed out the uses of the product in the food and medical industries, Seaweeds are hydrocolloids and are mainly used in the food industry as functional additives ( as the name implies, the product can be used as a filler; extender or binder to make up for a short-fall of main ingredients; to hold ingredients together and to affect textural characteristics
    of the end product ( mouth feel, chewability and so on).
    I have pointed out the fact that parts of the cell wall of seaweed are made up of cellulose and lignin since seaweeds are plants. the glucose units in cellulose are found in the β1-4 glycosidic instead α1-4 glycosidic form linked together. In the β1-4 glycosidic format, only a few microbes are capable of breaking this bond. Therefore genetic modification of microbes must be done to ensure the microbes have the correct enzyme systems needed.
    I have also pointed out the fact that extensive use of seaweed, after a while results in the formation of sodic-saline soils. I have outlined the problems such soils cause. Despite having outlined the adverse effects of seaweed fertilizer, an idiot for a minster keeps touting the its use as a fertilizer.
    Finally, elsewhere I have highlighted the fact that this particular seaweed is a transient affair. One does not know if it will disappear as quickly as it has appeared in the first place. If an industry is to be made of this product Barbados will have to embark on an aquaculture and cultivate the appropriate type of seaweed needed. in a country where science is not promoted the lack of personnel will pose a problem in the latter case.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Dr. Lucas

    The buzz is all about using seaweed for economic benefit and we see seaweed products turning up on retail shelves in Barbados. Are these products being cleared by a central body to assure the public of some quality standard being complied with? We have to protect the people from themselves?

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  • AL Wrote , the hurry up was to to try and minimize the long queues in immigration.

    The issue is customer service. I have been to two establishments in the past two weeks where the persons behind the counter were just as or more busy talking to each other as in servicing the customer.

    The issue is understanding customer service. Same applies with immigration process and kiosks.

    The process should be to move passengers as effectively and quickly as possible. No reason at all for long lines. Kiosks or no kiosks.

    Especially as the respective policing systems likely have suspect passengers already highlighted well before they land…or should.

    Everyone else… move, move, move… Not one for today and another for tomorrow.

    That is also how business makes money, turnaround time and volume, but not many here seem to get that.

    It is an attitude approach.

    Like

  • @Crusoe

    Good to see you depositing your nuggets of wisdom on the blog.

    Like

  • Robert Mac Donald

    The solution to the congestion at the airport could be eliminated in a large part by rescheduling of the arrival times of the aircraft. I understand it is easier said than done, what with takeoff slots , crew requirements and the many things involved with aircraft scheduling. I would think that the airlines may be able to adjust their schedules if guaranteed that they would be given a landing slot that would allow processing of their passengers within a certain time frame without competing with multiple airlines. It does seem non productive attempting to process multiple arrivals within such a short time frame that currently exists.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @David @Crusoe

    Crusoe is correct …… another popular ‘habit’ beside chatting with each other while the customer waits…… is the use of a telephone while you, the customer directly in front of her/him, waits for service. Is a potential customer asking a question over the telephone more important than the ‘live’ customer in front of you??

    Bajans are so accustomed to poor service nowadays that when ‘normal/proper’ service is given, they jump for joy and hails it as exceptional/employee of the month service!

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  • Do you blame the customer agent or the company for expecting the agent to manage two customer channels, face to face and via the phone.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    Is the processing time in Barbados any longer than those at Gatwick and Miami? Why must Barbados outperform everybody? It costs money. Please come with hard data. My experience is that Barbados ‘queuing times are shorter.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Vincent

    Early in the tenure of the MoT he held a press conference after a meeting with GAIA personnel and boldly stated that there will be major remodeling at the airport site to accommodate greater numbers of through traffic, construction of a variety of shops to cater to passengers. Will have to search for the article unless Artax can find it. One must hope that a businesscase was done?

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU at 8:44 AM

    More than 50 % of the time both capital and labour are idle at GAIA. GAIA has little control over arrivals and departures so they cannot smooth the periodic congestions. The same problem arises at airports abroad.

    Airport shops are never good business propositions. The last thing on a passengers mind, either leaving or arriving, is shopping. He is more concerned with boarding/ disembarking and reaching destinations.

    I do believe that being an experienced destination the technocrats would have done the study. They do not have to make the findings public. The studies are for use in decision making.

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  • @Vincent

    You point is well made, however, if there is a push by local authority to increase airlift as well as traffic volumes continue to peek at certain times because of fix schedules of incoming flights we will have to respond to the problem?

