Talking Garbage

A mountaineer named Tenzi recently shared his disgust at finding hundreds of pounds of garbage at the summit of Mount Everest after a reported ninth climb. It is difficult for sane persons to imagine why human beings would violate basic laws of the environment on the highest mountain in the world, reaching 29,032 feet. Surely humankind has lost its way – see link to story in the New York Post.

Reading the story for whatever reason reminded the blogmaster about the promise by David Simmons and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) in the 80s, that Mount Stinkeroo as it has been labelled would be ‘decommissioned’. Nearly 40 years later the putrid odor continues to assail the high end environs of the West Coast, especially at this time of the year with the start of the rainy season. The same feeling of disappointment can be applied to the insuperable PSV problem, inability to enact transparency legislation, reform education, public sector reform and several other initiatives promised by successive governments.

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Denis Lowe Go Away!

The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him – Niccolo Machiavelli

The blogmaster read a report in the press yesterday that former Minster of Drainage (and the Environment) Denis Lowe,  “still has fervour for politics” and intends to throw his hat in the ring come next general election due in 2023. There was an attempt to make his intention serious by giving the story prominence on the front page of the Nation newspaper.

The blogmaster is challenged to present a cogent response to Lowe’s outlandish desire to offer himself as a candidate in the next election.  This is a man who left his ministry with a handful of garbage trucks and had to resort to commandeering MTW trucks and bobcats to remove piles of garbage from the streets of Barbados. What Lowe will be most remembered for is an attempt to foist a gasification waste to energy plant on Barbadians under the cloak of night. Cahill Energy … anyone?

The Nation newspaper reported Lowe’s desire to contest the next election was ratified by the Christ Church East constituency. The blogmaster notes the interesting comeback from president of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Verla De Peiza when asked to comment, the party will make candidate announcements at a later date”.

Political pundits are left to ask – how come the leadership of DLP Christ Church East  is so out of touch with the political reality prevailing in the country? What would have motivated a handful of individuals to ratify Lowe’s selection at this time? What would have motivated them to retrieve a spent, incompetent and shady  Denis Stephenson Lowe from the political dust bin? By the way, has he been given a clean bill of health? We recall he had to be away from office for unacceptable periods of time.

The blogmaster criticized Verla De Peiza when she allowed Stuart to share his specious concerns under the party banner earlier in the year. Once again this blogmaster is suggesting she should move with haste to excoriate political skeletons associated with Stuarts unpopular reign. At a time Prime Minister Mia Mottley continues to suck the political oxygen from Barbados’ political space,  Verla De Peiza leader is being undermined by political fiends stinking up her leadership space. If De Peiza wants to establish the party as hers, if she wants to match and surpass Mottley, she must respond with a ruthlessness borrowed from the Machiavellian handbook. If she does not the label of ‘watchman’ will flourish.

The ratification of Lowe by the constituency raises the perennial issue discussed many times on the blog. The private selection of candidates by the duopoly who eventually find themselves elevated to members of the cabinet. BU has posted several blogs exposing Lowe as a stool pigeon and plan for Peter Allard going back to when he was appointed to the Senate.

It is time for political parties in Barbados to reinvent themselves. Men and women must hold their noses and offer to serve. We can implement the best systems to ‘democratize’ the process, it will not work as intended unless intelligent  people with copious integrity raise their hands.




Power PROBE @BL&P a Must!

The blogmaster inquired from Chris Halsall how would a distributed power generation model affect BL&P’s profit and loss in the aftermath of last week’s catastrophe –Barbados Gone Dark.

He responded as follows:

ROK (RIP) and I relied on Douglas Skeete during the rate hearings for the financial dimensions, but my understanding is moving to a distributed generation model would have no impact on the BL&P revenue model. No changes to the equations, simply the variables.

BL&P is allowed to earn up to 10.48% based on the Rate Base. The Rate Base is the amount of capital invested in “plant” that is directly responsible for power Generation, Transmission and Distribution. As this is amortized over time, what this actually means BL&P is allowed to make less profit unless they reinvest in the plant.

BL&P will always be needed by Barbados to invest in, maintain and manage the T&D. It’s a “natural monopoly” (and unbelievably complex) — you don’t want multiple different providers each erecting their own poles and then stringing cables. BL&P will also always be responsible for a large percentage of the generation.

