Barbados could be losing out on
millions of dollars in revenue per year,
from not tapping into the benefits of
investing in wastewater treatment.
Addressing a plenary session
on the first working day of the
Annual Caribbean Water
and Wastewater Association
Conference at Hilton Barbados
Resort this morning, UN Project
Coordinator in the Area of
Wastewater Management, Christopher
Corbin said a recent study revealed
that there was substantial money
in this sector.
Corbin, who is also a senior
executive in the Caribbean Regional
Fund for Wastewater Management,
said global data shows that pollution
of coastal water due to sewerage and
untreated wastewater, was costing
billions of dollars annually.
“Yet I have seen a recent study that
suggests that investments in sanitation
and wastewater treatment can bring
returns of between three times to 34
times the investment. Why aren’t we
investing in wastewater, if there is such
a benefit in terms of costs. Why aren’t
we doing more?” asked the UN expert.
He said he was happy to hear that
Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries
and Water Resource Management
Dr David Estwick had spoken of the
linkages between fisheries, agriculture
and food security.
Corbin noted that there were over
200,000 people directly employed in
the fishing industry in Barbados and the
rest of the region, with annual revenue
of about US$2 billion.
He is urging this country that when
looking at investing in wastewater
management, it needed to examine
The wastewater official noted
that when Barbados along with other
Caribbean governments had considered
the devastation of marine pollution
and that from land-based sources,
they agreed on the establishment of a
Pollution Prevention Protocol.
While Corbin did not name
Barbados as one of the countries which
have not yet ratified the Protocol,
reliable sources intimately involved in
the water conference told Barbados
TODAY, this island is not a signatory,
but was working on it.
The Protocol started with two
countries in 1999 and then, he added,
it took 11 years for the remaining eight
territories to come on board.
He pointed out that the PPP, which
became international law in 2010,
speaks to reducing pollution through
effluent and emission limitation and
promotion of best
“As challenged as we are with
wastewater management, there are
best management practices out there.
There are economies of scale in terms
of the technologies; and we have seen
some of them on display here (at
Hilton). We can solve this problem, but
we need the commitment; we need the
political will and we need engagement
of everyone,” declared the UN
The topic of his presentation today
was Wastewater Management in the
Caribbean – Regional Challenges
Other submissions looked at Solving
Wastewater Management Challenges
for Caribbean Countries: Legal Planning
and Administrative Tools; Integrating a
Water Information System into George
Maps; the Value of Human Resources
Management in Today’s Business
Environment and Existing and Emerging
Wastewater Treatment Processes for
the Caribbean Region.
The conference continues
tomorrow at Hilton Barbados Resort.