Authorities are seeking to get to the bottom of a recurring sewage problem along this island’s south coast, with Manager of the Barbados Water Authority’s (BWA) Waste Water Division Patricia Inniss reporting today that major excavation work was planned this week with a view to clearing a 55-inch micro tunnel in Worthing, Christ Church.
“We are going to look at what we think is a major block. We are hoping that a bypass that we create will allow for an alleviation of the high level from the manhole upstream of the block,” Inniss explained.
“Also in doing that . . . [if] we find there is a restriction, then we have to look at how we are going to address that restriction,” she told Barbados TODAY, while apologizing to Barbadians and tourists alike who have had to deal with recent overflows of raw sewage into the streets.
Among those affected is Worthing businessman Michael Allamby who told Barbados TODAY this afternoon he had lost a rental car tenant as a direct result of the sewage problem.
Allamby, whose complex houses five businesses, including a restaurant, a retail store and a spa, however acknowledged the efforts of the BWA to bring the situation under control, but was eager for there to be a permanent fix.
“I would like the latest attempt at controlling the problem to hold,” he said, while urging the BWA to send in inspectors to disinfect the area.
One of Allamby’s tenants, Michelle Hurdle, who owns Christina’s Spa, complained that the “toxic” odour was making her ill.
“It [the sewage problem] isn’t getting any better. It getting worse and worse. The sewage does got me sick all the time when it acts up.
“From [last] weekend I was feeling really dizzy, light-headed, ‘vomity’ because it is an awful smell [and] I had to leave work [early today],” the businesswoman told Barbados TODAY, adding that she would be going to her doctor tomorrow.
Spokesman for the Worthing, Hastings and St Lawrence communities Adrian Donavan said last weekend was nothing short of a “nightmare” for residents.
“Sunday night, the whole area [Hastings and Worthing] was under severe pressure from the overflow of the sewage and the unbearable stench,” he said, while complaining that “no progress has been made.
“All we getting are apologies and we [the authorities are] going to do this and we are going to do that,” he charged.
Meanwhile, the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) Shadow Minister of the Environment Wilfred Abrahams has described the ongoing sewage mess as a potential environmental and health disaster.
Suggesting that it was nothing short of a disgrace, Abrahams, in a statement today, argued that the situation was no longer an inconvenience, but a danger that demanded the full resources of Government to identify and solve the problem immediately.
“It is only the grace of God that to date, we have been spared from an outbreak of cholera or another faeces-borne illness. This is no longer a minor inconvenience, but a major environmental and health disaster, and must be treated as such,” the Opposition spokesman on the environment said, adding that the solution may be costly, but it was nothing compared to the fallout from an epidemic and the drain on “our already embattled health services, if the fears of many are ultimately realized”.
He said the BLP was concerned about the impact this problem would have on Barbadians living and working on the south coast.