It is important to note that this is not going to happen overnight. And there are legitimate concerns by BL&P — it might have to carefully manage an environment where they don’t control all of the generation capacity that the country might need at any given time, but would still be responsible for getting the electrons from where they’re being generated to where they’re needed.

And, the transmission network might require upgrading, if, for example, large generation capability is planned to come online somewhere where appropriate capacity doesn’t already exist. Who would pay for that, the BL&P (and, thus, the power consumer), or the private generation provider?

This is a non-trivial problem space, with many, many dimensions.

The blogmaster will add to Halsall’s view on the obligation of BL&P given the permission by the regulator to earn  a 10.48% Rate of Return on Rate Base.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley indicated in one of her take charge interviews last week that the time  will come to hold actors in last week’s fiasco responsible – the priority now is to stabilize the power supply to the country. Sorry Prime Minister, the blogmaster does not agree, we can do both at the same time especially if we are confronted by negligence, greed and incompetence.

There is one observation those who followed the press briefings must be concerned about –  Managing Director of BL&P Roger Blackman boldly stated one of the reasons for not replacing old problematic diesel equipment was heavily influenced by government’s decision at the time to allow Cahill Barbados to operate a plasma gasification plan in Barbados.

The other issue that triggered concern was the feedback from BL&P that unwanted contaminants were discovered in the fuel supplied by Barbados National Oil Company Ltd (BNOCL). The obvious question is what responsibility does BL&P have to ensure the fuel supplied by BNOCL meets the specifications to ensure the old diesel engines do not have a bad reaction.

The local media should join Barbados Underground to question the quality of BL&P’s decision which has led to the current perilous state of affairs. Should citizens take comfort in the fact the regulator – Fair Trading Commission – has launched a probe? For years the BU family has raised concerns about energy generation in Barbados. It reached a peek during the Cahill saga. How does being reactive get us anywhere?

Cahill Energy Barbados Sold to Quantum Utility Generation

Good catch by Patrick Hoyos over at the Broad Street Journal. Kammie Holder and a few others who monitor environmental matters warned us a couple years ago about Cahill Clare Cowan (Energy Barbados) plan to sell after construction of a mega plasma gasification plan was scuttled. Do we have to wait as usual for our leaders to speak on these matters? – David, Blogmaster

But Cahill Energy put out a press release dated March 20, 2019 (yes, dated just a few days ago) letting the world know it had sold off its “Barbados waste-to-energy company, Cahill Energy Barbados, to Quantum Utility Generation, which secured funding to build the plant that Cahill estimates the cost at $350 million USD.” This announcement seems to be a bit late, if I understand things correctly. I heard that the sale took place some time ago and consulting work has been done and permission applied for at Town Planning – Broad Street Journal

Once upon a time there was a Barbados administration which was, shall we say, very creative in finding ways to sell the rights of Barbadians to potential foreign investors with few of us knowing what was going on.

For example, the Hilton. For another one, the national oil terminal. For another, a west coast development that faltered, was bailed out at massive cost to the taxpayer, then left unfinished to weather in the sun and rain through, you could say, all four seasons.

And then there was the “enfant terrible” of them all – the most outrageous disposal of Barbadians’ future rights, in my view – the signing of a contract with a company called Cahill Energy.

Now, having been underground, I have read lots of stuff about what a supposed memorandum contained and how it was allegedly signed by some people in the former administration, all acting no doubt in what they may have considered the best interests of Barbados.

Which, if they did do so, would say a lot about their judgement, because the waste-to-management operation proposed to be built at Vaucluse by Cahill Energy was going to use a highly toxic and dangerous technology which would not vapourise garbage as it promised. It would leave mountains of sludge which still had to be buried somewhere.

But it was only when a multi-million pound investment at Teeside in Britain using the same tech – a risky one known as plasma gasification – went belly-up that the Dolittle Administration cancelled the Barbados project.

Read full article in the Broad Street JournalQuantum of incredulity

Here is the Press Release announcing the sale. Broad Street Journal posted a 2014 Press Release.

