South coast being monitored
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)