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The Basseterre Valley Aquifer must be protected from human faeces and other contaminants, says Douglas

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BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, AUGUST 7TH2017 – Leader of the Opposition, the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has welcomed professional opinion on the highly controversial decision of the Timothy Harris Team Unity Government (TUG) to build a new Basseterre High School (BHS) on the Basseterre Valley Aquifer but called upon the people of Basseterre and its environs to protect the island’s major source of drinking water.

“The technical people are speaking out and are basically challenging the position that is being adopted by this administration in wanting to locate a new Basseterre High School on the Basseterre Aquifer, which serves the entire Basseterre area with its drinking water supply,” said the former prime minister.

He pointed out that residents of the entire Basseterre, Bird Rock, Frigate Bay and Southeast Peninsula – are the areas served by the Basseterre Aquifer.

Dr. Douglas warned that even the Team Unity construction engineers who came to St. Kitts from Barbados, are saying that if there is contamination or possible contamination of the water supply based on their environmental impact assessment, they would simply move the faeces away from the area of the drinking water supply and treat it off site somewhere else.

“Where is that somewhere else? Is it going to be in Bird Rock?  Is it going to be in Taylors? Is it going to be in Shadwell? Is it going to be in Frigate Bay? Where are these areas that the Timothy Harris Government are going to treat the human facaes as a result of the location of the new Basseterre High School  on the Basseterre aquifer that provides millions of gallons of drinking water daily?” asked Dr. Douglas.

He called on the people to listen carefully to the technical advice that is coming from the professional people.

“Even the company that has been identified to build the school is aware that there is potential danger and are now working out that instead of delaying the start of construction, to remove the waste via long pipes off site, just to build the school,” said Dr. Douglas.

 

“That cannot be right. I ask our people to become engaged. I ask our professional people to advise and guide so that at the end of the day generations of Kittitians and generations of people who visit our land would not be confronted with major environmental problem of having our drinking water in Basseterre contaminated by human excrete,” said Dr. Douglas.

The Team Unity administration of Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris has rejected reports from local scientists, the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health agency (CARPHA), the Trinidad-based Caribbean Industrial Research Institute ( CARIRI) and the Washington D.C.-based National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH.) which recommended that the buildings of the original BHS could be inhabited after remedial works are completed.

Although the reports were rejected by Harris PLP/CCM/PAM Government, his administration removed three wooden buildings from the original site and is using them as classrooms and the principal’s office at the temporary location in Taylors.

Desk, chairs, tables and air condition units were also removed and installed at the temporary BHS facility as well, as the Verchild’s High School.

Plans by the government to build the new school on the water table which provides millions of gallons of water to residents of Basseterre, Frigate Bay and the Southeast peninsula are also mired in controversy.

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