Cahill Energy Barbados acquired by Quantum Utility Generation

Toronto (March 20, 2019) – After four years of development, culminating in full government approval, Cahill Energy Limited has sold its Barbados waste-to-energy company, Cahill Energy Barbados, to Quantum Utility Generation, which secured funding to build the plant that Cahill estimates the cost at $350 million USD.“Cahill Energy is actually a spin-off from Cahill International. As a team we were globe trotters raising funds between $300 million to $1 billion USD. In 2013, we created Cahill Energy simply due to the opportunity to participate hands-on in what we thought then was a miracle: waste-to-energy. We built Cahill Energy to provide a leading edge, environmentally sound solution to the dual challenges of waste management and energy security,” says Clare Cowan, CEO, Cahill Energy Limited. “The ability to turn waste into energy has extraordinary value when you are working with an island that currently spends $1 million USD a month on landfill maintenance alone. Not only do you eliminate the waste but the landfill, as well. That’s exceptional value when you consider the fixed constraints of available land.”Having conducted in-depth analysis of the Caribbean region, Cahill Energy had determined that Barbados represented the ideal location to invest in a waste-to-energy plant.

“While we recognize that the country faces some challenges in the short term due to the impact of the 2008-2009 global economic downturn, we believe that the fundamentals are strong,” adds Cowan.

Many experts were involved in determining if Barbados had the requirements for a waste-to-energy plant. The focus was primarily on engineering and in this regard,Cahill selected Hatch due to their substantive global expertise. Cahill also worked with the most qualified in every discipline, from legal to finance to create the environment to attract the best in development. With Quantum Utility Generation now on board, this objective has been achieved.

Founded in 2010, Quantum Utility Generation, LLC (“QUG”) acquires, develops, operates and optimizes power generation assets in the Americas with a sharp focus on working with both customers and partners to find economic, environmentally sound and reliable power solutions.

The QUG team is power focused. Their team consists of power industry veterans with decades of experience in the acquisition, development, operations, management, financing and most importantly the economic optimization of conventional and renewable energy assets.

Quantum Energy Partners is the parent of Quantum Utility Generation, a Houston-based, private equity manager with more than $9.5 billion USD of capital under its stewardship and is focused solely in the energy space.

Once the team was assembled, Cahill researched and qualified each aspect required, which led the company to determine the benefits for Barbados in having such a plant. Ultimately, the plant will be a game changer for Barbados. Beyond the plant itself, Cahill was excited to see additional benefits such as:

  • Waste being used for energy hence the need for landfill will be limited
  • Carbon dioxide emissions from the landfill will become negligible
  • Energy security rising to 18-24%
  • A strong foundation for sustainable tourism
  • 500-600 skilled labor jobs created in the build cycle
  • 50-60 full time positions when the plant is operational

Following the successful closure of this chapter, Cahill is focusing on research into its next opportunity. Cowan is confident that any initiative Cahill undertakes will once again replicate the success of past projects.

“We have our eye on several business ventures and are excited and encouraged about new avenues and prospects moving forward,” says Cowan.

For media:

Joe Roma Communications for Cahill Energy

Request to Remove CAHILL blog

A couple hours before the arrest of former Minister Donville Inniss broke the following message was received by the blogmaster:

I wanted to know if you can please remove this article. its been 3 years and there is no longer a need for this. Can you please remove that article. The information on it is against Google’s guidelines.
James Cole

The blogmaster invites feedback.

Prime Minister Mottley Issues Reminder to Public Servants – Do Government Business Using Official Email!


A statement issued Prime Minister Mia Mottley yesterday piqued

the interest of the blogmaster. During a session labelled, a dialogue between Ministers of Government and a Committee representing Permanent Secretaries and others of a similar grade, Mottley  instructed the senior public officers present, ‘… that no business of the Government of Barbados should be conducted on anything other than an official email’.

One immediately wondered why in an enlightened time a Prime Minister from her elevated position, would have seen the need to issue the caution to Permanent Secretaries charged with the responsibility to administration of the Public Service. Clearly the Prime Minister issued the reminder to the senior public servants  in difference to the need to be confidential managing the people’s business, she is aware there was a breech or all of the foregoing.

Yesterday’s episode pe the blogmaster’s interest why?

Not too long ago among the voluminous Cahill documents leaked there was an email sent to several prominent individuals in Barbados by Clare Cowan, CEO of Cahill Energy. On the distribution list were the personal email addresses of Ministers Darcy Boyce, Chris Sinckler and David Estwick.

Connect the dots!

Importing Water from Suriname and the Right to Know


Minister of Water Resources David Estwick and the General manager of the BWA Dr. John Mwansa denied the initial report

It has been a few days Barbadians were alerted to the decision by the Barbados government about an arrangement with Amazone Resources to transport a maximum of 2 million litres of water to Barbados. It is an open secret the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) has been struggling to supply water to Barbadians living on the rock -especially in the Northern parishes with St. Joseph the hardest impacted.

