Residents and business owners within the Road Town area have shared their concerns and solutions on making the city flood resistant.
Director of the Department of Disaster Management, Ms. Sharleen DaBreo, said the information received from residents and business owners at meetings held on May 16 and 17 was substantial.
The sessions were arranged to facilitate discussions about the Hydrology Study and Flood Risk Reduction projects being carried out in the Road Town catchment.
Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark Vanterpool stated at a recent press conference that the study will be done in consultation with the residents and the business community to hear from persons about their experiences with flooding and solutions which they would like to see incorporated into the study.
The DDM Director explained that the objective of the hydrology study is to find effective hard and soft engineering solutions that will ensure that persons feel safe and secure in their homes during hazard impacts, which bring heavy rains.
Ms. DaBreo said, “More and more we are getting greater clarity on the issues being faced within the catchment. Some persons have proposed some well thought out ideas that will be considered in the study and may also form part of the designs and the policies to be developed as part of the project. We are grateful for all the information being received and we are encouraging others to reach out to us. This project can only be successful if we work to address the flood risks together.”
Residents were able to provide consultants and project managers with experiences and stories of past floods to help them better understand how water flows and get trapped in the unique topography of the capital, Road Town.
Many persons voiced their concerns about the bridge adjacent to the fire station and suggested that it should be raised, while others provided information about the flow of water into areas such as Crab Lot, Long Bush and Scatliffe Alley, and identified various obstructions that create a challenge for the safe flow of water within the existing drains.
Amec Foster Wheeler Environment &Infrastructure UK Ltd. is the project’s consultant. Representative Dr. Nick Jarritt stated that the most important part of the study is the engagement and community aspects, noting that the information also helps with enhancing the flood response process and designing models and policies that address the concerns of residents.
The consultant said during the 10-month study, the community will be engaged in more cycles of meetings with a presentation of the findings in the final phase of the project.
“We want the project outputs to be guided and accepted by the community as well as the Government and the project team,” Dr. Jarritt added.
The study is expected to analyse the options for flood reduction in Road Town while mapping the levels of risks, identifying cost effective drainage improvements and developing drainage policies and flood response plans. It will also:
- Improve understanding of the risk of flooding, identify the locations, communities and businesses that are most at risk
- Assess the critical causes of flooding in Road Town
- Develop planning policies to help ensure future development does not add to flood risks
- Enhance emergency response planning to protect the most vulnerable members of the community
- Provide guidance to residents and businesses on how they can contribute to reducing flood risk and make their homes and properties more resilient to flooding
The Flood Risk Reduction of the Road Town Catchment and Hydrology Study is a joint venture between the Ministry of Communications and Works, the Department of Disaster Management, the Survey Department, Town and Country Planning Department and the Ministry of Finance, supported by consultants Amec Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure UK Ltd. and funded by the Caribbean Development Bank.
Audio:Director of Water Management for Amec Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure UK Ltd., Dr. Nick Jarritt