BVI News

Restore ponds in CGB by any means, gov’t told

Left to right – Alvera Maduro-Caines, Dr Michael Turnbull, and Bishop John Cline

A government lawmaker, Alvera Maduro-Canes, has called on the National Democratic Party administration to act ‘by any means necessary’ to ensure ponds filled with dirt and other materials in Cane Garden Bay (CGB) are reopened to collect water when it rains.

With the ponds filled, murky water is said to be running into the beach, causing it to deteriorate.

The deterioration today sparked outrage after Bishop John Cline raised the issue on his Facebook page.

“I woke up this morning after praying, I look down at the sea in CGB. To my horror, the sea looks like the pond. I wish the government, the ministry, the department on conservation or just anybody who cares about this matter would just take a look and see. This is serious. If I had the authority and money I would address the problem myself. Why is a beautiful beach being allowed to be destroyed, Why?” the bishop lamented.

That concern did not escape the attention of Dr Michael Turnbull, who is the brother of the political representative for the area Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull.

Dr Turnbull tried to pinpoint the source of the problem.

“The main problem is that two of three ponds in Cane Garden Bay have been filled in, and done by locals. They will need to be opened back up and preserved. With the recent floods, the ghuts were cleaned. However, with the water having easier access to the ocean prior to being naturally cleaned by the ponds and mangroves that were destroyed, this [deterioration] has happened. We don’t need government; our rep [Melvin Turnbull] and community leaders like yourself (John Cline) can go to the two landowners and start to recreate the pond,” Dr Turnbull said.

He said it appears governments past and present would not be bothered if Cane Garden Bay dies a natural death.

“I don’t think the ministry or the government – both past and present – value Cane Garden Bay. It’s almost [as though] they are preparing to ‘let it die a natural death’. For example, millions of dollars have been spent on a Brandywine Bay beach project, than preserve a beach that has brought in millions in economic stimulus over the years. Despite the current project regarding coastline preservation [in Cane Garden Bay], the issues of ponds, run-off, sewage – for over 20 years – have been left to worsen. [It is] a beach where all the businesses are locally owned and not outsourced – and [it] supports hundreds of jobs,” added Dr Turnbull.

Maduro-Caines, who represents the Sixth Electoral District in the House of Assembly, claimed that Government is trying to address the ‘pond’ situation in Cane Garden Bay, which is located in the Second Electoral District.

“The ponds should have never been filled in; persons need to be educated as to what happens when this is done,” she said.

“The government needs to just re-establish those ponds by any means necessary. The Ministry of Natural Resources and the second district rep has been working to get this problem solved.”

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