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  • Vincent Codrington

    David BU

    Please give the benefit of doubt to our well trained managers at GAIA. It is their job to respond to traffic volume fluctuations. Did the travelers complain?

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  • @Vincent

    The point is what if traffic volumes have overflowed the limit of the physical plant.

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  • @ Vincent Codrington July 15, 2019 9:19 AM

    How about the long queues at Customs & Excise?

    It is almost impossible for any passenger leaving Gatwick airport- after being subject to its extended security checks -be bringing into Barbados any contraband items without the local airport authorities being forewarned?

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  • @Adrian

    You missed a MAJOR POINT in your post, WHY IS IT ONLY LOCAL BARBADIANS WITH RESIDENCY ALLOWED TO USE THE AUTOMATED PASSPORT KIOSKS?

    I suspect I know the answer, what’s your guess.

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  • Government has signed an agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group, for major expansion and refurbishment of the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA).

    http://www.loopnewsbarbados.com/content/new-and-improved-gaia-works

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU at 9 :46 AM

    What metric do you have to support your assertion that traffic has exceeded the physical plant? How does it compare with others you consider adequate ?
    A time and motion study is the only objective data that I will trust.

    @ Miller

    What long queues are you talking about? I do not see any. I do notice that they use their discretion in allowing frequent travelers through without searches.
    Their responsibility is to the people of Barbados so they trust Gatwick but verify according to their gut feelings.

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  • @ Vincent Codrington July 15, 2019 10:16 AM
    “What long queues are you talking about? I do not see any. I do notice that they use their discretion in allowing frequent travelers through without searches.
    Their responsibility is to the people of Barbados so they trust Gatwick but verify according to their gut feelings.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    So why not put the “Nothing To Declare” customs clearance facility back into operation to accommodate those arriving from high-security airports as in the case of the UK where you are allowed only one piece of accompanied non-hand luggage?

    What can the average person pack into one piece of luggage with a 23 kg weight restriction to make it of any interest to the sour-faced customs officers?

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  • Willy,
    I did not miss a major point as I do not know, which is why I carefully used the words ‘seemingly just Barbadians and those with permanent status in Barbados’. After spending the MILLIONS on the machines the taxpayers must be told why their use is severely restricted?

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  • @Adrian

    I suspect that Barbados does not have access to the international passport database that is required for the Automated Passport Kiosk machines. Too cheap to sign up and pay OR Barbados IT Security not up to the required International Database access Standards.

    Like

  • @ David July 15, 2019 7:03 AM
    When Lester Springer the Amnesty international local representative in Barbados worked at the Barbados National Standard institute (BNSI),samples had to be sent to Trinidad for testing. things have not changed much since then. What needs to be understood is the fact that scientists in these parts are not paid well and most of them leave and go overseas: then there is the fact that quite a lot of those scientists who remain seem to lack the urge to get into the lab and dirty themselves in actually testing materials. For example, there was the laboratory funded by the EU sited in Culloden road. At first the person in charge complained about the lack of equipment, since one had to be hands on in using equipment that was not digital. One had to work harder( any scientist worth his salt would welcome such a situation, because an understanding of the fundamentals of the test are more appreciated) . Funding by the EU was obtained, one then heard there was a need for more equipment and then eventually, there was mold infestation in the building which was then declared unfit .I haven’t heard if the building is fit for habitation these days. In this country people who constantly are hollering are deemed to be very good.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Robert

    East African suffer a similar problem and they have now turned it in to an industry. Where are our scientists?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Thanks Dr. Lucas, this is distressing.

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  • fortyacresandamule

    @Vincent. ” airport shops are never good business propositions”, are you referring to BIM specifically or is this a general statement ? Because If its the latter, then you are dead wrong.

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  • dr lucas

    re In the format, only a few microbes are capable of breaking this bond.

    I WOULD LIKE TO THINK THAT YOU KNOW THAT ALL ANIMALS WHO FEAST ON PLANT MATERIALS AS THE MAJOR SOURCE OF THEIR DIET HAVE β1-4 glycosidases TO ALLOW THEM TO CONVERT CELLULOSE TO THEIR COMPONENT UNITS

    Like

  • @ Hal leAustin July 15, 2019 7:03 AM

    You wanted to know where the local scientists are? When I graduated with my first degree a lot of my contemporaries migrated to the USA and Canada. I know a lot of engineers who at that time decided there was no future in being an engineer in Barbados who went on to do MBAs:for example, Vivian Anne Gittens is an electrical engineer who ended up. managing the “Nation” newspaper. To handle the seaweed, you need microbiologists, chemists (carbohydrate chemistry) and bio-technologists. you have to love these disciplines in a place like Barbados to really pursue them. There is no appreciation for. science. There is a lack of knowledge that scientific equipment costs a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Robert Lucas

