Member of Parliament for Marigot, Lennox Linton, has voiced serious concerns over sea water invading the road, due to waves overtopping a wall, close to the airport in Melville Hall, a problem that has been plaguing the area for years.
Linton visited the area on Tuesday and in a video message said the matter has been brought to the attention of the authorities on numerous occasions, but nothing has been done.
“Sea water has been coming on the road on a regular basis, leaving deposits of salt water on the road that vehicles have to pass through,” he said. “This problem has been affecting the people of Marigot, and the people of Wesley, Woodford Hill and Calibishie, the people who drive most in this area for than eight years.”
He said the problem has been brought to the attention of the government on many occasions.
“This matter has been brought to the attention of the government authorities over and over and over again, promises are being made, excuses have been given but at the end of the day nothing has been done,” he claimed. “In the meantime, farmers, drivers of vehicles, bus drivers and so on are having a hard time with their vehicles that are being damaged by the salt water from the sea that either comes over while they are passing or stays on the road that they have to drive through.”
Linton stated that after advocating for a solution to the problem for years, the government allocated $4.9-million in the 2016/2017 budget towards addressing it.
“They plan to spend $1-million this year of the other $3.9-million next year for a problem as urgent as this,” he said. “A problem that has so badly affected the people of this area. Monies were approved, $4.9-million approved in the budget that the parliament passed in July, and you know what, we have come to December, five months after the approval of these monies and not one thing has happened to correct or begin the correction of this wave overtopping problem.”
The Member of Parliament said he is again bringing the problem to the attention of the authorities.
“Government must answer the question why has no work been done for the correction of the wave over topping,” he stated. “The people of this area need to have this wave over topping problem corrected immediately. We are going into 2017, we cannot carry this problem of the wave overtopping at Melville Hall into 2017 without the people having an assurance that work is going to commence immediately.”
The problem has been affecting the area for years now and seemed to have taken a turn for the worse following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika.
Back in January, 2015, then Public Works Minister, Ian Pinard said the first option to help solve the problem was to construct wave breakers behind the present seawall or divert the road.
He said the first option will cost a “huge” $25-million.
By February 2015, Pinard said the ministry was to receive the final estimate to determine the actual cost of the project and that necessary documents were being prepared and they should be taken to cabinet for review and a decision taken.
One year later in February 2016, Pinard said plans were in place to construct a drain in the area to prevent the sea water from reaching the road. He said the matter was being reviewed in order “to angle the road, so as soon as the water hits over the wall and comes on the road, that the water will go directly to the drains.” He said that plan was being discussed with contractor, Emile Gaddarkhan et Fils Ltd, a French construction company.
Pinard also said wave breakers were being considered.
DNO will contact the Ministry of Public Works for an update on this matter.
Video below was shot earlier this year.