IDB Highlights Barbados’ Crumbling Infrastructure

The IDB Caribbean Region Quarterly Bulletin: Volume 8, Issue 3: September 2019 was recently released and the review of Barbados is found at page 7 of the report.

The conclusion of the report:

Underpinning growth constraints in Barbados is the need to invest in infrastructure. The worsening quality of infrastructure indicators reflects an aging capital stock and declining infrastructure investments. Given the country’s fiscal stance and economic reform program, new investments will likely remain constrained in the next few years. The calls for the support of other investment modalities, such as PPPs. Further promoting resilience in infrastructure investments will also be of the utmost importance given the country’s vulnerabilities to climate change and natural disasters.

177 thoughts on “IDB Highlights Barbados’ Crumbling Infrastructure

  1. Wuhloss, wuhloss, wuhloss! The blogmaster under attack Part XX and counting. Anyone who has paid attention to the blog should (or ought to) know that “David” is the nom de plume of a few people who may have unanimity on how they view some topics but whose responses may vary from the strident to the accommodating. No one person will have the energy or time to mage a blog 24/7 over the length of time it has existed. Is it perfect? Hell no! but so far it has allowed people to voice their opinion on a variety of subjects, it has also permitted some “whistleblowers” to spotlight Gov’t or Corporate policies that would otherwise been hidden from view.

    BU has always been populated by the Party faithful ready to defend or praise some action of their political colleagues , there have been the earnest contributors whose approach has ben even handed and there are those whose approach has been frivolous, most contributors have had “run ins” with “David” from time to time, many of them shrug off the discussion and move on ,some leave never to return. There are a limited number whose opinions generate more responses than is the norm and lately we have had the rise of the mutual admiration society where one contributor is praised by another and vice versa.

    While anonymity has been seen as a detriment by a few, the blog wouldn’t exist without that provision so we have to accept the good with the bad. I welcome the opportunity to get my 2 cents in and hope it will continue.

  2. @ Sargent

    For all the talk about democracy our society will destroy some people if their names appear on BU. The anonymity in many cases is understood.
    I received a call once and was asked a very simple question: Do you ever intend to seek wuk again?
    Even ex prime ministers on hefty pensions have to eat . I say no more.
    Believe me when I tell you that the tentacles of the Duopoly have no bounds. Those who mistakenly believe that their are absent in the Diaspora are sadly mistaken.

  3. @ William

    Don’t be so pessimistic. The worst they can do is kill you. And, as someone has said, there are things worst than death. Don’t give in; don’t let them terrify you. If you do it will be the end of Barbados as we know it.

  4. John A at 10 :13 AM

    Did I read you correctly? Are you going to take David’s advice and not read books? Lol!!!

  5. A win win win for the Sanitation workers, Sanitation managers/board and the Bajan public.

    Since the workers are against working on weekends and holidays UNLESS it is overtime, award OT only to the crews/workers that have a perfect attendance record.
    Lets say a crew has a perfect record for the last quarter of 2019 then that crew would be allowed to work one week a month for the next three months (this is just an example and can be modified).

    This may also help cut out the large absenteeism and need for day laborers.
    The workers would get the opportunity to earn some much needed extra money
    The public will get more trash off of the streets

  6. No blog or Blogmaster is perfect. If there is such a thing. The blog reflects the society. It has the good, the bad and the indifferent. That is the reality.

  7. Like

    Hal Austin
    December 10, 2019 2:22 PM

    @ William
    Don’t be so pessimistic. The worst they can do is kill you. And, as someone has said, there are things worst than death. Don’t give in; don’t let them terrify you. If you do it will be the end of Barbados as we know it.


    Been there, done that!!

    Good advice Hal.

  8. @ Hal
    @ John

    Thanks. They can’t stop me but imagine the hundreds of citizens who will like to help our country but can’t because of the viciousness of these political monsters and their lackeys.

    • Away with the I this and that.

      The only person who can censor is the blogmaster and the comments policy was made clear.

      Now get on with making constructive and relevant comments.

  9. Investment in Human Capital is an important investment in future growth and development. of an emerging society. Expenditures in health and education should be maintained even in times of austerity.