    I know a UK trained food scientist who returned to Barbados and ended up selling greetings cards. I think he now lives in North America. When he told me he was returning to Barbados I thought he was crazy. I suggested he should visit on holiday and may be retirement and leave it at that. He was a brave man.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Robert Lucas at 12 :44 AM

    You are so right. No appreciation for jobs that require thinking, problem solving and creativity. Commerce prevails. Buy something for $100. Sell it for $120 . Profit $20 – a rate of return of 20%. We call that entrepreneurship.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    Forty acres.

    Have you noticed the rate of turn over of Airport shops. Many of them give up the concessions as soon as the contract period ends. Those that remain have locations down town and use the airport shops as marketing vehicles.

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  • @Vincent

    You are sharp today.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Georgie Porgie July 15, 2019 12:42 PM
    I am aware of what you have stated. The rumen contains microbes that break down β1-4 glycosides linkages, The process is a slow one and the lignin component of the cell wall remains intact, To utilize seaweed for example to produce alcohol, the process needs to be speeded up. The end product alcohol desired is butanol due to its higher caloric content and the ease of use ( current equipment at gas stations can be used): the biochemical reaction pathway for butanol is extremely complex involving feed-back inhibition in order to increase yields and even then, yields are low involving a two-step procedure . Step one cleaving of the glycoside linkages, followed by isomerization to change the glucose into the alpha form ,followed then by fermentation to alcohol. The ideal procedure is the construction of a microbe into which have been inserted the genes for cleavage of the beta links,: the microbe also has genes inserted for isomerization of the beta form into the alpha form, which is then is fermented by inserted genes for butanol production ( one microbe containing three different sets of genes). Once the microbe has been constructed, one can then immobilize each bacterium cell or extract the appropriate enzymes and immobilized them for maximum yield and speed of reaction. Immobilization is done using extracts obtained from the seaweed. Economics of the process have to be considered and this is where the rate of the chemical process is important.

    Liked by 1 person

  • ALAS DEAR ROBERT, THE BIOCHEMISTRY YOU CITE IS TOO HIGH FOR THE DAILY BU DUMMIES BUT BEAUTIFUL IN SOUND FOR MY EARS. THANKS.

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  • @ Hal Austin July 15, 2019 12:52 PM

    When my niece was going to study for her master’s her father asked what advice I had for her. I told my brother to tell her to study microbiology since there would always be jobs and that whatever she did not to come back to Barbados. She has taken my advice and is working in Wales and now has British nationality. I have felt that I could contribute to this country because in the area of science there lots to be done: that is why I have stayed on hoping that sooner or later Barbados would become serious about science.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU at 1 : 11 PM

    It must be osmosis . Something had to rub off from you, Piece, Hal , PLT, John A , GP and other members of BU Household. Thanks for the feedback. LoL!!!

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  • @Georgie Porgie

    I have outlined my comments to the appropriate authorities but to no avail. With CRISPR the gene modifications is simple. Science is not all that hard it is the imagination that is difficult and ability to pursue one’s imagination. There are places where Barbados can get at knock down prices or for free scientific equipment which have been slightly used but what is the use, no one is interested. For example I belong to the Institute of Food Technologists(IFT). IFT came up with the certified food scientist (CFS) appellation to separate the goats from the sheep so to speak. IFT sends a form to be filled out requesting feedback about the effect of CFS on one’s career. I had to point out to IFT that no one in this part of the world is interested in the appellation or for that matter food science or science in general and that being a CFS did not result in any monetary rewards or in public acclamation in this part of the world.

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  • Dr Robert Lucas

    As a Computer Scientist and Management Consultant I applaud you %1000.

    Barbados needs people like you to be in Charge of Ministry of Argriculture or in a key position overseeing a role that can develop the small island.

    You are a breath of fresh air on BU.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Robert

    Good advice. I usually try to avoid giving advice. A young man from Barbados came to se me at the FT some time ago; he was in Britain to do an MBA. I tried to persuade him that an MBA had more to do with ego than practicality and to switch to the CFA. He was disappointed.
    Another told me he wanted to return to Barbados eventually to enter politics. He felt that intelligence and qualifications were all that he needed. I told him that as a boy from a poor background Bajans would savage him. He went ahead and returned. You win some and you lose some. Whatever you do, do not get sentimental about contributing to Barbados. They will bury you.
    I will tell you another story. Some time ago I have a talk at the Barbados high commission on UK pensions and this young, plump woman came in and sat in the front row. She clearly had what we now call attitude.
    .Anyhow, I went ahead and gave the talk; at the end she came up to me, told me she worked for some pensioners’ organisation in South London, and that she only came along to see if knew what I was talking about.
    In other words, ‘he can’t know anything about UK pensions, he is a Bajan’. That is a symptom of what I call the Bajan condition.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Vincent Codrington July 15, 2019 1:00 PM

    you have a point . Do know that all parts for “Solar Dynamics” solar heaters are imported from the USA? All the technologies in the product are American ?

