The revelation in recent weeks that sewage (raw) is spewing into the sea on the South coast should be of concern to all Barbadians. Along with the health concern there is the potential to dent the good reputation of Barbados as an idyllic tourist destination. The members of the BU household are fiercely patriotic and it pains us no end to observe how our infrastructure -built on the backs of our forefathers- is crumbling with a disastrous result.
Of even greater concern is the lack of transparency shown by the government so far. Barbados is a signatory to Rio Principle 10 adopted in 1992 as a part of the Rio Declaration. A relevant extract from the agreement states:
Environmental issues are best handled with participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities [BU’s emphasis], and the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be provided.
Clearly the Barbados government is in breach!