If the little-known Barbados Integrity Movement (BIM) were to win the next election, the current problems along the south coast would disappear within a year.
BIM Leader Neil Holder made the announcement this afternoon during an emergency press conference held outside the Worthing Post Office in Rendezvous, Christ Church.
Despite reports by the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) last week that it had instituted a temporary sewage fix, today a small pool of sewage water was noticeable in front of the former Worthing branch of FirstCaribbean International Bank with pedestrians and tourists openly showing their disgust over the pungent odour that has engulfed the area.
With the situation as it stands, Holder is promising that if his 11-month-old party that was formed last February were elected to office in the upcoming elections, due here by June, the south coast sewage mess would be resolved in less than 12 months.
“Once we are elected, within 45 days of being elected we will have this matter addressed and within 12 months of the election and serving you in office we will have this fully sorted out,” Holder declared, while stating that BIM is “willing to engage entities in order to find a solution for this”.
Although he refused to say exactly who, Holder indicated that his party would be reaching out to international agencies to find a solution to the south coast sewage mess.
“That 45-day figure is based on some information we have relative to what the seeming issue could be and that is based on initial talks with persons who would have knowledge of it,” he explained, adding that a BIM-led Government would finance the sewerage project by way of assistance from international lending agencies.
“Most of these international lenders are quite keen to fund Barbados once the Government is changed,” he added.
Given the effects of the sewage situation on the island’s vital tourist product, Holder warned that the issue should not be used as a political football, while suggesting that the leaders of all political parties on the island should collaborate to find a solution.
“Every hotel, every company, every corporation in Barbados stands to lose now if we don’t get a handle on this . . . . Tourism is our breadwinner, if we cannot attract tourists and keep them coming here, then we are certainly going to have a bigger problem than we currently have in our economy,” the BIM leader said, adding that “I really would like us to stop playing the political football and deal with this crisis as soon as possible. It simply cannot continue.”
Holder also appealed to members of the public to do their part in searching for answers and a solution to worsening sewage leaks from the faulty sewerage system.
“Let us see if we can engage and get the Barbadian public to recognize that in the interim while the Government is having this crisis that we still have to play our part. Let us help by looking to find a solution and not crying down or making excuses about how this is being dealt with. Right now a country is at risk . . . this can be an epidemic,” he said.