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  • I must also applaud Adrian Loveridge for the work he does and he too should have a more involved role in developing the Hospitality Industry and the Marketing of Barbados.

    Instead of all these ass kissers lackeys political appointments and kickback artists flooding the island.

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  • @Dr. Lucas

    Continue to share every opportunity, it is what good citizens do although it may seem a futile exercise.

    Liked by 1 person

  • On the subject of ‘airport shops’. Dufry (the worlds largest) which operates under the banner of Duty Free Caribbean Holdings on Barbados, posted a turnover of CHF 8.685 BILLION in 2018 (up 309 million on 2017) across its presence in 63 countries. 1 – CHF (Swiss Franc) = US1.01488

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ Dr. Lucas

    Excellent contributions. There is hope!

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  • @Dr. Lucas

    Getting back to the seaweed, what can be done to this transient inconvenience?

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  • @ Hal Austin

    My experiences have been very different in the UK including being invited as a Guest Lecturer at Aston University in Birmingham.

    Out of a packed Auditorium there were only 2 blacks, both females.

    Upon conclusion of my Guest Lecture they approached me in a very positive manner and remarked that in their almost 3 years at attending the University I was the first black Guest Lecturer invited by Aston University.

    No one cared what country only about content which was well recieved by the audience.

    So much so I was offered a Position to Lecture full time which I turned down as I was based in London and had a successful Enterprise.

    The topic was on Ecommerce.

    Liked by 1 person

  • William Skinner

    While I find Adrian’s articles interesting, he seems very reluctant to expose the lethargy of the private hoteliers. Practically all his critiques are of governments.
    The question I pose to him is: Why after nearly sixty years as a prime Caribbean destination, we are still getting so many simple things wrong ?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Hal July 15, 2019 2:04 PM
    That young fellow is going to be disappointed. It isn’t intelligence or qualification that count in Barbados. Its connections. I will give an example of what I am talking about . Out of curiosity yesterday I went online on the “Advocate” and came across an article about a leading agriculturalist who turned out to be James Paul. There was a section for comments which I decided to fill in. I wanted know how it was arrived at that Paul was a leading agriculturalist ? I wanted to know how come a person with no credentials at all in the field was a leading agriculturalist? I wanted to know if it was because he was the chief executive officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society(BAS) who gets about here keeping a lot of noise ? You actually have people around this place claiming to be what they are not and the media know these facts and keep on peddling incorrect data. The BAS has been used as a political stepping stone. Like Frank Sinatra “I Did It My Way.”

    @ Barbados 2019 July 15, 2019 2:01 PM

    Thanks for your kudos.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ David July 15, 2019 2:24 PM

    As I have suggested elsewhere on this blog, there is only one way to deal with the transient nature of the seaweed. Instead of waiting for the seaweed to come to Barbados, Barbadians go hunting the seaweed. One can use drones to cover vast distances of sea: Equip the drones with GPS and spectrographs, the latter capable of deciphering the presence of seaweed from other objects present in the sea ( could be done by measuring change in color of the surface sea water).Once pinpointed, factory ships process the product out to sea. As a matter of fact solar energy should be utilized in the processing. What I am suggesting is that the seaweed be fished just like the Japanese trawl the seven seas for fish.

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  • @ Dr Robert Lucas

    You are right when you say it is about local connections and not knowledge and competencies.

    Bajans seem to be very gullible and accept what they read in local media whether newsprint or CBC TV which is why those with the most exposure and loud voices uses it to their advantage to land Political Picks or jobs they are not suited for.

    James Paul is not the only one, there has been several who has used BU and local media as a ploy of being a champion of the local masses until they got their pick.

    Now the same ‘champions’ have become as quiet as a church mouse.

    I was hoping with a new BLP Government there would have been a refreshing change.

    However it is clear after more than a year the more things change they remain the same.

    As Bush Tea used to say Bajan asses are grasses constantly being cut.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Dr Lucas
    After harvesting the sargassum what do you recommend be done with it? From reading your previous posts, it seemed that there were only a few (if any) economically viable uses.

