Checkhall River to be protected in observance of World Rivers Day

Section of the Checkhall River

The unveiling of a sign which indicates that the Checkhall River is protected by law, will form part of activities as the parishes of St. Peter and St. Paul observe World Rivers Day.

This is being done in conjunction with the Canefield Urban Council, the Dominica Youth Environment Organization, Massacre Canefield School, the Pioneer School, The Forestry Wildlife and Parks Division, (Headed by Minchinton C. Burton), Environmental Health Unit, Office of Disaster Management and the Dominica Social Justice and Peace Inc.

The Checkhall River is the only river in Dominica that is protected by the Constitution and organizers of the event hope that the unveiling of the sign will create awareness that the island’s rivers must be protected.

“It is also our hope that the Parishioners will take ownership of this water catchment and thereby preserve it for the generations to come,” Fr. Franklyn Cuffy said.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has endorsed the initiative. “I fully endorse that initiative. I would further suggest that we should embark on the planting of trees along the river banks. The Forestry Division can advise on the type of plants,” he said.

The unveiling ceremony will take place on September 27 and the sign will read, “This Checkhall River is protected by law.”

World Rivers Day was designated by the United Nation and has been observed on the last Sunday of September since 2005.

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  1. Justice and Truth
    September 19, 2012

    All rivers should be protected by Law. The reason why the emphasis is on the Checkhall River it may be to preserve it from being contaminated with garbage and other paraphernalia which may be thrown into it. There are some people who do not respect their environment as also rivers to keep them clean. Checkhall River may be one of the rivers that are affected and probably from the beginning of the other rivers, water which flows into the Canefield River. The protection is meant to always keep it clean. Education is necessary but how many people will heed advice and directives.

  2. looking
    September 19, 2012

    Is the constitution still in operation? what are my rights under this so called constitution. I think i need more protection than the river some people seem to have all the right in my country.

  3. Jackie Brown
    September 19, 2012

    Why is it that only Checkhall River is protected if any Roseau River should have been protected. Shameless.

  4. Anonymous
    September 19, 2012

    It’s a great thing to do the rest of the rivers in D A should be protected also, we take what we have in DA for granted but I can tell u thing I live in a place without a river and many days I wish I could dip in the cool river water than the salt water.

    • Justice and Truth
      September 19, 2012

      @ Anonymous

      Are you residing in Antigua? No river there. I am also considering Barbados. I have visited both islands and spent some time there. The one where the tap water was bad was in Antigua as I recall. The most that could be done with the water was to brush one’s teeth without drinking the water and to take a shower. In recent years I have only been in transit. I hope the water is no longer as bad as it was in those days.
      Dominica is blest with many rivers and a lot of clean water. It is for this reason it is mountainous.
      On the other hand as Antigua and Barbados, they are flat with no rivers, the reason why they have such beautiful, sandy beaches and get most tourists. Such is life. We cannot have everything.

  5. Anonymous
    September 19, 2012

    Not sure if i understand what is going on here. I am happy the river is protected but a sort of odd choice for such a minor river. As far as I am concerned, all the rivers should be taken care of and dumping of rubbish in any stopped. The surroundings should be beautified as Skerrit said trees planted. Put benches, make them picturesque, and DO NOT PUT BUILDING RIGHT ON THE RIVER BANKS. THEY ARE FOR ALL TO USE.

    • Anonymous
      September 22, 2012

      This river serves as the water source for almost 40% of the national population as well as the majority of commercial and industrial customers.

    September 18, 2012


    I am sorry but I think the story is rather vague and it lacks sufficient explanation in order for readers to understand what is meant by “protected by the Constitution.- to the extent that people are suspicious of and are quick to be critical of government. Furthermore, someone should make the distinction between “protection by the constitution” and “protected by law.”

    I believe the source of the story should provide more details. I do not think the intention is to say that other rivers are not protected by law. To some extent all our rivers benefit from some kind of legal protection. For instance, one cannot simply remove stones and sand from our rivers. I also do not think it means that people are fee to do as they wish with other rivers.

    Again, one should not expect to find a mention of Checkhall River or any river in the constitution and herein lies the confusion in the lack of information in the story. It is my understanding (I may be wrong) that the expression protection by the Constitution refers to the fact that the River is on private property, which is constitutionally protected.

    Please help us out someone!

    Roseau Valley

  7. September 18, 2012

    And while we are it can we protect the Botanical Gardens? Can we plant trees to protect what we lost? Will we stop abusing it by destroying the lawns and defeating it’s purpose?
    Just dreaming!

  8. "O" STRESS!
    September 18, 2012

    In addition to just a sign,educate the public and others, indicate the section of our laws which covers that aspect. We should educate the entire country on the subject.

  9. Roger Burnett
    September 18, 2012

    Pity they didn’t think about protecting it BEFORE the millions of tons of spoil from Red Gully was place at Antrim three years ago, thus destabilising the land and triggering landsides that last year caused the river to dam. That ecological disaster may well take millenniums to rectify.

  10. Observer
    September 18, 2012

    I know we are in a constitution mood these days. But the constitution is not the proper document to cite in relation to the protection of our natural resources.

    In this particular matter, the Check River, becuase that is the source of water for Roseau and environs is protected by the Stewart hall Water Catchment Act and the Forest Act. There is also another piece of legislation relative to the protection of catchments, (Water and Sewerage Amendment Act of 1995).

    It is not the proper thing to do to cite the constitution as providing the requisite protectiong for the river. But itis good to see we are talking constitution.

    The project however has to be encouraged. Protectingthis river and every other river indeed is a desirable thing.

    • Anonymous
      September 20, 2012

      Observer, I appreciate your explanation. Now this news item makes more sense. Thanks alot.

  11. Realist
    September 18, 2012

    There is no mention of the checkhall river in the constitution. I suppose they meant statutes. The constitution is not intended for everyday matters.

  12. Kairi
    September 18, 2012

    Check Hall River, Antrim River, Springfield River. Which is the real river? They are all the same river! There is even an official road sign at the bridge at Springfield saying “Springfield River”. Anyway, good effort. Save them all.!

    • Justice and Truth
      September 19, 2012

      @ Kairi

      You made an excellent point. The water is flowing downstream into Canefield River. They are named as such because of the names of the areas. They will have to commence from the first one and name all of them, protected by Law.

  13. Tiger
    September 18, 2012

    And people are free to do as they please with the other rivers? Should they protect all the other rivers and our environment. Sometimes I have to wonder about how these government people think.


  14. Evolved
    September 18, 2012

    Putting up a sign to indicate that the river is protected by law will in no way ensure its sustainbility for future generations.

    • Homeboy
      September 18, 2012

      While what you are saying is correct at least this is a beginning!
      But it starts with the schoo;s and educatig the youthswhich are the future generation. Based on the article there is a school involved. So let’s all play our part and spread the word and conserve, not just the rivers but all of Dominica’s natural beauty!

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