The CEO Auke Piek of Amazone Resources was quoted in the media:

[he] would like to have the launch of the flexbag on November 21 or 22 and after that, it will be sent to Barbados with drinkable surface water from the rivers. The journey should take four to five days, using a tugboat to pull the floating flexbag/flextank … We will test, through our trial, how the water behaves during transportation.

It came as no surprise to the BU household to learn about yet another agreement consummated behind the backs of Barbadians in the dead of the night by this government. To make matters more interesting, several local news sources reported that the minister of water resources David Estwick and the general manager of the BWA Dr. John Mwansa denied the initial report.

However in light of subsequent reports from the BWA that confirmed an experimental shipment of water was approved by the BWA with the Suriname company Amazone Resources to test the feasibility of freighting water to Barbados under safe conditions in the event of a future need. The MOU with Amazone Resources did not include offloading the water in Barbados.

One wonders why the authorities in Barbados retreated to a defensive reaction when the news broke initially. Why didn’t the management make a quick decision to get ahead of the story if the agreement with Amazone was about contingency in the event the BWA is unable to supply potable water to Barbadians if drought conditions continue to adversely affect water generation. In fact the bigger concern is why did the management of water resources in Barbados not think it prudent to share the information with Barbadians when the MOU was signed off? Why the culture of governance by stealth.

Now that Barbadians have learned about the plan to barge water to Barbados, what is next? Who will tell us?

However, it was agreed that due to a lack of existing infrastructure in Barbados for the receipt of the water, storage and pumping and the need to establish the necessary water quality standards and importation control measures, the water in the barge would not be offloaded – Barbados Water Authority

Surely there is more information the BWA needs to share with the taxpayers of Barbados about the MOU between the BWA and Amazon.

The concern some have expressed is that Suriname has been tagged as a country where the risk of contracting Zika is very high. What screening infrastructure would Barbados have to implement to protect Barbadians from exposure to infectious diseases from Suriname and elsewhere if the decision to barge water to Barbados becomes a reality.

Relevant links:

The Barbadian public has a right to know what our government is doing from those who were elected to serve them. We have not forgotten this DLP government ran on a ticket of a transparency government not too long ago.


David Estwick Addresses Water Crisis, HOPEFULLY

David Estwick, Minister of Agriculture

David Estwick, Minister of Water Resources

According to media reports Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resource Management Dr David Estwick has scheduled a press conference for later today (07.10.2016). Estwick has been the target of severe criticism because of the inability of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) to achieve its mandate to deliver potable water to ALL Barbadians.

One hopes that Estwick will treat Barbadians with respect AND assume an empathetic posture later today by leaving his usual blustery and bombastic approach at Hoodies’ door.   BU agrees with Dr. George Belle that the ongoing water crisis will have political implications for the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) when the bell is rung for the next general election. It does not take evidence-based analysis to determine how long suffering residents in the areas of Barbados affected by water shortages will place their X.

One has to wonder what motivated Estwick to state recently, he intends to treat the water issue  as a national problem in response to the question why he has not reached out to residents of the most affected areas. He is technically correct to say his mandate must be national in focus, BUT, the reality is that there is an area in the North of Barbados that is being affected.  Any sensible politician should appreciate the need to establish an ’empathetic connection’ with the affected residents.

Human beings cannot survive without water – the infrequent supply to areas of Barbados has served to increase the level of stress of residents in the affected areas. This is an important observation in the context of a Barbados gripped in a protracted economic crisis for the the last eight years. And there is no light at the end of the tunnel!

BU and others have written voluminously about the water problems afflicting Barbados.  The poor management; communication, planning etc. Residents in the affected areas must be grateful in 2016 to be receiving the many gifts of water. The many acts of kindness must be commended BUT it does not absolve the BWA and David Estwick from the responsibility of ensuring ALL Barbadians receive water at the tap. One wonders why the simple task of maintaining supplies to the community water tanks is not being achieved. Why rapid response teams are not being satisfactorily mobilized to fix burst pipes. Why we cannot manage efficient customer contact centre operations to respond to dissatisfied subscribers.  Proactive communication alerts via ALL channels. The website of the BWA is wholly inadequate in 2016, there is no visible Facebook and Twitter presence to efficiently exploit the digital platform in a country with  deep Internet penetration.

