Letters & Opinion, Sounding Off

Desilt And Be Dammed

Image of Rochelle Gonzales

THE past few days of torrential rains have left a lot to be said about a number of topics in need of discussion but amongst them all, I can’t help but angrily focus on one issue, the wastage of all that heavenly water.

The John Compton Dam, formerly the Roseau Dam was built as the answer to our water problems. However, following the passage of Hurricane Tomas on October 30, 2010, the dam was filled with 1.1 million cubic metres of silt. This was made worse following the Christmas Eve Trough three years later bringing the silt levels to 1.5 million cubic metres…in other words, half of the dam was filled up with silt instead of the precious water that it was meant to be holding.

Now, am I missing something here? Call me impatient but you mean to say that after five years, nothing can be done about that major issue yet?

I mean, this is not just a “small fries” problem…surely it should be sitting comfortably in the top ten or dare I say five on the list of priorities or to dos for this island, so why is it that after five years, I’m still paying WASCO extra money to do a job that is not being done at all?

What kind of foolishness is that?

These questions kept swirling in my mind as I sat listening to all that rain pouring down from the heavens…the answer to our drought problems but what is coming of it??? NOTHING because it is being WASTED!

Instead of that precious commodity being secured for the coming dry season, we now have to sit and wait for the next excuse from WASCO and the other responsible parties involved in undertaking this task, telling us why we have to go for days without water as the dam is probably two thirds filled with silt now instead of halfway.

I now have to watch my water bill rise as more dredging fees are imposed whilst I’m forced to boil tank water as my tap has no running water due to island wide shortages and rationing.

If this is not beyond foolishness then I don’t know what is.

I keep hearing why it’s so difficult to dredge the dam and that the catchments need to be fixed first to prevent further landslides that go on to add more silt to the dam thus making the problem worse…But the job is so long in being done.

Why are you people in charge of this project just sitting around round tables yapping on about this with your coffee and sandwiches instead of getting your boots on and actually doing something?

I’m no dam engineer or expert to say that this effort does not require careful planning and detail but FIVE YEARS??? Whose eyes are you trying to pull the wool over?

It genuinely pains me to think of the thousands of gallons of water that have gone to waste over the past few days and it seriously angers me because I know that we are in for a new year of the same old nonsense that we call our water woes.

I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand time…Priorities, Priorities, Priorities. Water is life so why are you people playing games with the management of the island’s life water?

Get your heads out of the silt and start getting to the bottom of this problem…literally!

Rochelle entered the Media fraternity in May 2011 as a fresh-faced young woman with a passion for the English language, a thirst for worldly knowledge and a longing to inform the world of what was happening around them, whether it was good or bad.

She began as part of a small news team at Choice Television, which falls under the MediaZone umbrella. She was hired as one of the original members of the newly created Choice News Now team...Read full bio...



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