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Tuesday, July 24, 2012


 The siltation problem at the Choiseul Fisheries is making headlines again and the news seems to be getting from bad to worse, as another “problem layer” of a “public health” and environmental nature has been added to it.

The pond was found to be littered with dead fish and the “pungent smell” emanating therefrom was simply unbearable!

A gift from the Japanese Government to the government and people of St. Lucia, the facility was most welcomed when it was first donated. Now it has  become more of a nuisance than a facility. The recurrent and perennial siltation problem has rendered the pond largely unusable and inaccessible for most of the time. Management - which has been at its wit's end - has been genuinely overwhelmed and and has been rendered helpless.

But the facility has immense and immeasurable benefits to the Village! Quite apart from serving a landing and docking facility for our fishermen, it is also a coastal protection project which has brought much safety to the villagers, especially during the hurricane season when the sea swells are overwhelming.

During its conception and birth, the project was compared to ‘motherhood’ – it had absolutely no disadvantages until “father time” made his indelible mark.

The fishermen have the right to be incensed by the “perceived lack of action on a recurrent problem”, especially in their knowledge that a sizeable donation of funds for the procurement of equipment to resolve that problem was made by the Japanese government.

It’s time for real action! We can't be adding plasters to sores and expect a lasting solution. We need to commission some serious scientific/engineering analysis of the coastal dynamics of the area and based on the results of that analysis to design structures to at least mitigate against that perennial siltation onslaught on our fishermen.

Yes! We need a purely scientific/engineering approach to this scientific/engineering problem!

Now, Mr Minister! I’m on the side of the fishermen; and don’t tell me that we don’t have the resource capability to begin to look into the specific causes of that problem!

We need to start acting differently from Mr Rufus Bousquet and move on with the job! It’s time for action!

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