Friday, November 25, 2005 - The Ministry of Communications, Works,
Transport and Public Utilities has highlighted the need for land owners to take
responsibility for protecting their own properties from the onslaught of land
The Ministry's Permanent Secretary Jerome Jules says his department has to
grapple with public expectation that it should be held responsible for land
slippages occurring on their private properties.
Mr. Jules says whereas the Ministry does have some personal responsibility for
the clearing of access to pedestrians and vehicular traffic, its main
responsibility is to Public infrastructure.
“However there are situations where on humanitarian grounds the Ministry has
responded to requests from persons to assist in clearing slides or to deal with
issues of a fallen tree on private property, but we still need to make that
differentiation that for private property you have a personal responsibility to
respond to that and the state has the responsibility to deal with the public
infrastructure,” Mr. Jules said.
Persistent showers was to blame for the unusually high number of land slippages
at this time of year on the island. The Barre d' isle, a major passage way for
traffic flowing from the north to the south of the island, is one such area that
has been affected by the heavy rainfall last week.
Chief Engineer Jude Regis says earlier in the week traffic in that area had to
be somewhat restrained to facilitate the placement of filter drains to prevent
further movement of the soil.
“We are aware that the movement of the soil mass is mainly as a result of water
in the soil. Our intention is to remove as much water from the soil as possible.
Placing the filter drain in the area will facilitate the movement of water out
of the soil, so if we have more rain they will assist in evacuating the water a
quickly as possible out of that soil mass,” Mr. Jude Said
It was just two weeks before the rains came that the Ministry of Communications
and Works commenced a massive drain clearing exercise within the city of
Castries. Minister for Communications, Works, Transport and Public Utilities
Honourable Felix Finisterre
says large amounts of silt combined with equal amounts of garbage and other
debris were removed as a result.
“It was just very very fortuitous that we uncovered all of the slabs, cleared up
all of the drains and took off the silt. If it were not for those drain cleaning
works which we had done two weeks ago the flooding in the City of Castries would
have been much worse,” said Minister Finisterre.