The overpowering stench of sewage forced the closure of several businesses in Fontebelle, The City today, as the beleaguered Barbados Water Authority (BWA) faces yet another case of foul matter.
While the attention has been on the south coast where a long running problem with raw sewage has created a nightmare for businesses, residents and visitors in Hastings and Worthing, Christ Church, the people of Lakes Folly and Fontebelle, St Michael say they have had to endure their own misery for much too long.
When Barbados TODAY visited the two communities there was an unbearably pungent ordour emanating from the Bridgetown Sewerage Plant.
“This isn’t anything that start today, this has been going on for about 25 years now. I born and grow up in this community with us having this problem. Welcome to Town,” an irate resident of Lakes Folly said with an air of resignation.
“It doesn’t even make sense you coming and putting this in the paper because nothing ever happens. Sewage water does go all under people yards and in person’s front house. If the rains fall too hard you have to look for boots to put on or stay inside your home. We get the sewage coming from all up by the globe coming down by us,” added the resident who spoke to Barbados TODAY on condition of anonymity.
“They move people from down in here and it still didn’t make a difference because everybody can’t move so they still have people who will have to live down here and are forced to smell the sewage,” he added.
What was most worrying for another resident, who also requested anonymity, was the risk of a disease outbreak.
“This is really unhealthy, you know. For all of this dirty water to be running out just like this, we can get diseases. There are a lot of children who live around here. I’m not just talking, the scent down here is really bad. Sometimes you smell something and you ask yourself, ‘what is that smell?’ Somebody even ask if people had rotten eggs or dead animals around and then you remember the sewage problem we have. It is very frustrating and we have been living with this for so long.”
The upset man contended that the community was being neglected because it was poor and underprivileged. “Nobody don’t check we, but they would come through for votes. They could come when they want help but when we want help we have to wait so long and this isn’t fair.
“If Westmoreland was in this district and the sewage was here and a profit is being made the Government would find a solution for this sewage [preoblem].”
The unpleasant ordour forced some businesses, including ShopSmart, Rubis Gas Station, Branckers and Partners In Parenting Day Care to suspend operations and close their doors for today.
The BWA said in a statement that its operators were monitoring waste being dumped in the plant by haulers and “initial investigations suggest that a portion of a noxious substance may have been dumped at the plant” last Saturday, February 10.
“This substance knocked out the bacteria population integral to the waste water treatment process. This has contributed to the strong scent coming from the plant, which is being smelt in surrounding areas,” the statement said.
“The WWD (Waste Water Department) is assiduously working to replenish the bacteria population at the processing plant and bring the situation under control.
“The BWA is reminding all haulers doing business with the authority that they must adhere to the regulations guiding the proper dumping of waste at the plant,” the water company said, adding that it would continue to monitor all substances dumped there “to ensure unwanted substances do not enter the facility”.