Engineers Getting In The Way

Submitted by Grenville Phillips II

Portvale sugar factory continues to be closed at this most critical time of our crop season. Shockingly, the factory is still undergoing repairs after a two-week shutdown. Normally repairs happen during the planting and growing seasons, to avoid any shut-downs for repairs during the crop reaping time. Evidently, something has gone terribly wrong.

When CBC-TV finally broke the story that Portvale had already been closed for one week for repairs, the news reporter attempted to give comforting assurance and hope, by stating that: “the engineers are hard at work.” If engineers are seen to be hard at work on a problem that the public is aware of, then the situation must be very dire indeed.


Experienced Engineers normally foresee problems and quietly solve them with permanent solutions – without any fanfare. Therefore, an Engineer’s work is normally thankless, because the public has no opportunity to complain about problems they avoided experiencing. The public are generally unaware that there was anything to give thanks for, when Engineers do their jobs well.

The Barbados media’s decision to treat the closure of the Portvale factory as a national secret, that the public had no right to know, is very troubling. The planters’ decision to spill the proverbial bean, by publicly complaining about the risk of canes rotting, may have forced their hand.

The Barbados media must resist the temptation to be the public relations arm and attack hounds of their political party, and start serving the public with integrity.


The more important issue is: Are there any Chartered Mechanical Engineers employed at Portvale factory to avoid these types of delays? If not, then are there any Chartered Mechanical Engineers working in the Ministry of Agriculture? If not, then is there a single Chartered Mechanical Engineer working in the entire public service of Barbados? Is there a single journalist in Barbados who can ask these questions?

If the Government of Barbados has decided to stop hiring Chartered Mechanical Engineers, then the public must prepare for a wave of: rapidly deteriorating infrastructure, more frequent breakdowns and closures, and unnecessarily higher taxes to prematurely replace poorly maintained infrastructure.


The effective solution is obvious. But we do not seem to want effective solutions in Barbados, because it robs us of an opportunity to show who we really are. We much prefer to let things deteriorate, because that gives the public the opportunity to complain.

The more loudly people complain, the more likely the problem will be temporarily addressed – at an unnecessarily high cost. These short-term solutions give the public many opportunities to show who we really are – a grateful people. We long to express our gratitude. But Engineers’ competence keeps frustrating that cultural attribute.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer. He can be reached at


  • I agree with this. Doesn’t everybody?
    Well cuhdear!!! why don’t you say it … OVER AND OVER… and let us get it done…?
    instead of focusing on a dead crook from Florida, who only did what those of his Ilk are programmed to do?
    The PROBLEM is with the local political SCABS who are the JUDASES that are leading us to ruin.
    This is why they hate Caswell’s ass….

    ALSO, WRT the deaths following COVID….
    You don’t even get the half of the real issue yet….
    Bushie has been hinting this for a while now, …but David ‘playing that he don’t get it…”

    The REAL problem with Covid is not ‘COVID’, but the completely IDIOTIC global response to it.
    As a result, the REAL impact will make the last two years look like Eden.

    The bunch of misguided GLOBAL Jackasses did the following…
    – Locked people away in their homes for months on end FROM… exercise, exposure to the environment, proper medical supervision
    – Generated enormous STRESS and FEAR with stupid lies and overplay of a particular narrative designed by Big Pharma
    – Ended sports activities so that even the fittest of the fittest now became susceptible to the stress and decline
    – Insisted on EVERYONE being injected with an unknown and unproven EXPERIMENTAL therapy…
    – Separated families even at the time of the death of loved ones..
    – Destroyed livelihoods of small people while FACILITATING the SUPER wealthy’s assets to grew by 1000%

    So now instead of about 10 million of the world’s most frail people dying in two years under NATURAL circumstances, we shall see deaths in the hundreds of millions, of ALL ages, over the next 10 years.
    This has ALREADY started.
    In the US OVERALL deaths are up by an UNPRECEDENTED 40% pre-pandemic times.

    Check today’s paper where the Heart and Stroke Foundation is blaming an increase in heart issues on ‘COVID’…… Lotta Shiite!!
    These Heart and stroke issues accelerated AFTER we started vaccines…. it is the covid RESPONSE at fault…

    But let us ignore this reality and hope that it goes away….


  • @Artax April 20, 2022 9:44 PM “However, I also agree CBC has been MISUSED by successive BLP and DLP administrations, to push each political party’s propaganda, at the EXPENSE of taxpayers. During the former DLP administration tenure, for example, the first half an hour of the CBC TV8 Evening News was dedicated to broadcasting events, ceremonies, sports, conferences, etc, which were attended by Ministers or representatives of the party.”

    So true.

    I assume that ANY “NEWS” coming from CBC is government propaganda.

    I got so tired of CBC that I haven’t watched its evening news for decades. I remember when every newscast started with “Today Prime Minister Erskine Sandiford…” I had nothing against Sandy who was at St. Alban’s with 2 of my siblings, but, oh Lord, surely a station can begin the evening news with something other than “Today Prime Minister X…”


    I have not watched since. I have not watched CBC news during the Arthur, Thompson Stuart or Mottley administrations. I hope that I have not left out anybody.