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  • @Barbados 2019
    I accept your point. An audience of Bajans can be tougher.

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  • RE It isn’t intelligence or qualification that count in Barbados. Its connections.

    SO VERY TRUE! IF YOU HAVE intelligence or qualification in Barbados AND NO connections.YOU ARE DISPARAGED AND HATED AND ABUSED. IT HAPPENS EVEN HERE ON BU.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Ping pong July 15, 2019 3:13 PM

    At present it would seem that the only uses are in the food industry and medicine. This is however a short-sighted view, With Science most inventions or discoveries are caused by happenstance. The idea that because the uses seem to be limited at this point in time is no indication that uses which have not yet been discovered will not be discovered in the future. New uses will only come about when serious research work is done.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Interesting article about the vast Sargassum blooms appearing in tropical waters. Pollution and ocean warming seems to be the main causes.. fertiliser run off and dumping sewage into the oceans resulting in increased nitrogen levels.

    https://newrepublic.com/article/150775/humans-created-new-natural-disaster

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Dex

    It is called eutrophication and is currently occurring off the south coast of Barbados where the escaping sewerage is being pumped into the sea. At the point of discharge there is a build up of phosphates and nitrates which cause an algae bloom that results in depletion of the oxygen content of the seawater. This creates a de facto desert in the sea. Halophilic anaerobic microorganisms predominate.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I believe John once suggested a link between the oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico(a few years ago), and sargassum blooms. Cause of increased nitrogen levels?

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  • I always laugh whenever I hear Government officials wax not-so-eloquent about STEM! Oh how they love an acronym. This gets only slightly less hypocritical support than “promotion of cultural industries”! I wish i could talk shaving cream with a straight face like dem big boys (I try sometimes on BU but I fail) LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  • DR LUCAS

    COULD YOU KINDLY EXPLAIN “At the point of discharge there is a build up of phosphates and nitrates which cause an algae bloom that results in depletion of the oxygen content of the seawater.” FOR THE STANDARD BU DUMMY, WHO WILL PRETEND THAT THEY UNDERSTAND NUTS AND BOLTS OF WHAT YOU SPEAK.
    WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF A build up of phosphates and nitrates at the point of discharge in causing an algae bloom?

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  • @ robert lucas July 15, 2019 4:33 PM
    “It is called eutrophication and is currently occurring off the south coast of Barbados where the escaping sewerage is being pumped into the sea. At the point of discharge there is a build up of phosphates and nitrates which cause an algae bloom that results in depletion of the oxygen content of the seawater. This creates a de facto desert in the sea. Halophilic anaerobic microorganisms predominate.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    This is a ‘clear’ diagnosis with a seriously ‘dark’ prognosis for the tourism industry.

    Are the so-called experts dozing in the CZM Agency, and in the ministries of Health, Water Resources and the Environment aware of your ‘scientific’ concerns and warnings?

    What are they waiting on? For another set of ministers to scuba dive in the pot of sewage bubbling offshore to react like canaries in a coal mine?

    Unless an urgent healthier and safer alternative to this method of disposal of the Bajan-brand of sewage is found it is going to come back to bite Bajans on their dirty backsides in the very near future.

    Don’t be surprised if, in the coming months, human waste starts popping up on the south and west coast of the 2×3 island.

    If the Bajan political decision-makers do not put the rectification of this brewing ‘shity’ problem at the top of their ‘to-do’ list then the country might just prove Trump’s description of “Sht-hole country” to be most apt.

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  • @ Georgie Porgie July 15, 2019 5:30 PM

    Nitrogen and phosphates occur in the foods humans ingest, Unused nitrates and phosphates are excreted into fecal matter. Nitrates and phosphates are soluble and are therefore easily dissolved in water. Nitrates and phosphates are essential elements required for microbial growth ( note phosphates and nitrates are present as salts of potassium and sodium ,ie all the major elements required for plant growth are present. Also present in sea water are trace elements such as magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, sulfur, iron, zinc and copper. In other words you have an ideal medium for plant growth. There is therefore an algal bloom which depletes the oxygen content of the area where the sewerage discharge occurs. That is ,at the end of the pipeline from which the discharge occurs and as far as the diffused elements reach by a process of osmosis. This area is a virtual desert, deficient in all plant and animal life (biota).Remember bacteria are actually members of the plant family, Also present will be unicellular parasites (protozoa) which can cause amoebic dysentery,(the lack of oxygen kills the non-cyst stage). The cysts stage constitute what are called survival bodies and ingesting such contaminated water results in illness.