The BU household will join many concerned Barbadians later today to listen to Minister David Estwick. Our expectation is that he will leave the political rhetoric for the political platform and deal with how his ministry plans to relieve the suffering of Barbadians in the North of the island.


The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – The Politics of Water Security

Safe drinking water and adequate sanitation are crucial for poverty reduction, crucial for sustainable development and crucial for achieving any and every one of the Millennium Development Goals. – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Jeff Cumberbatch - Chairman of the FTC and Deputy Dean, Law Faculty, UWI, Cave Hill

Jeff Cumberbatch – Chairman of the FTC and Deputy Dean, Law Faculty, UWI, Cave Hill

It should be easy for most Barbadians to sympathize, or perhaps even empathize, with the plight of the residents of those local districts who have had to endure a regrettable lack of piped water to their homes in recent months. It certainly is no laughing matter when one is forced to endure the discomfort and displeasure of not being able to flush a toilet by a mere press of the plunger or unable to take a shower at the end of a long hot day. The “bathe-up” or standpipe baths and gatherings of bygone Barbados ought not to be an imperative for the contemporary taxpayer. To add insult to injury, it has been reported that bills, more than nominal in some cases, continue to be issued to these long-suffering individuals for water usage by the Barbados Water Authority.

It is equally easy, if one is so inclined, to use this unfortunate circumstance as an opportunity to bash the hapless administration in office and to classify its occurrence, as has been done by more than a few, as an example of poor governance, of poor leadership, an abdication of ministerial responsibility or a heady cocktail of all the above.

At one level, the state does bear ultimate responsibility if this “essential service” should not be supplied to all citizens without discrimination. According to several of the international conventions that we have ratified, ensuring the national supply of safe, potable water is an express state obligation. For example, under Article 24 (2)(c) of the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), States parties are required to pursue full implementation of this right and, in particular, shall take appropriate measures: … (c) To combat disease and malnutrition, including within the framework of primary health care, through, inter alia, the provision of adequate nutritious foods and clean drinking water [Emphasis added].

And Article 14 (2) of the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) mandates states parties to “take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in rural areas to ensure…to women the right: … [h] To enjoy adequate living conditions, particularly in relation to housing, sanitation, electricity and water supply, transport and communications.” [Emphasis added]

Other conventions such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights also recognize the right to water as an international human right, obligating the state to ensure to its citizens the supply of sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic uses.

At another level, however, the state may lawfully claim exemption from this obligation where the failure in supply is owed to circumstances such as an Act of God or nature (drought or endemic water scarcity); act or default of another for whom the state assumes no responsibility; or where the failure is otherwise exempted by law so that the claim to an absolute entitlement in any circumstance whatsoever does not arise.

So far as the first is concerned, it may very well be that this condition currently subsists, although the people from the affected districts would not be acting unreasonably to query why the onus of this drought should fall on them unequally.

Nor can the state fairly place the blame on the Barbados Water Authority that, although not constitutionally part of the Crown, bears practically a sufficiently subordinate role thereto as to be considered integrated into the state machinery.

It bears mention in this regard nevertheless, that much of the blame for the recent happenings has been placed on the inherently defective and ancient mains that are currently undergoing replacement. To the extent that this is an ongoing process stretching across the change of governing administrations, it would be clearly inequitable to place all the blame for the delayed achievement of this initiative on the current administration. The partisan ascription of blame, though perhaps electorally beneficial in future, does little to relieve the current insecurity of the affected citizens.

I accept that the figurative horse is well and truly out of the stable, and that from now until the elections bell is rung by the Prime Minister, most civic failings will be seen in a partisan light against the party that comprises the current administration. This is par for the course and, I suppose, those concerned who are far more knowledgeable than I am in these matters will seek to apply and to resist this onslaught as forcefully as may be practicable.

“It is clear that the solutions to the delivery of water and sanitation for all are fundamentally political in nature and not just technical. The need for opening the “Water Tap” for transparency, accountability and participation is vital as we face the rapid increase of urbanization and the frightening implications of climate change for our scarce water resources”-George, Nhlapo and Waldorf- “The politics of achieving the Right to water” (2011)

CRIME a Worry

The following is a post to a T&T YahooGroup to which Barbados Underground is subscribed. Take note of the following disclaimer. The BU household has replaced “T&T” with Barbados, “Keith and Kamla” with Freundel and Mia, “PNM and UNC” with DLP and BLP

Barbados Underground (BU)


Credit: Colonel Buggy

…. they admit the main reason for our crime problem is the free flow of guns & drugs and the massive money laundering by white-collar criminals running the narco trade in Barbados, and they cooperate to solve this problem.

