South coast being monitored

Technical team putting correct solutions in place, says Minister of Health


MINISTER of Health John Boyce says the situation on the south coast of the island is being monitored every hour by a technical team.
He gave the assurance in the Lower Chamber yesterday after facing criticism from members of the Opposition that there are more pressing matters to be addressed by Government, including the South Coast Sewerage Treatment Plant and residents in White Hill, rather than the compulsory acquisition of land to construct a roundabout in Collymore Rock.
He noted that the area in question, which is called the Gertz junction, is extremely dangerous and there is a need for control.
“Must we, because we have an urgent national priority dealing with at the South Coast, must we say we do no other business in the House of Assembly? How puerile can we get? How simplistic can we get in terms of our work?
“We are monitoring the situation and the implementation of the solutions which have been put to the country every hour of the day. The technical people, not the politicians, are putting in place the correct solutions and the funds have been made available and will continue to be monitored so that the correction at the south coast can be achieved,” he stated.

Addressing the argument surrounding the opening of the sluice gate, which he noted was opened on Sunday night, Minister Boyce said this is a necessary activity.


“The country built a sluice gate. We didn’t make a wall that was permanently closed. They built a sluice gate, because you need to open and allow the swamp to “breathe”. And if we don’t do that, people who live upstream of the swamp are seriously brought to jeopardy. Not just by rising waters etc, but by stenches and odours developed in the decaying matter of the swamp,” it was explained.

“To try to pretend to visitors or property owners that this opening of the sluice gate is a first time activity... the local knowledge tells you ‘No’. It used to be even worse. And when there is flooding on the land side it exacerbates the problem and we have to take the action that we take,” the Minister further pointed out.


Boyce also explained that the closure of the beach occurs at that time and for this reason the gate is opened mostly at night. “But sometimes the emergency requires that the gate be opened during the day. I as Minister of Transport and Works, when Drainage was under the MTW, we would have administered the opening of the sluice gate, in co-operation with the Ministry of Tourism, informing those bathers and those visitors about the situation.”


“And that the situation would be monitored and once we have achieved the clearing of the waters. Because the sea, I read the term only recently, washes itself. To pretend therefore that the sea consists of some kind of distilled water or that sort, is to pretend that we don’t understand what naturally occurs, that we don’t understand nature. The run-off area of any beach, includes all of those effluents which would have been on the surface washed down to the sea. Discolouration of seawater occurs not only at Worthing but many other beaches from time to time depending on the land activity.”


“We have issues we have to deal with from time to time, but fortunately we have also have a team of experts, trained personnel in this area who are charged with managing this society. If this administration is to be judged on these performances, we understand that too. We are correcting the problem. We empathise with those who have had to suffer and we are going to make sure it gets right,” the Health Minister assured. (JH)


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