Government is planning to explore the setting up of a revolving fund to provide low-interest loans to residents of the Scotland District in St. Andrew.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley gave the undertaking last night during the St. Andrew Speaks Meeting at The Alleyne School where the recommendation for the Fund was made by Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry and of Transport Works and Water Resources and the representative for the area, Dr. Romel Springer.
According to Ms. Mottley, the Fund would allow residents to install septic tanks for managing domestic water run-off, which is contributing to land slippage in that district.
Problems associated with the domestic water were also raised by a Chalky Mount resident who disclosed that several houses in the area were being affected by water settling in their backyards in that district, which is prone to land slippage.
Ms. Mottley, while pointing out that there was a Catastrophe Fund in place, said, it, however, could no longer be about “helping people after the catastrophe” but “it has to be also to avert the catastrophe.”
The Prime Minister insisted: “And the level of slippage that we are seeing in the Scotland District is such that we may well have to create a Scotland District Revolving Fund in order to be able to have persons access loans at low interest rates…to put in septic tanks…”
Noting that Minister with responsibility for Transport, Works and Water Resources, Santia Bradshaw, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, would have to work with the Barbados Water Authority on the wastewater aspect, she said the information could be communicated with the help of the Barbados Government Information Service and the Public Affairs Department.
Ms. Mottley said: “I would like to think that you all should lead the effort of working with GIS and Public Affairs, GIS and Public Affairs are the medium through which communication will happen. [The information ought to come from the Barbados Water Authority] …so that people who are doing things in St. Andrew can be clear as to what the risks are…. This is one of the most beautiful parishes in this country. But as we all know, beauty comes at a price. And therefore, we have now to take care of it. If not, we’re going to lose what is beautiful about it.”