Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Lucea's Venture Gutter clogged by garbage...residents call for enforcement

Published:Tuesday | April 11, 2017 | 4:00 AMClaudia Gardner
A man walks to his home via the bank of the Venture Gutter in Lucea.
A section of the Venture Gutter which runs parallel to the Lucea Market.
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The messy state of the Venture Gutter that runs through the Lucea town centre has residents who live on Church Street, which is in proximity to the water channel, utterly peeved.

According to one community member, the gutter has an age-old problem of being strewn with household garbage and other debris for decades and only band-aid measures have been attempted by the relevant authorities to address the problem.

"It is time the local authorities start to address the problem of having the Venture Gutter clean. It is the major gutter that takes the water off the land and so when it is blocked and cannot flow freely, it becomes quite stagnant and, as a result, it smells. I am concerned that it might give rise to various diseases here in the town," he said.

"Lucea, on the whole, has always suffered from a garbage management problem and improper representation ... it is time that they get it right. The area where they are throwing garbage, right beside the bank, has long been a festering problem and nobody has addressed it, and it is almost right in front of the parish council. Why is it nobody has ever dealt with it, either to have it banned as a designated area for dumping or creating somewhere near to the municipal park, where I think it would be more convenient?" he continued.

EROSION PROBLEM

The resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the problem was also exacerbated by a perennial erosion problem in the hills above Lucea. He also said the problem needs to be addressed through interventions in the two communities in Lucea through which the gully runs.

"I think a lot of persons, especially in Prosper and Haughton Gardens, have used the Venture Gutter as a disposal site and until the parish council can address that problem, we will continue to have the problem. Another area of concern is that the environment has changed ... at the end of the Venture Gutter, where it flows into the harbour, there continues to be a pile-up of sand. That area must always remain open and I think it is time the council gets somebody to look at it and ensure it is always open," he said.

"For now, to address what is happening in terms of the flow is to just have a local man go to the mouth and have it cleared, because once there is that build-up of sand, it is almost like a dyke. We need to address how people dispose of garbage because there is so much plastic in that gutter; and until Government gets serious in prosecuting and ensuring that persons obey the law in terms of how they dispose of garbage, we are always going to have that problem," he warned.

When contacted, councillor of the Lucea division, Easton Edwards, said the gutter is the responsibility of the National Works Agency (NWA), but that the Hanover Municipal Corporation was trying relentlessly to get the agency to keep the drain clean, without much success.

"I had consultation with the NWA and I am going to go for the manager to go visit it. I took some pictures of the whole thing. We have to do something about it. I spoke to the NWA superintendent about it about a million times. What the Hanover Municipal Corporation was doing was to try and help, but it was foolishness to get one or two men to go and scrape out the debris," Edwards said.