Hoteliers operating on the south coast are breathing a lot more freely now, convinced that the troubling sewage problem that affected the area last year is behind them; so too, the frequent water outages.
Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Rudy Grant Wednesday said members had not reported any major issues in recent months, except for the occasional concerns that were quickly resolved by the Barbados Water Authority (BWA).
“With respect to the sewage plant, I am sure that you would have seen recently that the BWA indicated that they are doing the necessary work. We certainly have not had any major reports or any major concerns from our members and therefore in that regard, I think that we are progressing well and that the water outages, as well as the sewerage plant, do not now represent a major issue based on the feedback that we are getting from our members,” Grant told journalists during a media briefing held to provide an update on the performance of the sector.
“From time to time there may be an issue that is raised but the response coming from the BWA has been quick and they have been very active in responding to the issue. So [there is] nothing that is outside of the norm and nothing certainly that is major that has forced our membership to be overly concerned,” Grant added.
Late last year raw sewage flowed onto the roads of the south coast –– a major tourist belt –– affecting homes and businesses, and causing health concerns among residents and visitors alike.
One of the worst affected properties was the Gentle Breeze Apartments in Worthing, Christ Church, which received a number of cancellations in light of the crisis.
The BWA has since embarked on a $2 million repair programme of the south coast sewerage system, which was on the brink of a disastrous collapse.
Efforts to get an update on that project have been futile up until the time of publication.
In relation to the water outages, which continued into this year and also affected a number of properties, Grant said that too was now under control and outages were being better handled as the BWA keeps in contact with the BHTA.
“In many instances we are alerted beforehand as to if there are going to be any outages . . . . So we haven’t been having any major challenges or issues relating to our members. We are in direct communication with the Barbados Water Authority and I have to say that the response from the BWA is very positive,” Grant said.