Minister of Agriculture and Water Resource Management Dr David Estwick says Government’s proposed leachate treatment project holds the key to resolving some of the major problems plaguing the South Coast Sewerage Plant at Graeme Hall, Christ Church.
And he is hopeful that the Ministry of the Environment will be able to move with “great haste” to put the treatment plant in place, since “the issues at Graeme Hall have to do with having to take a large body of septic [material].
“Now once the leachate treatment plant is in place, it takes all the septic that you want,” suggested Estwick.
He told Barbados TODAY the South Coast Sewerage Project was discussed during this week’s project review meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and attended by Cabinet Ministers and senior public servants at the Lloyd Erskine
Sandiford Centre. “Many of the areas of concern are being addressed and . . . we have already budgeted for a number of replacement of critical parts that were at the centre of some controversy that I heard about,” said Estwick, pointing out, “I was in Mexico at the time when this whole thing surfaced with regards to those challenges.”
Last month, Opposition Leader Mia Mottley raised the alarm over issues affecting the South Coast Sewerage system. In fact, she warned that the situation was now at crisis stage, posing a serious threat to the health of workers and residents in that area.
Mottley referred to a report by biochemist and water quality research consultant Patricia Inniss who suggested that the problems at the plant were contaminating the island’s last remaining wetland – the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. She also said that operations at the plant had collapsed and it had not been working for sometime.
However, Estwick said blame for the current problems should not be placed solely on the shoulders of the Freundel Stuart administration.
“The fact of matter is that they [the former Barbados Labour Party Government] should not have built a primary plant in the first place. It was an inappropriate decision; there should have been a tertiary plant from day one, and as a result of that, you would have had the capacity to produce potable water and recharge the aquifer instead essentially just taking out solids and that’s it; that’s all the plant ever does,” Estwick said, adding that “you have to work with what you have”. (EJ)