  10. The thing that we need to accept is that in our current financial situation with 20 downgrades and the IMF watching every cheque we write, what we see as a necessity they will not.

    Let’s take just one entity the TB. If this was a private entity how would one approach a bank for refinancing? Your financials are behind, you have been experiencing yearly losses from time and memorial and your entire fleet is over 12 years old hence fully depreciated. So what exactly is your asset base going to be for the lender? You also have no retained earnings or equity of any kind. If we just stop and think about this for a few minutes then ask yourself this question. Were you a banker based on the above would you lend the TB money? No doubt the answer will be no, yet every year government comes to the tax payer and ask us for more “Grant money” to keep this entity going, while at the same time doing nothing to restructure it. Instead of doing that they increase the bus fares and try to fix a poorly managed entity by throwing more money at it.

    If this approach ain’t the height of madness please somebody help me to understand the logic behind it.

  11. De ole man heah busting me belly laughing after I read this

    “… John A December 10, 2019 9:48 AM

    @ William.

    I have to confess I wasn’t aware of the blog until a few months ago when Walter Blackman’s article drew me to it. So it’s Walter wunna got to blame for my presence. Lol…”

    Great joke

  12. @ Sargeant

    You submitted a quote earlier which began

    “… Sargeant December 10, 2019 10:50 AM

    Wuhloss, wuhloss, wuhloss! The blogmaster under attack Part XX and counting…”

    People would be wise to read what you said about the BORG in its many formats and biases!

    David King has been fortunate to have maintained BARBADOS Underground for all these years both from a technological perspective and the perspective of opinions and political allegiances

    The problem occurs when the synthesis of multiple identities introduces A TROJAN HORSE, then TROY FALLS.

    So that we who campaign for a better Barbados AND USE THIS SPACE TO VOICE OUR OPINIONS tread carefully because of the very same macro issues David comments on that beseige Barbados

    He claims at times to be purposely provocative and that He alone has this right to be provocative BUT DE OLE MAN asks you to examine his statement in light of Mr Hal Austin’s comments about “the Chairman” euphemism for the not so sharp instances within the BORG GENERALLY DE ONES WHO HATE YUH GUTS.

    Let me make mention of 5 men here who, DO NOT “NEED” BARBADOS UNDERGROUND

    Dr. GP
    John Q
    the Sage Annunaki Miller and
    Mr Vincent Codrington

    Now I have not left out Hants, nor Gazzerts, Artaxerxes, Pachamama nor Northern Observer nor any one of the other bloggers, on purpose, but i mention these 5 above, to give context to my comment.

    1.Men who are comfortable with their incomes,
    2.who have achieved respect among their peers,
    4.who simply do not need the botheration of Barbados Underground

    But they blog here nonetheless, for no personal gain, but because they are Patriots who are committed to being part of The Solution be it social, economic, political or spiritual.

    And lest de ole man gets dizzy from the coolaid remember my chant


    So, one really does not have to worry about user counts JUST KEEP

  13. @David.

    I haven’t seen audited financials from the board so can’t really say if anything has changed. What I would like to see though is just the below info shared.

    Revenue when they had 200 buses on the road
    Expenses when they had 200 buses on the road.
    Losses yearly with 200 buses on the road

    Revenue with 50 buses on the road.
    Expenses with 50 buses on the road.
    Losses with 50 buses on road

    Just that basic data will tell us roughly how good the boards were then and now and if in fact the drain on our wallets has increased and if so by how much annually. It will also tell us if any genuine reposition of the TB has occurred under both parties, or if it is just nuff talk from both of them.

  14. Run it as a business to make a lill profit

    Make the pensioners pay
    Make the police pay
    Make the school children pay
    Abandon the long haul routes during off peak/non profitable hours.

    While you at it, after crying the recent increase, increase the bus fares to reflect the true cost of a trip

  15. @ John A
    @john 2

    The transport Board was never conceived as a profit making corporation. It was part of the Economic Transformation Infrastructure. It is a public service to move people to their places of work at the lowest possible cost.
    Are you saying that this subsidy is no longer necessary at this stage of our development? Do you realise that without TB the traffic grids between 8Am and 9AM and 4 Pm and 6PM would be worse?
    Are we running this country to meet an accounting numeraire? It is about People not WINDOW DRESSING. AND yes.There must be accountability.So we need those figures in order to measure performance and probity.

