The state-run Barbados Water Authority (BWA) has a “crisis” of major proportions on its hands, in terms of the problems plaguing the island’s sewage disposal system.
Manager of Waste Water Department Patricia Inniss issued the stern warning today during a news conference called to officially launch surveys in the capital Bridgetown, as well as Worthing and Oistins, Christ Church areas.
“We have our hands filled in a lot of pockets that all need to be addressed. Unfortunately, they have been deteriorating overtime, so everything has become a crisis. But we just can’t pretend [they don’t exist] . . . , we have to deal with them,” said Inniss while suggesting that the immediate priority was to repair damaged units within the sewage treatment system itself.
Inniss also said the BWA would be working closely with the Sanitation Service Authority to implement a better system overall for handling sludge and other forms of waste.
At the same time, she said the authority was doing everything humanly possible to prevent a recurrence of the serious wastewater overflow problems, which affected the south coast some six months ago and was in the process of installing four new effluent pumps.
“We have just a week ago, completed another cleaning of the outfall . . . and the comparative results between the cleaning of six months ago and today, are that the outfalls were a little blocked, but that they were still quite well maintained in the six month period,” she told the gathering at the BWA’s Pine, St Michael headquarters.
Inniss also acknowledged a need to expand the sewage system, but stressed that outstanding repairs needed to done first.
She also suggested that there was need for greater buy-in from citizens in terms of utilization of “green energy”, as well as financial support from the international donor community to assist the BWA which is operating on a limited budget.
“We are hopeful that the Green Climate Fund, which is now engaging with the Barbados Water Authority, that the Green Climate Fund is able to assist us. To be able to do that, a big part of such funding in the form of grant, is the participation of Barbadians and therefore, such programmes are in keeping with what we are planning to do to make sure Barbadians are aware of what’s going on,” Inniss said.