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  • fortyacresandamule

    @Dr Lucas . Why butanol instead of ethanol? What about using the plant to produce material eg natural fibre fabric. What’s the chemistry on that aspect.? I could have sworn James Paul was a graduate in Agriculture from UWI, St Augustine campus.

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  • THANKS DR LUCAS FOR EDUCATING THE BU DUMMIES.
    I OFF COURSE KNOW THE RELEVANT SCIENCE HAVING TAUGHT BOTH BIOCHEM & MICROB TO MED STUDENTS

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  • Scientists say there’s a mass of seaweed stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to West Africa. They call it the biggest seaweed bloom in the world and that it’s a signal of a new normal.

    https://www.npr.org/2019/07/11/740871359/mexicos-beaches-are-being-overwhelmed-by-sargassum-seaweed-from-the-atlantic

    Like

  • @ Vincent.

    I late to the party but let me agree with you 100 percent on how dam expensive it is to operate an air shop shop in Bim. First let me say the rent alone is nearly half your gross profit. So if your GP is 40% of sales, half gone in rent alone! Most retail rents normally would run around 10% of sales, at least that is the rule of thumb for comfort.

    Now unlike international airports with a relatively steady traffic flow, we get morning traffic like AA north bound, then a quiet spell to the evening flights. The problem is though this calls for a second shift of staff as a shift is usually 8 hours. So first the rents twice as high as anywhere else on the island, plus it has the need for a 2 shift staff day. Again twice the staff cost of a normal day. So you seeing a trend there right? Basically it cost you twice as much to do business at the airport, than anywhere else on the island. So you make a few dollars in winter and then you suck salt in summer. If you got a monopoly on the items offered with high margins, well you might scrape a few dollars over a year, if you selling low margin items with low retail prices brace for losses. Look at the shops with the high turnover of ownership and see what they sell and you would see what I talking bout. The big players will fight to stay because many of their lines dictate an airport presence. In that league being able to say to a principle ” we have an airport location” could mean the difference with getting a line and not.

    You know it’s cheaper to buy rum in a supermarket than buy it duty free at the airport? Overheads at Adam’s murdering them up there.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Dr.Lucas

    Is this the similar worry Engineer Richard Edghill warmed against when those failed wells were touted as the temporary solution to divert raw sewage on the south coast?

    Like

  • @ robert lucas
    “I told my brother to tell her to study microbiology …. and that whatever she did not to come back to Barbados ”

    The best advice that you could have given. The best thing any intelligent, ambitious person could do is to leave Barbados for good. I experienced first hand the level of nepotism and wickedness that goes on in Bim. So now, I advise anyone that asks me for advice to leave Barbados whenever the opportunity arises and not look back.

    We tend to have this romantic idea of Barbados because the tourists love the sea, sun, fun. But that is just that — an idea.

    In reality Bajans are petty, spiteful and jealous.

    Like

  • @ Dr Lucas

    Thank you for your informative replies. May I enlist further your help with the following?

    Given that there is no tertiary water treatment facility in Barbados and the sewage discharged into the sea from the South Coast and Bridgetown sewage plants, this obviously cannot be good for the near coastal ecosystems.

    What happens to the raw sewage and grey water from the hotels?

    Are there any studies on the impact to the Barbados marine environment? Any recent research papers out there?

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Dexter at 7: 25 PM

    I think that the problem is deeper. Sewage disposal is an indicator of Tourism’s overload of our ecosystem. We need to put a cap on its further growth and development.

    Like

  • @Vincent

    You are aware the political directorate to a man and woman sing the view that tourism is our saviour? Examine the investment pipeline if there is doubt.

    Like

  • @John A
    You know it’s cheaper to buy rum in a supermarket than buy it duty free at the airport? Overheads at Adam’s murdering them up there
    ++++++++++++++
    Is there “duty” on rum?

    Like

  • Tourism at ANY price?

    That makes no sense at all!! Not on any level.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David Bu at 8 :15 PM

    I was not aware that your invitation to express my view had a rider on it. The issue arose about sewage disposal on the South coast area and its impact on the beach , sea water quality and marine flora and fauna. In planning one has to look at long term , unforeseen and unintended consequences of our actions. After this discussion the Political Directorate may see the need to review and revise their investment pipeline.

    Like

  • @sargeant.

    In The supermarket you will be charged vat at 17.5% where as in the duty free store at the airport it would be vat free.

    So even after charging the vat the supermarket is still cheaper.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David Bu

    You need to make a difference; not go with the flow like lemmings. A mixed metaphor. But I am sure you get the drift.