  16. @ Vincent.

    We need a Transport Board system for sure. It however needs to be efficient and function. The PSVS were making money and expanding at $2 a fare without duty free concessions and subsidies. At the same time according to Sinkler, we were losing $5 million a month at the TB and paying for the same repair job twice.

    The whole thing is a mess and needs overhauling. I would bet you an efficient TB run like a business could not only operate on $3 a head, but make a profit in the process.

  17. How can you want it to be run like a business yet is against the increase in bus fares. Name one PRIVATE business that did not increase the cost of its products for about the last 5-8 years?

  18. From my reading in the press
    X amount of workers sent home = decrease in expenses
    Increase in bus fares = increase in revenues
    = a closing of the lost gap / depending on the public purse.

    Beside the above the new chairman seem to be getting a few more buses on the road.
    Beside that a new GM was hired about less than six months ago.

    We are not going from losing $60 mil a year to making a profit in one year, not even with the lay offs and increase in bus fares and with the SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES!

  19. @ John A

    I think you need to investigate why the PSV made a profit at lower prices per trip. Please pay attention to john 2 ‘s point about shorter crowded routes.

  20. Tomorrow A will be in here telling us how lawless an unregulated the same PSVs are in making the profit he just touted.
    imagine the TB with the same hussle to become a profitable entity/run like a business

  21. @ Vincent.

    I accept your point for sure but let’s see both sides of the coin. The PSVs pay duty on all parts, do not get diesel cheap nor do they get $5 million a month in subsidy.

    You want to bet that although the TB fleet is now 25% of their old fleet, that their expenses are probably close to where they were when they had 200 buses?

    Take my bet Vincent I need money for Xmas gifts! Lol

  22. Both sides!

    How often/many PSVs get burnt out trying to pull those hills in St Andrew, Joseph and John?
    Or how often the have to change brakes from going down?

    Horsehill and Martins bay for examples.

  23. Why is it that the one or two PSVs on those routes just go to Horeshill and Clifton Hall instead of Batsheba and Martins Bay.

  24. SARG

    John2 is more of a socialist and support for the poor. Agree with the free (government funded) education and healthcare, subsidized bus service and low water rates.

    My QEH comment not an indication of my view. It was an indication of the next thing to expect from john A (the capitalist)

  25. Barbadians will soon be receiving a 20 20 bill from Emera
    Emera signs an agreement to build a 33mega watt diesel power plant
    Oh i must thank Emera for thanking govt in helping to bring this project to life

  26. @ohn2 December 10, 2019 8:37 PM “COMING NEXT! User fees at QEH – the biggest draw on the public purse.
    why not?”

    Why not?

    Because we already pay user fees at the QEH. Those “user fees” are called TAXES, and where does the money in the “public purse” come from? The very same members of the public who PAY for the QEH’s services via their taxes. We know that the QEH int free. We know that WE PAY FOR IT.

    When people talk about “the government” do this and “the government” gives this and that, I remind ALL who will listen that “the government” don’t wuk nah-where.

    We the taxpayers pay for everything, including the salaries, pensions, cars and housing allowances of “the government” officials.

    Wunna really tink we stupid? Wunna really believe that we is sheeple?

  27. @ Simple Simon

    Welcome back.
    In many cases we are paying three times for services that were previously financed out of our VAT and income taxes. How many user fees have been imposed in the last twelve years with no improvement in services?

    • @Vincent

      Artax and others have opined thatbwe need a transformation in the culture how we do business. We can continue to throw money at this problem with negligible to zero result.

  28. @ John A

    I suspect you are an accountant;therefore you should be aware that fixed costs take sometime to decline even with declines in current costs. Overheads my man.! Overheads.!

  29. @ David BU

    I have adviced you about accepting these flavour of the month mantras/shiboleths. One does not ,nor cannot transform a culture. Culture is what it is. It usually evolves to what it is over time.

    Nothing is wrong with our culture. We need to do what is right. And we know what is right.

    • @Vincent

      We have a business culture where missing deadlines for submissions, not enforcing penalties etc. this defines the prevailing culture.

