The Government of Saint Lucia has appealed to citizens to stop dumping garbage in the rivers and gutters in order to prevent major flooding and damage to infrastructure.
The government’s appeal comes in light of the recent floods which saw the City of Castries and other communities inundated within hours of rainfall.
Infrastructure Minister Phillip J. Pierre has said that the flooding could be lessened if persons take some responsibility to ensure that they do not dump plastic items and old fridges and stoves in the rivers.
“The government spends nearly $1 million each year on desilting and after every weather event, you have to spend more money to clear things that were put there by human beings,” the minister explained.
Pierre said that there should be greater enforcement of the law to ensure that people are taught a lesson not to dump garbage indiscriminately, emphasizing that it has many consequences.
“The law is there, but it ought to be enforced. Unless the law is brought to bear on someone who continues to dump garbage, this will continue…the law must be put into effect,” he added.
Asked whether there are plans to reinforce the current infrastructure so as to avoid breaches whenever there is a major weather event, Pierre said the government is already building more resilient infrastructure.
He made reference to the Bois D’Orange Bridge for which millions of dollars was spent to build that infrastructure. Pierre boasted that it is one of the most resilient bridges in the region.
“So when you hear people speak of the cost of the bridge without proof, even though they have been told by consultants over again…all the new infrastructure have withstood the weather events,” he said.