Sea shells are being removed from the Georgetown sea defence

Dear Editor,

Over the past year or so persons have been removing sea shells during the night at low tide  from the George-town sea defence (GSD) and heaping them on the earth dam just south of the coping at a location about 900 ft west of the Kitty Pumping Station. The mounds of shells seen on Saturday, May 1 were estimated at about 8 tons.

The mounds seem to disappear to unknown destinations at convenient intervals as fast as they are replenished.

Currently, the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) is spending millions of dollars shoring-up sections of the GSD vulnerable to erosion by the placement of large boulders on the slope and berm, while others with impunity are destabilizing and undermining the foundation of GSD by removing trapped materials so necessary for reducing the erosive forces of the currents and waves being directed on the substrate on which the boulders rest.

Earlier this year, the Chief Sea and River Defence Officer of the MPW stated that 15 more rangers were being recruited to patrol the foreshore to prevent damage and/or removal of the country’s valuable foreshore resources.

However, within sighting distance of the MPW headquarters and the Sea Defence Board persons are removing sea shells from the Georgetown sea defence in contravention of the Sea Defence Ordinance and the rangers/officials of MPW are nowhere to be found to enforce compliance.

It may be claimed that because this illegal operation takes place at night, it is dangerous and difficult to catch the perpetrators. Fortunately, in this case it is quite easy to identify (them). BK International is placing boulders adjacent to the site where the sea shells are being removed and temporarily stored.

A watchman is on their dragline from sunset to sunrise to protect their machine and its accessories, and therefore by duty he has to be cognizant of what is going on around him. If anyone asks him nicely he will let the cat out of the bag!

Finally, from all appearances Minister Benn seems to be doing a fine job removing squatters from the road reserves at Buxton and elsewhere.

It is hoped that his enthusiasm could now be directed towards that ‘nightspot’ encumbering the sea defence reserve on the Kitty foreshore adjacent to the groyne. The safety of the people of Kitty and adjoining areas depends on a well-maintained and secure sea defence which should be easily accessed at all times for maintenance and quick remedial action as and when an emergency arises.

Or is the MPW/Sea Defence Board in a deep slumber at the wheel in this case?

Yours faithfully,
(Name and address provided)

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