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Communication ministry continues to tackle flooding problems

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Contact:  Shannon Lebourne


Tuesday 20 September 2011 Restoration works are continuing in the communities of Bexon, Labayee, and Marc, after torrential rains associated with two tropical systems over the weekend brought nightmares of Hurricane Tomas back to residents.


The bad weather caused flooding of some homes and property and damaged state infrastructure like roads and bridges.


Communications and Works Minister Honourable Guy Joseph says last weekend’s weather exacerbated the magnitude and scope of post Tomas restoration works which need to be undertaken in the area.


“At present there is some equipment working to retrain the course of the river and ensure that we build the banks at a higher elevation. In some areas we have been able to do bolder packing but that is not complete.


“If we look at the Bexon valley, there is the entire hill from Odsan coming across to Sarrot up to the Barre D`Isle and up to Forestierre—all the water from these hills come down to the Bexon Valley—that is where we face the challenge. I will not raise people’s expectations to say that we can prevent flooding in Bexon, but we will do everything that is humanly possible to mitigate the flooding in the area.”


Through a Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) funded programme there are some hydraulic studies underway in Bexon as government attempts to rebuild a more resilient Saint Lucia.


Minister Joseph says there is need to revisit the development patterns in Bexon and Labayee with an innovative outlook to sustainability.


“This is something that a broader study will have to look into to determine what kind of measures we can implement to either remove the houses and backfill the area, or to raise the level of the houses to mitigate against flooding. This is very challenging given that even first world countries suffer from flooding despite the numerous measures that are put in place.   We will not be able to relocate everyone in Saint Lucia; you go to the hills and you get landslides, go to the valleys you get flooding.”


Minister Joseph says as a nation there is need for individual action and responsibility to successfully mitigate against natural disasters.

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