    But I do listen to the sportscasts on the radio after the “news” is done. And I do listen to health and music programs. But “NEWS” Nah!


  • @Bush Tea “Check today’s paper where the Heart and Stroke Foundation is blaming an increase in heart issues on ‘COVID”

    I will continue to take my heart advice from a real-real heart doctor, one of our bright young ones raised just a few gaps from me.

    Not taking no medical advice from an anonymous blogger named Bush Tea.


  • @🐇/🐰
    “Since no water treatment plant removes all of the impurities present at its input, it follows that which ever district the water was supplied would see a rise in COVID cases because as we all have seen over time, COVID is also waterborne like almost 90% of contagious diseases.”

    I see that you have called my name again. A next dash towards the old rabbit hole.

    Let us agree that a water treatment plant does not remove all impurities, it does not immediately follow that it does not remove all covid.

    I will believe that our drinking water is free of. Covid until I hear otherwise.


  • Oh hell! I have not watched CBC evening news for years either. Too much political grandstanding for me. I can pick and choose and scan with a newspaper.


  • Bushie gave NO medical advise…
    That was ‘blogging advice’ to let us kick some REAL butt …instead of fighting with windmills….


  • @Bush Tea ” Locked people away in their homes for months on end FROM… exercise, exposure to the environment, proper medical supervision.”

    Truthfully Barbados’ lockdowns were not as harsh as those in other places. Throughout Covid we had the freedom to go in our yards and gardens, sit in our galleries/verandahs, on our front and back steps, to work, play, catch some sun, garden, do some yard work, tidy-up de place etc. Don’t know why the then Minister used the arcane legal term curtilage, stupse!!! I am fairly good with words and even I had never heard that one before, however I figured out that it had something to do with curt/short and curtail/stop so I got the message “stay in ya yard” even though I never studied Latin.

    Our doctors, clinics and pharmacies were not closed either, although “yes” surgeries, except for emergencies were delayed because of risk of infection in such circumstances. I’ve heard though that the doctors/nurses/lab technicians/orderlies etc. graduates of our much maligned schools ans society are hard at work trying to catch up. These professionals are not monsters who like to see people suffer. They are our loving, hard working daughters and sons.


  • The problem of underground water is not located at the Villages Coverley. It is adjacent to the development.


  • @TLSN April 23, 2022 7:24 AM “For those like me who have visited the beautiful capital city of Lisbon in Portugal, we have seen the evidence of the devastation and the after effects of what was the most disastrous tsunami in Europe.”

    Not really. A bigger one occurred about 12,000 years ago, gave the west coast of Norway, and the east coasts of Scotland and Northern England their jagged coasts.


  • Did the doctor blame Covid 19 directly or the adverse environment caused by the pandemic for heart patients.


  • Cuhdear BajanApril 25, 2022 7:38 AM

    @John April 24, 2022 2:43 PM “The question is, who gets to fix the problem? My first guess would be the GOB.”

    By the GOB do you mean we the over burdened taxpayers?

    But why?

    We did not/do not enjoy any of the profits from the “development.”

    Can’t you get to get the dead Florida man to pay up? We know that he did not take any money to heaven with him where the streets are paved with gold and earthly money is completely unnecessary, so where on earth is the money?

    Don’t you agree?


    So long as the developers are doing what they agreed to do as specified by the GOB, then the fault lies with the GOB for not asking for more on behalf of the people they represent.

    If the developers are not fulfilling their side of the bargain, their asses should be soaked … no pun intended.

    The GOB could prevail on the developers to rectify the problem and maybe they would if it meant protecting the image of their product but other than that, the problem is squarely in the GOB’s lap.

    And yes by the GOB I mean the taxpayers overburdened or not.

    That is the price they pay to get the Government they deserve.

    The Greenland experience in the mid 90’s taught me alot about incompetence and graft at high levels and the years in court from 1998 have made me an expert.


  • We getting some good rain up here in Christ Church.

    so far 81 parts at me so looking like a 1 inch rain at least.

    If the Villages at Coverly getting this rain and the run off going in their wells, the folks at Coverly are going to see an increase in water flowing under their homes depending on where they are located.

    I really need to look at the drainage wells from the 1951 aerial photos and the basal contours from the 1982 Geology map, predict where the flow will go and then verify it is happening where I reckon it should be happening if I am right.

    But busy on other matters for the moment.

    Definitely an interesting exercise.


  • That problem with water under the houses would be caused by improper grading of the properties and no drainage around lots leading to a storm sewer. But then, I understand Barbados does not have a Building Code. I did not know that Maloney had a P.Eng behind his name.


  • To repeat: the problem of underground water is not on the Coverley Villages compound, it is an adjacent property.


  • … but in all likelihood it is coming from the Coverly Villages compound!!

    What other source of water can you think of in the area uphill of the adjacent property?


  • An inch and fifty parts so far up this side!!!

    … and all up Coverly Villages looking black black black.


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