    Like

  • @John A
    In The supermarket you will be charged vat at 17.5% where as in the duty free store at the airport it would be vat free

    ++++++++++++++
    I see what you did there, at least it is the “duty free” store, not the “duty free” rum, I hope people know that rum produced in Barbados doesn’t attract “duty”.

    Like

  • Really at lost when i listen to the ignorance of so called intellectual bajans who applause the dumping of toxic waste in the ocean from the South West sewage plant as govt finding resolution to the sewage leakage which took hold of the Streets
    It makes for wonder how barbadians are so backward in understanding the negative repercussions which are being done to our eco systems
    Repercussions which in the long term can posed health hazards to every living organisms on this earth including animal and plant life

    Like

  • @Vincent, your comments are exactly what I experienced on Sunday morning when I arrived at GAIA on flight from USA. Using the kiosk was expedient. I would also like to commend the immigration officer for his professionalism while not “just doing his job” made me feel that I was not just a number. He was quite personable as well. For the first time in a long time, I felt more than just being processed.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Jean at 9:05 PM

    I am happy you enjoyed the experience. It is a marked difference from what one experiences at British and American airports. I nope that part of our culture is retained.

    Like

  • @Vincent

    I think that the problem is deeper. Sewage disposal is an indicator of Tourism’s overload of our ecosystem. We need to put a cap on its further growth and development.
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    Clearly there is a deficit of ambition for the nation in the mindset of the so called political directorate.. Tourism, especially with serious concessions to corporate hoteliers cannot be the only game in town..

    The investor gets a healthy “TAX FREE” R.O.I and in return Bajans get a handful of low paid, low skilled jobs…

    Liked by 1 person

  • My experience with the immigration official helping with the Kiosks was remarkable
    But going through customs the story was a nightmare similar in recognition to stories told about rude and unmannerly customs officers at GAIA

    Like

  • @ fortyacresandamule July 15, 2019 6:09 PM

    Formulae for ethanol and butanol are respectively C2 H5 OH ( ethanol) ( butanol) C4 H5 OH. Butanol has a higher molecular mass than ethanol and therefore contains more energy. Molecular Weight‎: ‎74.123 g/mol (butanol)..Molar mass: 46.07 g/mol (ethanol).

    ‘I could have sworn James Paul was a graduate in Agriculture from UWI, St Augustine campus.” Really? Because he keeps a lot of noise ? Benn also kept a lot of noise and had no credentials in agriculture also.. In Barbados all you have to do is keep a lot of noise and the populace end up thinking that the talker is an expert.

    The chemistry of natural products needed to produce fiber is well known and is carbohydrate chemistry.. products include paper ,hydrocolloids for the food industry etc.

    @ David, July 15, 2019 6:43 PM

    He was referring to pore spaces in limestone being clogged by sediment( Similar to the filtering of coffee through a coffee filter, after a while, the pores in the filter become clogged and the filtrate diminishes).

    @ Dex July 15, 2019 7:25 PM

    “What happens to the raw sewage and grey water from the hotels?”

    The result is the same as that of discharging the sewerage into the sea (eutrophication).

    There has been a study done in 2010 ( April 30) The results were not very flattering to Barbados. The link to the article was posted to BU by a blogger .

    by Environmental Engineering Consultants, Inc
    5119 N. Florida Ave.
    Tampa, FL 33604

    On
    MANGROVE ECOSYSTEM ASSESSMENT
    GRAEME HALL NATURE SANCTUARY
    BARBADOS

    @Vincent Codrington July 15, 2019 8:10 PM

    Your comments highlight the problem succinctly.

    Like

  • fortyacresandamule

    @Dr Lucas. I take that back. I am mixing up James Paul with some else.

    Liked by 1 person

  • David BU

    In May 2019, Government signed an agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group, for major expansion and refurbishment of the GAIA.

    The partnership was set for a maximum of 30 years and during the concession period, work to be undertaken at the airport will include expansion of terminal areas, the addition of five jet bridges as well as the relocation and construction of the air traffic complex.

    Additionally, in November 2018, the CDB approved a loan to GAIA in the amount of US$40.4M to facilitate the “Grantley Adams International Airport Pavement Rehabilitation and Expansion Project.” In June 2019 GAIA Inc. received financing from the CDB in the amount of BD$80,777,600 towards the cost of the project.

    Interestingly, an upgrade of GAIA was announced by former MoT Richard Sealy, during a media conference held on November 12, 2016. Sealy said the project, which was to improve and modernize the airport’s facilities, was supposed to commenced during the second quarter of 2017.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Artaxerxes at 8 :31 AM

    Very interesting observances. Plenty loans for one project. Do the taxpayers have to repay these loans or are they free?

