Raw sewage continues to flow on the roads of the south coast, and with just 14 days to go before the start of the 2016 winter tourist season, one businessman is appealing to the authorities to fix the problem once and for all.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY, the businessman, who requested anonymity, said the problem appeared to have gone away after the Barbados Water Authority intervened recently.
However, he said raw sewage began flowing onto the road again “with a vengeance” about two weeks later.
“It went away for about two weeks, now it’s back with a vengeance. The manhole that was meant to be fixed, after two weeks [it] has started to back up again. So now we have sewage leaking into the streets.
“You can’t walk from the new Esso service station in Worthing to Big B. If you walk up there and someone splashes you, go and get Dettol [or] Savlon [antiseptics] and bathe in it, because you were just splattered in [faeces],” he said.
He said the long-running problem is now impacting businesses further along the south coast, with a popular restaurant the latest to feel the impact.
The businessman said he had reached out to outgoing Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Sue Springer, asking her to try to have the problem addressed as a matter of urgency.
“Tourism is meant to be our business but we really aren’t treating it that way, especially not now on the south coast. I have spoken to Sue Springer and she is calling the PS [Permanent Secretary] in tourism and someone in the Ministry of Health to try and figure out what is going on,” he added.
The businessman contended that the awful stench and sight of faeces was posing a threat to the businesses in the area, which is popular with tourist.
“The apartments that I am associated with is fully booked until April next year. It is located right below by the way of the flow of the current, where all of this crap going on. So whenever my tourist come out on the beach, they’re looking out and seeing water that is murky water, which is sewage coming out. That is not what they are paying hundreds of US dollars a night to come and enjoy,” he said.
“A friend of mine has a fishing boat and said that he was about a mile off [a south coast] hotel and out there smells like sewage. So it means we are pumping the sewage into the open ocean, which isn’t meant to be happening. All we are doing now is dumping. We are creating a serious environmental problem,” he stressed.
Efforts to reach the BWA tonight for comment were unsuccessful.
However, the water agency had stated in a release on November 15 that after repairs to an effluent pump were carried out the previous Tuesday, another pump had failed three days later, on Friday November 11, but was repaired by the following night.
“However, even though all the effluent pumps have been running continuously since Saturday [November 12], the sewage flows in the collection system continue to be high resulting in sewage overflows in the areas between St Lawrence Gap and Hastings, Christ Church.
“In addition, the water levels in Graeme Hall Swamp continue to be elevated due to the recent rainfall, resulting in some overflows in neighbouring districts and some infiltration into the sewer collection system,” the BWA said at the time.
It said then it had been undertaking a number of measures to reduce the overflow of sewage from the manholes.