Open Letter to Barbados Minister of Transport, Works and Maintenance

The plight of Alden BLACKman was carried by Caribbean News 13/03/2019.

March 12, 2019

Hon. William Duguid JP,

Sir, I write to you as the new Minister of Transport, Works and Maintenance. To informed you, and seek clarification, and rectification of a dangerous situation.

Sir, I lived adjacent to a natural watercourse from 1982, and never once saw the course edges overflowed, until 2002, after a British Expat White Woman, obtained the services of heavy equipment, and encroached onto said watercourse, levelled down the edges and made a path/road across, to prepared her lot for building. That process started the alteration of the course.

In late 2002, nearing completion of building, the heavy equipment returned, entered the said course, and proceeded to further altering, by placing boulders out, up, and along the land marks in the centre. That resulted in narrowing the natural course, for an increased of land from within the course, to form a yard-cum-private road that joined the levelled down path/road across the course on her side. The levelled edge to the outer side was not rebuilt.

Those actions brought the first flooding in 20+years. At that stage, I was the most affected by flooding. Thereafter, I was made to endured the consequences of yearly redirecting flood flows to my home causing damages to house and surrounding.

Sir, years of Complaining to Drainage Unit Officers from 2003 and MTW Officers from 2004, to this day, brought no relieved, no remedy , only comfort promises. The top Officers from MTW. Former CTO Thornhill and present DCTO Tudor, the two Officers, I held hope in, for a remedy to said altered course, showed inaction to the plight of this Black man.

Sir, no need for me repeating what was done by Arthur’s Construction when laying pipes for BWA, in said course. After the pipes were biased laid, the results from heavy rainfall became worse, started to affect the Black Residents of Clarke Road, but MTW/Drainage Unit Officers continued disregarding my pleas, and blatantly overlooked the dangerous situation, and the fact that Black Barbadian lived below the risk.

The effort of MP. Hon. Minister Kerrie Symmonds, did failed by 2008, no remedy was done.

The following 10 years, MTW/ Drainage Unit Officers blatantly continued disregarding the plight of Black Residents of Clarke’s Road, by inactions to the root cause of flooding, for the purpose of allowing a British Ex-pat white woman to have a private road, that was discriminatory maintained with paving, by MTW, leading up to the General Election in 2013.

Sir, the Black Residential Area, road was then, still is deteriorating condition, because it became the new watercourse, due to the altering of the original watercourse in 2002. But was not paved, leading up to 2013 General Election.

While MTW/Drainage Unit Officers kept overlooking the risk. similar actions, were done by a Mr. Clarke in 2010, while preparing his lot behind the White land owner. Mr. Clarke: also got the services of heavy equipment to removed, the remaining edges, from above the across road, to upstream where the floods flow emerges. That deep part of the once natural course, is now a garden.

Its clearly seen by me, and persons with integrity, that the said Officers of MTW/Drainage Unit have afflicted this dangerous situation with blatant disregard, unjustified and discriminatory actions.

Concerned persons acted for the safety of me and my family plight. In late 2010 assisted us with erecting a short protection wall, “on what appears to be a drainage course”, is not the original drainage course, but due to years of erosion from redirected floods flows, caused by the narrowing of the original course in 2002, and the directed wash over floods flows, from the road across the course.

Sir, due to statement from you” as the new Minister of MTW&M”, in reply, to a an email from me, on 24 Feb 2019 you stated “I have asked for the Town Planning enforcement notice” this is the first stage.

DCTO Mr. Philip Tudor, email to me, on the 20 Feb 2019, stated “As I had mentioned to you at a site meeting which we had some time ago, this matter was referred to Chief Town Planner, Whose Agency is responsible for issuing enforcement notices. Please note that no demolition of this structure in St. James could have been carried out by the Ministry of Transport and Works without the authorization of Town and country Planning Department. To date, we have received no such authorization. I will however contact the Chief Town Planner in an effort to see if this situation can be remedied before the 2019 hurricane season”.

Sir, I never met Mr. Tudor, my telephone conversations with Mr. Tudor ceased when I realized that my pleading and hoping were misplaced. Clarification Is needed from Mr. Tudor as to what structure is to be demolish, and for what reason.

Sir, I was informed of further Discriminatory practices against me, “to demolish my protection wall, built in late 2010,” as the “MAIN PROBLEM” that caused flooding to my home, and Clarke’s Road Residents since 2002”, and not the White woman private road, “built into and across the watercourse in 2002”.

Did DCTO Mr. Tudor in 2004, seek to obtained an enforcement notice from the Chief Town Planner, to removed, what he told me, is “an illegal boulders wall private road into, and along the natural watercourse”. why was the road across said watercourse allowed?

This is 15+years later in which Mr. Tudor inactions as to this dangerous situation was as blatantly showed, as the others Officers.

Sir, I now appeal to you for a justly, “right to a wrong” that Residents of Clarke’s Road and I had to endured for the pass 15+ years. Please, see this watercourse site that was once a define natural watercourse, and judge for yourself.

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