Warner confirms no Environmental Impact study done on Old Road Bay project; notes new BHS doubled to EC$80 million

Basseterre, St Kitts, May 10, 2019 – Weeks after the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party candidate for St Christopher 4, Mr Steve Wrensford, called on prime minister Dr Timothy Harris, infrastructure minister Ian “Parches” Liburd and parliamentary representative, Lindsay Grant to make public the Environmental Impact Assessment study for the Old Road Bay Rehabilitation Project, there is confirmation Friday that none was done.
This disclosure has come from local accountant, Schnideman Warner during Clive Bacchus’ morning show on WINNFM. Warner also urged publication of the EIA for the new Basseterre High School to be built on the Basseterre Valley Aquifer which has doubled from EC$40 million to EC$80 million.
Warner responding to Bacchus’ question noted that during a recent town hall meeting at the Old Road Community Center, the project was outlined to the residents of the neighborhood.
“One of the things that was revealed is that this EC$30 million project that involves realignment of the shoreline in order to make the road safer was not subjected to an Environmental Impact study, which is required for such a large project. One was not done. That was stated unequivocally. One was not done,” said Warner.
“The question is why was not one done? And if one is not done how they know that having spent EC$30 plus million that later on, the shoreline further North and South of the reclaimed area may not be impacted,” said Warner who added one only need to look at the result of the construction of the Deep Water Port at Bird Rock and the cruise ship pier at Port Zante.
“I recall someone saying that had the powers that be then listened to the fishermen of New Town and of Irish Town, either (a) they would not have built Port Zante there in the first place or (b) they would have built it with a different configuration, because after all the local folk had archival knowledge and knew what would be the likely impact as opposed to the people who come in from abroad and who are very qualified engineers, but who do not have years and decades of what is going on,” said Warner.
He also noted that it was highlighted at the town hall meeting that there was no prior consultation with the residents of Old Road and the neighboring communities about building of the new road.
Warner noted too that the best of the four options available was chosen and asked: “What are the likely impacts of this option that they have chosen down the road? Would we now be spending more money further on into Sandy Point and further upward into Challengers because of what is being done there and therefore should not have been done in the first place and how does one mitigate the likely effects that would be caused.”
On the proposed new Basseterre High School project, Warner pointed out that last year the country was told that it would cost EC$40 million. “Last week we were told it is going to cost EC*0 million.”
“And we the ordinary folks have not been given a view of the EIA so that we could ask questions about it. We may not be clever to understand all the fancy stuff in it, but if we can ask questions about it,” said Warner.
Several weeks ago Wrensford slammed the Team Unity Government for not consulting with the residents before the start of construction of the Old Road Rehabilitation Project.
“How can one begin a project of this magnitude without consulting the people who will mostly be affected. We do not even know if any environmental impact study was done. We do not even know if any wave study was carried out,” Wrensford said on several occasions.
He said if any studies were done, the reports should be made available for public scrutiny.
“If any was done, I am requesting and demanding that the prime minister, the area’s parliamentary representative Lindsay Grant or the ministers of public infrastructure and fisheries must make them available to the residents for perusal,” said Wrensford.
“We need to know what the impact of that significant movement of water will have on the surrounding villages of Old Road, Verchilds, Middle Island, Conyers, Half Way Tree and New Guinea,” said Wrensford, a former deputy director of the St Christopher and Nevis Social Security.
The purpose of the EIA process is to inform decision-makers and the public of the environmental consequences of implementing a proposed project. The EIA document itself is a technical tool that identifies, predicts, and analyzes impacts on the physical environment, as well as social, cultural, and health impacts.

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