Suddie residents unhappy with the rip-rap design of new sea defence works
Recently I was invited by a group of persons living in the Johanna Cecilia, Maria’s Lodge, Suddie Area in Region Two to accompany them to the sea dam in the area to have a look at the kind of sea defence work that is being done there. It was during the spring tides and there were a few breaches and overtopping, but works were ongoing to have the situation remedied.
It is important to note that I was invited mainly because I am a member of the Regional Democratic Council, and I was born and grew up in an area which is always under threat from the sea and which sometimes experiences flooding. In addition, they know that I have for some time now written letters which appeared in the daily newspapers highlighting issues affecting people both in and out of this region, some of which I am happy to say were adequately addressed.
My first observation was that all the trees, many of them more than twenty metres tall, are being removed to facilitate the rip-rap type of sea defence, which has now become commonplace in most parts of the country. Many of us who are old enough and who know the area well would recall the groynes built in colonial times, stretching several metres out, which assisted by those trees helped to keep the sea at bay.
What was also noticeable was the placement of rocks (makeshift groynes) groynes between the groynes aforementioned that were protected by the trees, and this kind of work was a job well done.
When one looks at the cost of what is currently being done as against what was already done, it is being said by all the persons present, that the design should be the same or similar to the one which is there already and has proven to be good.
We all feel that more work and better work could have been done at less cost, and the sand beach that we all have grown accustomed to for kite-flying, games and other recreational activities would still be available for use.
However, what the stakeholders or beneficiaries are saying, has nothing to do with the quality of work done by the contractor; it’s all about the design which the contractor has to comply with.