The south coast sewage problem is far from over.
However, a tour by Barbados Water Authority (BWA) and other key Government officials of the affected area over the weekend seems has done a world of good in terms of calming the fears of residents in the area, who had earlier expressed concern that the authorities were not doing enough to resolve the worsening stench.
In fact, community spokesman Adrian Donovan was full of praise for BWA General Manager Keithroy Halliday today for “finally” touring the area and speaking frankly to both residents and business operators about the extent of the sewage leaks.
Halliday, who took over as BWA general manager back in February 15, was joined by two senior BWA officials – Manager of the Waste Water Division Patricia Inniss and Director of Engineering Charles Leslie – as well as acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George and representatives of the Ministry of Tourism for Sunday’s tour, which came on the heels of the announcement by Chicken Barn that it was forced to close its Worthing outlet, amid the foul situation.
Today, Government also announced the temporary closure of the Worthing Post Office due to the environmental problems that continue to plague the area.
However, Donovan, who had earlier accused the authorities of lying to the community about the fact that they were unable to resolve the ongoing sewage leaks, said while they were no closer to resolving the issues, he was at least satisfied with the explanation given by Halliday.
He explained that residents had been previously told by those working on the project that parts had to be brought in, and then they were later informed that the parts which were imported were not compatible with the faulty system.
However, he said Halliday was able to confirm “what we have been saying all along.
“One, outside expertise is needed and two, the residents are entitled to compensation,” he told Barbados TODAY this morning, while complimenting the BWA general manager “for coming out and telling the general public of Barbados the truth about the problems of the sewage project and finally admitting that they do not have the internal expertise to solve the issues at the plant”.
Coming out of Sunday’s meeting Donovan also suggested that there was really no need for the residents and businesses to pursue legal action as was recommended by the Opposition Barbados Labour Party last week, since “it appears that some people have a direct link to getting compensation through the Ministry of Finance.
“In other words, they don’t have to sue,” he told Barbados TODAY, adding that “in all of this, at the end of the day, the BWA has continued to apologize for the problems that are going on.
“So I hope when all is done and dusted that all those who have been affected would be duly compensated,” the community activist stressed.
He also suggested the BWA’s Manager of the Waste Water Division could learn a lot from her immediate boss, explaining that “the word communication is very important and the residents must feel respected”.