A race against time is on to fix the outstanding sewage issues on the South Coast – with the finish line being the December 15 start of the vital winter tourist season, the Government acknowledged today.
“I appreciate the urgency… and we have started the process of the fix and we aim to have this rectified as soon as possible,” Minister of Energy and Water Resources Wilfred Abrahams has told Barbados TODAY.
Promising to provide the country with a more detailed update later, Abraham made the brief comments amid queries by prospective and regular visitors who have been writing Barbados TODAY from overseas to find out when the Worthing Beach in Christ Church would reopen.
One visitor said she and her family were planning to come to Barbados for the winter season and stay near the Worthing Beach which they were interested in enjoying.
Back in August a would-be visitor asked: “Please would you let us know what’s going on at Worthing Beach again?”
And last month, another writer wrote: “When did it close? What’s affected? When will it reopen? What hotels are affected? We plan a visit in the Fall. How bad is the beach at Worthing? What has caused the beach to be closed for months?”
In mid-August, the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Beautification closed the beach for the repair and restoration of the South Coast sewerage network. It said that the continued closure comes as a result of wastewater entering the Graeme Hall swamp, aided by the heavy rains.
In an effort to protect the swamp and its environs, in addition to keeping the wastewater from again surfacing on the streets of the south coast, the sluice gate at Worthing was opened to allow the overflows to exit via Worthing Beach during low tide, the ministry said.
The Ministry also informed the public that the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) will conduct daily nearshore testing and will continue to monitor conditions on the beach. The National Conservation Commission (NCC) was expected to ensure that warnings remained in place for the duration of the closure.
The closure of the beach has adversely affected business for the two beach bars at Worthing with their owners telling Barbados TODAY sales have plummeted while still having to pay rent to the NCC.
General Manager of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) Keithroy Halliday has said that engineers and other workers were hard at work trying to repair the sewage network and was hoping it could be finished within a month or earlier.