Barbuda Golf Course Project poses risk to waterways and human life

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By Elesha George

Several official documents obtained by the OBSERVER media relating to the proposed US $250 million golf course project and water sourcing in the Palmetto area in Barbuda have highlighted the potential of major risks to human life on the island.

In a letter dated November, 19th, 2019, the Department of Environment (DoE) said the project presented “a potential risk to the entire water system of Barbuda, human life as well as to wildlife and the eco systems”.

While the department granted permission in principle for Phase 1 of the Peace, Love and Happiness (PLH) golf course project, it made it clear that the developers must complete an Environmental Management Plan after the project has been commissioned.

“The developer should also be aware of the vulnerability of the site to the impact of climate change; particularly to sea level rise and storm surges and should therefore take the necessary steps to incorporate adaptation measures into the design of the project,” the letter continued.

The department further noted in its review report that some of the proposed injection wells, extraction wells and a proposed irrigation pond are outside of the boundaries of the project, recommending that the developers verify whether the use of these lands are permitted.

Meanwhile, a research, conducted by the Global Coral Reef Alliance (GCRA), a non-profit organisation for protection and sustainable management of coral reefs, documents its findings which suggest that the project “should be rejected on several grounds”.

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