  30. @ David BU
    How can you juxtapose “business”, ” missing deadlines” and “not enforcing penalties” in the same sentence? It is not a business. Simple. Nor is it operating in a business like fashion. It is a racket or any other pejorative term,but not a business.

    Moreover, these outliers cannot define the culture. What percentage of the population of businesses do they represent?

  31. @ Vincent

    So I take it you not taking my bet then? LOL

    Seriously though the overhead adjustment period is my point. At no time was a decision taken by any board to set a target for bringing the expenses to Y by such a date. Now we can blame the boards, the Minister or the dog in the yard, but my point is no deadline was given hence no penalty for failure could be imposed.

    Then again why should it have been done, you could always suck on the nipples of the tax payer little harder!

  32. “Artax and others have opined that we need a transformation in the culture how we do business.”

    David BU

    Although I understand the gist of your above comment, in the interest of clarity, a review of my contributions on this topic would reveal I specifically mentioned changing the “organizational culture” that currently exists within the public and private sectors.

    I don’t know what “flavour of the month mantras/shiboleths” have to do with organisational culture, but if you read about the concept, you would understand where I’m coming from.

    The organisational culture that existed in the civil service has changed considerably over the years. Where’s the passion, where are the behaviours that support and promote innovation, being proactive, extra-ordinary service, competence, loyalty and productivity?

    People report for work after and leave before the designated times; they take more than an hour for lunch and even more on pay days; they are tardy in preparing annual financial statements; some people just come to work and “march time” until 4:30PM. Rather than educating new employees about the company’s mission and values as a key part of any onboarding process, these collective behaviours are taught instead, which eventually becomes the norm…….. the new organisational culture.

    And what you get? SOEs like the Transport Board. This is TB’s mission statement: “To be the principal provider of safe, reliable and efficient mass transit services and to consistently deliver the highest level

    Successive general managers have been unable to be creative, innovative or articulate the organisation’s vision to employees. How can TB “consistently deliver the highest level of customer satisfaction to users of public transport in Barbados,” when the availability of units fluctuates on a daily basis…….. or drivers REFUSE to drive to certain routes or drive a bus other than what they determine is “his/her bus,” or adhere to the supervisor’s requests……. some drivers are discourteous…….

    …….. simply because the minister sent them there and “nuhbody khan do dum nuttun?” The new drivers come in and adopt similar attitudes.

    Why hasn’t annual reports been prepared for the financial years ended March 31, 2011 to 2019?

    Several ministers, chairmen, general managers and other employees…… yet the status quo remains the same, while service continues to deteriorate.

  33. David BU

    Since I mentioned the Transport Board, I don’t know if it’s true, but, I understand Financial Controller Felicia Sue has been sent on special leave pending an internal investigation.

    I also understand TB rehired a number of former bus drivers on contractual arrangements, renewable every three (3) months and according to bus availability. These drivers are supposed to be paid for an hour if they report for work and there aren’t any buses available.

    Also, David BU, the people of Ridgeway once again want to thank you for highlighting their plight on BU’s facebook page. They are happy to report that it caught the attention of RBPF and they responded promptly. On December 4, police officers visited the residence where the driver lives on several occasions looking for him and he has since cease to park either van in the road.

    They say police officers have been also patrolling the area periodically during the early mornings and nights over the weekend and as recent as Tuesday 10.

  34. @ Artaxerxes the Superlative Archiver

    You said and I quote

    “…Where’s the passion, where are the behaviours that support and promote innovation, being proactive, extra-ordinary service, competence, loyalty and productivity?…”

    You are among the few here on Barbados Underground who I know, having asked a question, has the ability to answer said question.

    To answer the whole thing would take a treatise but de ole man would ask you just to touch lightly on things that you believe would ” support and promote innovation”

  35. @ Commander Theophillus Gazerts

    It is very much an interesting story.

    The thing about stories that cause people to believe you’re telling the truth is pictured.

    Pictures that confirm the timeline and the seemingly inconsequential narrative.

    Like the point the man makes about only having packed shorts and non dress shirts THEN THE PICTURE, little things like that

    But most of all it is the pictures with Skerritt that he nor others cant gainsay

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