May 28, 2004

Garth Saunders clears the air

The Editor: Please allow me space to correct a few errors and misconceptions which were contained in a recent press conference on NICE Radio on Tuesday morning last.
I wish to make it quite clear that I was never consulted or contracted by The Consultants of the Cross Country Road Environmental Cataloguing to comment or advise on matters pertaining to water, watersheds or the impact of the road on our water supply. Any such statement is misleading, mischievous and has led to some ridiculous conclusions by the uninformed.{{more}}
My only involvement in the project was to investigate and comment on the geology, soil type and strength and the risk of landslides within the zone. This came from my first hand knowledge and experience of soils and foundations up the Convent and Hermitage Valleys. I also arranged for the services of Vincentian Geologist Dr. Richard Robertson to be included in this exercise.
So that to say that I was consulted on issues of water and the environment in preference to the Water Authority experts is far from the truth. But for others to take it a step further to insinuate that I gave my blessings to the project in return for the position of manager of the CWSA is astonishing, and simply putting politics before principle as usual.
Readers are free to read Dr Robertson’s and my own report and comments on the geology and geotechnical aspects of the project. I also followed up with an article in the newspapers “Appraising our Projects II” in November last year where I cautioned the Government and Minister Francis about proceeding with the project before it was properly appraised and true costs determined. In that article I also made mention of the threat of deforestation and developments near our catchments.
Why am I suddenly being accused of piloting and promoting this project? I honestly wish that principle, good sense and professionalism will eventually overtake all the bitterness and anger now being demonstrated.