    Like

  • We need to know if there was draw down on the loan.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Under the last government several loans were approved and because of bureaucratic bungling never accessed.

    Like

  • @ David July 16, 2019 9:26 AM

    “Bureaucratic bungling” or stark political inertia because there was no “where-is-my-cut” opportunities to profit from?

    The strictly vetted process which must be followed in the award of contracts under the terms and conditions of these loan disbursements leaves little room for political interference to manufacture kickback opportunities to line the pockets of politicians and their private sector cronies.

    Liked by 1 person

  • David BU

    A draw down on which loan?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Artax

    The one you highlighted to expand GAIA piloted by Sealy.

    Like

  • “Very interesting observances. Plenty loans for one project.”

    David BU
    Mr. Codrington

    I don’t know if the funds from the loan Sealy mentioned were ever disbursed.

    However, the loans I mentioned were for TWO projects.

    (1). The US$40.4M loan from the CDB was to facilitate the “Grantley Adams International Airport Pavement Rehabilitation and Expansion Project.”

    In June 2019 GAIA Inc. received financing from the CDB in the amount of BD$80,777,600 towards the cost of the project, the work which includes the following:

    (a). Airside (Airfield Areas) Works:

    ….. Milling and Re-Paving Runway – approximately 153,000m2
    ….. Widening and Rehabilitation of Taxiway – approximately 15,000 m2
    ….. Airfield ground lighting improvements for Runway and Taxiways
    ….. Concrete Spall and Joint repairs on existing Aprons
    ….. Construction of a new Aircraft Aprons and Taxiway – approximately 77,000 m2

    (b). Landside Works

    ….. Road upgrades – approximately 3900m2
    ….. Construction of new road – approximately 1800m2
    ….. Main Parking Lot Upgrades – pavement milling and resurfacing

    (2). On Wednesday, May 22, 2019, chairman of GAIA, Vic Fernandes, signed an agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), for major expansion and refurbishment of the GAIA.

    The partnership was set for a maximum of 30 years and during the concession period, work to be undertaken at the airport will include expansion of terminal areas, the addition of five jet bridges as well as the relocation and construction of the air traffic complex.

    This agreement is still going through the tendering process, which Symmonds said they hope to meet the timeline of a year to finalize.

    Recall, on February 15, 2019, MoT Symmonds was to present a plan for a public/private partnership when Cabinet meets in weekly session.

    After the signing of the agreement between IFC and GAIA, Mottley revealed government decided to retain ownership of the GAIA.

    She said: “We will eventually do a divestment, partially of some limited shares to the National Insurance Scheme and to the workers of the airport.”

    Mottley also disclosed that Government is working towards creating a Civil Aviation Authority, and bill to that effect is now being drafted and is expected to be taken to Parliament for approval by September/October of this year.

    Like

  • fortyacresandamule

    @Artax. How much in concession fee will GAIA getting from this deal? How much in CAPEX outlay is guaranteed by IFC over the 30 years. ? Normally, after a few years, the IFC tends to sell the concession to another party. That’s there usual exit strategy.

    Like

  • Dullard
    July 15, 2019 6:45 PM

    @ robert lucas
    “I told my brother to tell her to study microbiology …. and that whatever she did not to come back to Barbados ”
    The best advice that you could have given.

    Unfortunately, true. The future for bright young people, is not here. It is great for holidays, brilliant actually.

    The weather, the food, the beaches.

    It is great for returned nationals who just want to live in their birthland and take it easy. Or for the ultra wealthy who want a place to escape to.

    But for bright young people, no. Study hard, work hard and get out.

    Like

  • Piece the Legend

    Hold de presses!!!

    What de old man reading?

    “…David July 15, 2019 7:09 AM

    @Crusoe

    Good to see you depositing your nuggets of wisdom on the blog…”

    Wait a second dusk crusoe like he is a BLP bigwig TO RECEIVE ALL THIS GENUFLECTION when de man only write two words.

    “…NUGGETS OF WISDOM”?

    Whu de man only say 2 words and suddenly de poochlicking start.

    Whu I nevah get dat sort of reverence at all!

    In fact I am sure effing 2 of de BU BORG had dem way de Honourable Blogmaster would be saying

    “…David July 15, 2019 7:09 AM

    @ Piece de Nuisance

    I hope to see you STOP depositing your BALLS OF SHY$E on the bU blog.

    Heheheheh

    Like

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