Contending that the combination of raw sewage and mosquitoes would be too much for students to handle, an elderly resident of St Lawrence, Christ Church is advising the authorities not to reopen the school before the south coast sewage mess is resolved.
Carlton Croney, who has lived in the area for all of his 71 years, told Barbados TODAY this afternoon the condition was much too unhealthy and would put the children’s lives at risk.
“It [sewage overflow] came up by the school. The little toddlers can’t beat the pressure like how we big people could beat it. So you know they had to shut down the school. It is not good enough. Yesterday, the headmistress went back down there and it start bubbling again. She can ‘t stand for that junk. You get what I mean? So they shut it down,” Croney said.
The Ministry of Education announced yesterday that it would temporarily close St Lawrence Primary School as a precautionary measure on the advice of the Ministry of Health, as a result of a sewage spill on the school’s premises.
Class four students who are preparing for the Common Entrance exams reported to Arthur Smith Primary School this morning, with the St Matthias Church and St Lawrence Church being considered as possible sites for the rest of the school, education officials are reported to have said.
Croney said he was worried that the situation would get worse, leading to an outbreak of potentially fatal diseases.
“It smell too bad. If I had children going school there I wouldn’t send them there at all. It is not good enough. You will have to see if that sewage will break out again. If it doesn’t get back up, well, they would know what to do,” he stressed.
The veteran fisherman complained that thousands of mosquitoes have invaded the surroundings because of the overflow, endangering the lives of residents.
“We all got to do something about these mosquitoes. These mosquitoes are young vampires. They will suck yuh blood and kill you dead. If they go into that sewage water and pick up that germ, they going come and make you sick. I had dengue three times and also chikungunya. I don’t know what next we going get from these mosquitos,” the aggrieved south coast resident said.
When the authorities visited the school on Saturday, the St Lawrence homeowner was not shy to express his views on the matter.
He said it was not good enough for householders to be subjected to daily “bombardment” of mosquitoes and overflowing effluent, and recommended the periodic opening of the sleuth gate in Worthing to allow the backup of wastewater to run off into the sea during high tide.
At the same time, Croney was concerned that the effluent was destroying the natural enemy of the mosquitoes.
“Now, the sewage going into the swamp and it killing the fish. The fish is who does eat the mosquitoes. So if the sewage going in there and kill the fish, wuh gine happen? We dead,” Croney contended.
“They have to let go the sleuth gate to let out that nasty, dirty water. If they don’t let it go . . . more bacteria again . . . more trouble,” the elderly fisherman told Barbados TODAY.
The knowledgeable south coast resident said the sewage water was filling the crab holes in the area, thus attracting mosquitoes which “are going to look for blood to survive”.
Meanwhile, further along the south coast in Hastings, traffic was forced to a crawl today as heavy pools of sewage water bubbled and flooded the streets in front Kentucky Fried Chicken and Lantern Mall. A few yards away a sign advising drivers to slow down was evident.
Neither the General Manager of the Barbados Water Authority Keithroy Halliday nor Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George could be reached for comment.