If they don’t, then you can take it the bank that these two will never be able to solve the crime problem and will continue to support ineffective, stupid, useless, and VERY COSTLY programmes that continue to maintain the eat-ah-food parasites of all parties who continue to eat while blood flows, especially that of the foot soldiers.

You will hear more legalese talk than real action to solve the real crime problem and go after the real crime bosses. Lawyers and politicians who are advised by lawyers believe the solution to all problems is more LEGALESE, EVEN THOUGH we have a plethora of good laws (bad ones, too) on the books but we can’t implement any damn thing in this country.

Like most problems, anywhere, you have to go to the source to solve it. Anything else is crap. You cannot real with guns & drugs & dirty money when the nation is flooded with these and you allow more to come in! Why is that hard to understand,. eh?  You seizing a gun every day, if even that, but more and more come in all the time. Guns & drugs come in and leave in shipping containers yet you are not increasing patrols & monitoring as well as scanning at ports etc?  But, now and then you seizing a few pounds of ganga or a few ounces of cocaine, and you say we getting there, we finally making progress in this battle, really? Who yuh fooling?

When the the Government and Opposition come together to reduce the free flow of guns & drugs, tackle the money laundering and white-collar crimes, and bring the Defence Force out to help the Police in more patrols all over the country, more temporary and permanent Army/police posts, more control of the roads and highways to restrict movement of criminals (they have to move),  genuine CCTV that actually work and monitored by real people all over the country but first in strategic locations, more coastal stations and patrols, more scanning at points of entry and random checks of containers all over the place……. then you could say Freundel and Mia getting serious about crime. But that might happen when cock get teeth or pigs fly or ….

Until then, it’s all a pappyshow that fools no once except the dwindling band of DLP & BLP lackeys and eat-ah-fooders who are too blind to see what is happening.

One wonders why successive governments AND THE PEOPLE OF Barbados have not tackled the growing narco trade that is now destroying Barbados? Is it that everyone has a price? Is it now all ah we iz corrupt? Is it that the narco trade has permeated every sector, every village, and every block in Barbados so all ah we in it? Why is it that people offer all manner of solutions for crime but never admit the real problem and suggest solutions to tackle the real problem? Why is it that successive governments and the people of Barbados do not want assistance from USA, Canada, Europe and others who have expertise and experience in this and are willing to help us? Some years ago, a government official said we have nothing to really worry about narco trade since it just “pass thru” here, so let them do dey ting and we have no problem. Naive. Stupid. Dangerous. Is it that such opinions are still prevalent among the leaders & elites in Barbados? One has to wonder…..and then die.

The Brutality of the Royal Barbados Police Force, with video


Highlighted from Nazim’s Police Statement

Many locals have been quick to share their views on the several tragic events that occurred in the USA recently where Black men were shot like dogs by White policemen.  Not so fast! Is the below for real? Happening in Bimshire?Barbados Underground

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Bizzy Williams

Bizzy Williams

On the 17 April 2016 BU posted the Ionics Freshwater agreement with the Barbados Water Authority (BWA). Many questions were asked but as usual taxpayers have been met with silence. However with a general election looming in less than 2 years expect to hear the political rhetoric levels rise and for sleeping giants to awaken.

BU received the following Excel spreadsheets which purport to support the 10% of BWA’s annual revenue paid to one entity Ionics Freshwater limited, a company owned by Bizzy Williams’ of Williams Industries Group. The huge slice of the national budget given to Bjerkham, Maloney and Williams continue to create disquiet in our tiny nation.

Water Supply with Ionics Incorporated Agreement (Scam), LEAKED

by David on April 17, 2016 in Barbados News Edit

27,000 m3 x BDS$0.80 x 365 DAYS x 15 years = BDS$118,260,000.00 or BDS$118 MILLION DOLLARS.. Imagine being given the opportunity to spend BDS$18 MILLIONS DOLLARS to build a new water treatment plant with a no-risk contract with Barbados Water Authority where them would take all the water treated and where BWA would repay you […]

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What Fifty years of “Independence” is Barbados Really Celebrating?

