A major breakdown of the South Coast Sewage plant leading into the last general election created a ‘black eye’ for the country. It was one of many issues that probably led to the large defeat of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in 2018. The sight of sewage flowing on the street in Worthing, Christ Church forcing tourists and locals to navigate with caution remains a vivid memory. The government of the day in a PR move designed to assure the public the area was safe saw former Ministers John Boyce and Richard Sealy taking a ‘dip’ in the Worthing Beach. The Barbados Government Information Service soon issued announcements that the beach was closed because of poor water quality.
It is worth mentioning that the Bridgetown Sewage plant is also under stress because of a deteriorating physical plan and it will take millions of dollars to rehabilitate the existing plant or build a new plant to efficiently manage waste in Barbados. The question asked and discussed on BU’s pages is why would a functioning government apparatus have allowed the good management of the sewage plant to have become compromised.
The blogmaster read with interest a report in yesterday’s Nation newspaper Warning: Keep grease from sewerage system. The report highlighted the misuse of the sewage system (after all the problems) by south coast users which has led to creating additional pressure on a failing physical plant.
THERE IS TOO much debris and grease in Barbados’ sewerage system, says Minister of Water Resources Ian Gooding-Edghill, to the point where it is time to take another look at the penalties associated with clogging it up … We [continue to] have a major challenge with grease. Since the plant was constructed in 2003, we’ve had some challenges in respect to that. Here at the South Coast Sewage Plant we haul out about 170 000 US (United States) gallons on an annual basis and at the Bridgetown Plant, I am advised we haul out about 400 000 US gallons annually,” he said.Nation newspaper 05 Nov 2020
What this blogmaster struggles to understand is why would this government suggest it needs “to take another look at the penalties associated with clogging it up [South Coast Sewage Plant].” Minister Ian Gooding-Edghill had the opportunity – while touring the facility last Monday – to name and shame the offending companies to send a strong message. Why should a few actors operating businesses on the South Coast be allowed to compromise the health of the country, injure the national brand and in the process create a significant financial liability for the country.
The blogmaster can find no evidence that offenders of the sewage system have been fined based on existing laws. What the situation reminds us is the reluctance of successive governments to enforce laws on the books. We have those who withhold NIS and VAT monies into the Treasury. We have the flouting of traffic laws by private citizens and PSV operators. There are many examples available to expose the failing of the authorities to enforce laws on the books. There is a failing of private citizens to exercise discipline to observe the laws of the country.
We can continue to engage in trivial political debate about if BLP or DLP is responsible and see where that leads us at this juncture in our history.