DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, Montgomery Daniel has warned about the potential of further landslides in Owia and other areas if more heavy rainfall is experienced on already saturated soil.
Heavy rain last Saturday, September 17 resulted in the collapse of a retaining wall below the home of Candie Pollard-Sutherland of Owia leaving the house precariously perched on the edge of an embankment, as reported in the midweek issue of SEARCHLIGHT of September 20.
Speaking on NBC Radio on Wednesday September 21, Minister Daniel warned that further damage could be done to properties that are already exposed due to soil erosion.
He said that as early as last Sunday morning, he had been receiving numerous reports of damage caused by overnight rain.
There were other landslides in Owia, apart from the one which was highlighted by SEARCHLIGHT.
Daniel, who is also the Parliamentary Area Representative for North Windward said that squatting also contributed to the soil erosion problem in Owia.
He said as a result of squatting in an area above the Fisheries complex in Owia, vegetation has been removed from the soil to make way for houses.
Daniel, who visited Owia this week, along with Minister of National Mobilisation, Orando Brewster said the area was once vegetated with coconut and grass but this is no longer the case.
“All of the protection that covered the soil was removed,” Daniel said.
To prevent further land slippage, he is urging people to replant trees to keep the soil together.
The Minister said in Sandy Bay and Petit Bordel there are similar problems with landslides which occurred last weekend.
“We have to go in immediately to try to assist, but it cannot be done overnight,” the Minister stressed.
He said that the damage is “far and wide in these communities.”
With more rain in the forecast, residents whose properties are already exposed, are asked to be extra vigilant.