Submitted by David Comissiong

After reading the damning revelations contained in Auditor General Leigh Trotman’s report about the outrageously preferential taxpayer-funded contracts granted to a coterie of elite white business-people by the Government Ministers of our country, I am forced to come to the conclusion that the “Old Colonial System” is still very much alive and well in supposedly independent Barbados!

Similarly, after digesting Mr. Mark Maloney’s defiant assertion that his Rock Hard Cement company will be (and is) forging ahead with its construction at Spring Garden highway in spite of the fact that some six months ago the Chief Town Planner had served the company with an order to cease construction, I am compelled to recognize that the same old colonial power elite continues to exist and to call the shots in our supposedly independent country!

Clearly, some 50 years after we hauled down the British “union jack” flag, Barbados’ primary purpose as a society still continues to be the colonial-style facilitation of a lifestyle of opulence and comfort for a privileged few at the expense and on the backs of the masses of ordinary Barbadians !

Take, for example, the case of one Bizzy Williams, who, when asked to comment on the fact that Government’s imposition of a “tipping fee” for refuse delivered to the landfill had brought about a substantial reduction in the garbage processed by his Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre Inc. (SBRC), boasted that whether his company processed the garbage or not, it still had to be paid by our Government.

Bizzy Williams’ exact words (as reported in the Nation Newspaper of 3rd May 2016) were as follows:-

Financially, though, it is not hurting us. It does not make a bit of a difference to us because we have signed on a contract with the Government that we have to provide the facility to process 1,000 tons a day minimum. So whether the material comes or it does not come, that is what we signed on to.

For those citizens and taxpayers who may not be aware, let me bring  the following to your attention: in June 2009, the current Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Administration entered into a so-called “Take or Pay Contract” with Mr. Bizzy Williams’ Sustainable (Barbados) Recycling Centre Inc. (SBRC), and under that contract, we, the taxpayers of Barbados, are obliged to underwrite a guaranteed minimum payment of $22.6 Million per year to SBRC over a 20 year period for the processing of solid waste, whether or not the company is actually called upon to carry out work of the requisite minimum quantity!

Thus, under this contract alone, we Barbadian taxpayers are saddled with a “minimum” payment of some $452 Million dollars to Bizzy Willliams’ SBRC over a 20 year period!

But this is not the only such Government contract that the several companies associated with Mr. Bizzy Williams enjoy !

Under the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration of Mr. Owen Arthur, another Bizzy Williams associated company known as Ionics Freshwater Ltd was granted a contract by virtue of  which they were mandated by our Barbados Government to construct a desalination facility at Spring Garden, St. Michael; to operate and maintain the facility; and to be paid for  supplying  the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) with a minimum of 27,000 cubic metres of desalinated water every day over a 15 year period.

When, however, several years later, the Auditor General’s department carried out a special investigation into the workings of this outrageously preferential contract, they discovered that:-

  1. The BWA had agreed to pay a price for the desalinated water that was substantially higher than was merited ;
  2. The BWA had contracted to secure more water per day than it had the capacity to receive, and therefore had to pay the company – on an ongoing basis – for work that the company did not have to do; and
  3. The BWA had entered into a contract that virtually guaranteed the company a massive 18 per cent return on its investment !

So here again, we Barbadian taxpayers ended up underwriting tremendous benefits for a private company– benefits that were contractually affixed for an extensive fifteen year period !

The sad truth is that successive BLP and DLP administrations have placed our nation in a deep financial hole by entering into unjustified, outrageously privileged contracts that oblige us – the citizens and taxpayers of Barbados – to make annual payments of hundred of millions of dollars for decades into the future.

Let us look at another example! There is the April 2013 so-called storage tank lease contract entered into by our Government with the Mark Maloney and Bjorn Bjerkham owned and/or managed company known as Storage Solutions Limited.

Under this contract, our Government-owned (and taxpayer-funded) Barbados Agricultural Management Co. Ltd (BAMC) is obligated to pay Storage Solutions Limited the sum of $2, 150,000.00 plus VAT every year for 20 years for the privilege of using three molasses storage tanks at the Bridgetown Port. Thus, under this contract, our Government (and ultimately the taxpayers of Barbados) are saddled with a payment of some $50 million over the 20 year period!

Yet another such contract is the so-called housing construction contract entered into between this current DLP administration and the corporate entity known as Housing Concepts SRL – also owned and/or managed by the said Mark Maloney and Bjorn Bjerkham.

