A degree of normality is returning to the south coast, which has been beleaguered by a sewage problem for well over a year, according to Adrian Donovan, the spokesman for the residents.
Donovan, a strong critic of the then Freundel Stuart administration and the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) at the height of the crisis, told Barbados TODAY not a single drop of effluent has been evident on the streets of the tourism belt in recent weeks.
“I am talking from as far down as the Garrison to Lanterns Mall, right through Hastings, the bottom of Rendezvous Hill, Worthing, St Lawrence, St Lawrence School and as far as up in Dover,” he said.
The community activist said there were 22 areas which had been identified as having sewage seepage issues, “and right now all of those are sewage-free, although I must let you know that the sewage was now being pumped into the swamp, which is not an ideal situation, but is much better than seeing it on the streets every day, noon and night”.
He also reported that a number of businesses, including the popular Chicken Barn, had reopened, and the pungent odour which had been affecting the St Lawrence Primary School was virtually now gone.
“So far, there has been a great improvement, although we know the project has not been completed. Work is still being undertaken. Workmen can be seen working feverishly in the wee hours of the morning . . . and there is major work going on at the bottom of the Graeme Hall Sanctuary and the old Nova Scotia Bank [building]. There are two areas that received major work that is going on,” he said.
The Worthing Post Office, which had been closed for several months due to the sewage spill, has also reopened, according to the Barbados Government Information Service in a release issued yesterday.
BWA General Manager Keithroy Halliday revealed late last month that since the six 300-foot injection wells became operational on June 14, all of the overflows that had plagued the south coast had ceased, paving the way for a permanent fix.
The water company executive, who was present at the excavation site at the time, explained that while all efforts were being made to expedite the process, the complexity of the work ahead, as well as the safety of workers, meant the BWA had to proceed carefully.
Minister of Energy and Water Resources Wilfred Abraham said on June 20 that excavation, which began on that day on sewer lines in the vicinity of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, as well as at the old Scotia Bank in Worthing, Christ Church, was expected to impact traffic and businesses on Highway 7.
However, in his update on efforts to address the long-running sewage crisis, the minister had said a few more weeks of inconvenience was a small price to pay for permanent relief. [email protected]