Under this contract, Housing Concepts SRL was leased a massive parcel of Government land at Coverley, Christ Church at a pepper-corn rent for the purpose of constructing houses for sale to the Barbadian people at prices ranging between $289,000.00 and $396,000.00!

But what makes this contract truly remarkable is that our taxpayer-funded Government has entered into a legally binding contractual obligation to purchase from Housing Concepts SRL any house that the company is unable to sell to members of the public! Thus, once again, we taxpayers are left holding the bag!

There is also the outrageously privileged contract that the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) entered into with Innotech Services Ltd for the design, financing and construction of the new BWA headquarters, and the lease of the premises to the BWA for 13 years. Our Auditor General, Mr. Leigh Trotman, recently detailed so many deficiencies with this outrageously preferential contract that we would require a separate article to list and discuss them!

And – truth be told – I could go on and on listing many other similarly outrageously preferential contracts that our compliant political directorate has conferred on a small group of elite white Barbadian business-people. It is no wonder therefore that our country now possesses a national debt that is as large as our entire Gross National Product!

Face the truth Bajans : the “Old Colonial System” is alive and well in our country, and will continue to remain alive and well so long as you continue to elect hollow, pride-less, self serving men and women to the House of Assembly and ultimately to ministerial and prime ministerial office!

And so our first order of business must be to vote out the self-serving charlatans ! But that alone will not be enough. We will also have to go on  to reform the Constitution  of our nation in order to establish structures and  mechanisms that we – the people – can use to hold our MP’s and Ministers accountable in the future.

Are you prepared to take on this crucial battle, or are you content to continue to be used and exploited for the benefit of a privileged few?

Dwight Sutherland Serving Two MAMs, Mottley and Maloney

There is the saying, ‘if yuh start wrong, yuh gine end wrong’.

A lot has been written and said about MAM (Mark Maloney) and his latest Town Planning Department (TPD) breach (controversy) Hard Rock Cement. His name was mentioned by Governor Delisle Worrell when he delivered one of his closed door Economic Reviews. In the recent No Confidence Motion brought against the government by MAM (Mia Mottley) Maloney’s name was again mentioned several times. In the same way she catapulted the Cahill Energy Scam to wide national attention, she has apparently done the same to Mark Maloney and his company Hard Rock Cement.

The BU household has joined many who have become enthralled by the reported exploits of Maloney. The current debate over his refusal to respond to an enforcement order issued by the Town Planning department (TPD),  who then flipped it to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Charles Leacock, who has since requested additional information from Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins to clarify the order is the stuff Hollywood is built.

Photo credit: Barbados Today

Photo credit: Barbados Today

Although Barbadians have been labelled creatures who have a short attention span, surely we have not forgotten it was in January of last year Mark Maloney announced that a top of the line cement plant would be constructed next to the flour mill on Barbados Port Authority lands. The verbal indiscretion and insight into how decisions are made in Barbados have now come into the light. His announcement then forced a hurried response by Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins to the effect no building construction application had been made. The Business Development and Operations Consultant Dwight Sutherland was given the job to explain away Maloney’s ‘faux pas’ of sorts which he attributed to overexcitement.

During the No Confidence debate Mia Mottley was relentless in her prosecution of Maloney and the authorities who have not been able to respond to what she labelled TPD breaches. While on her feet government member using sotto voce were quick to ask about Dwight Sutherland’s role in the Hard Rock Rock Hard affair. She responded that it would be INVIDIOUS of her to deal with the Sutherland involvement during the motion.The meaning of the word – likely to arouse or incur resentment or anger in others. Members of the BU household immediately discussed what she meant and concluded she did not want to upset her junior colleague.

BU is of the view given the aggressive public position the leader of the Opposition and Barbados Labour Party Mia Mottley has taken – and rightly so – makes it easy for Sutherland to resign his job as a Consultant with Maloney’s Hard Rock Cement company. Given Sutherland’s role and his public mouthings as a representative of Hard Rock Cement, it is obvious that he was involved in TPD discussions. It is obvious he was privy to the direction the company was about to take last year. Even if he was not aware the time has come to select one master. There is another saying – you can’t serve two masters.

It is a matter of principle Mr. Dwight Sutherland M.P. and Business Development Manager and Consultant. All are watching you as you construct a career in public service.