Enforce Existing Laws Please

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.

Wilfred Abrahams’ Press Conference: Disposal Wells NOT Injection Wells, National Crisis in the Making

[Barbados Underground] The information shared in yesterday’s press conference by Minister of Energy and Water Resources Wilfred Abrahams that the South Coast Sewage Plant AND the Bridgetown Sewage Plant are in a state of sorry repair- although improved functionality pre 24 May 2018 have been reached- should continue to be of concern to ALL Barbadians.

The revelation that there was no transparency around the procurement process to sink the ‘injection wells’ at Graeme Hall, confusion about the depth of the wells tax dollars paid a contractor to sink…and so on.

Listen to the unbelievable revelations by minister Abrahams.

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, Designated Sewage Dump

One of the first task Prime Minister Mia Mottley opted for was to tour the sewage affected South Coast area with an army of stakeholders in tow. The event no doubt was to demonstrate publicly the priority government has given to fixing a national embarrassment.

Of interest to the blogmaster after viewing recent pictures and video of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary locale – supported by a statement from the Prime Minister while on the tour of the area – the RAMSAR site has been relegated to a sewage dump.

It is unfathomable why successive governments have supported polices which have led to a compromise of the wetland. The sheer negligence by those in charge have led some to  theorize that the Graeme Hall area may have been ‘sabotaged’.

Attached is a view shared n social media.



This is possibly the link to the story the citizen referred in the comment above – How The Barbados Government Is Stealing Graeme Hall National Park From Our Children – With The Help Of The News Media – Part 1.

Related linkSouth Coast Sewage Issue Deemed A National Crisis

Patricia Inniss Report: For The Recovery of Barbados’ Failing Sewerage System

The embedded report authored by Patricia Inniss contracted by the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) as a Water Quality Consultant in 2016- she is now in charge of the Waste Water Division of the BWA- is an indictment on on ALL those who have occupied leadership in Barbados post-Independence. We cannot refer to Barbados as a progressive Black country that is highly literate after investing billions in education, boast of punching above our weight class, aspiring to be a developed country by 2025(?), resting the economy on the pillars of tourism and international sectors that rely on an acceptable infrastructure, then allow our sewage treatment plants to deteriorate to the degree revealed by Patricia Inniss and not feel a sense of hopelessness. She is a professional but it is the silly season and the point must be made, she is a DLPite.

As a country we can find money to build edifices, purchase Mercedes Benz, pay legal fees in the millions to the Hal Gollops, Richard Byers et al, dump NIS funds in Apes Hill etc but NOT feel compelled to purchase garbage trucks, buses, fix our roads and now rising to the top of the pile- adequately maintained our sewage system. What does it say about us as a people? Yes this is directed at ALL of us. We are the Rh government.

The BU household calls on our political class to address the issue of sewage management frontally. In fact we go further and ask that a comprehensive waste management system be mapped for Barbados that will sustain our development for the next 25 years. This will be difficult with a protracted silly season now imposed on the country by a prime minister intent on playing politics at a time it is beseeching  leadership.

Read the report for those seeing it for the first time and weep for our country!

Click image to read the 22 page report.


Barbados Association of Professional Engineers Responds to Mia’s Membrane Bioreactor Recommendation to Solve South Coast Sewage Problem

The BAPE reacts to leader of the Opposition suggestion to use membrane bioreactor technology to tackle the South Coast Sewage problem –“… these complex infrastructural decisions must not be taken in the heat of political rhetoric, but after careful, deliberate, methodological and professional consideration that is led by our best experts …”

The Barbados Association of Professional Engineers (BAPE) has responded to the BU blogmaster questioning if that association should be the one to inform on the recent suggestion by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to use membrane bioreactor technology to solve the South Coast sewage problem.

BU Blogmaster

Sir, you asked for BAPE’S comment on the matter raised about membrane bio reactor (MBR) technology as an option for use on the South Coast.

The Barbados Association of Professional Engineers is not a functional engineering consultancy. It is the national body that represents the interest of such consultant groups; of individual engineers; and of the engineering profession itself. It is therefore not within BAPE’S remit to engage in the technical specifics of any particular engineering solution – such as the use of membrane bio reactor technology or even options such as secondary or tertiary level sewerage treatment. There are multiple viable and valid options that are available for such solutions.

Our concern is that, in the national interest, these complex infrastructural decisions must not be taken in the heat of political rhetoric, but after careful, deliberate, methodological and professional consideration that is led by our best experts – who truly understand the ramifications of the decisions made.

The original final design choice was a poor compromise that was taken largely on short term political and economic considerations. The lack of an emergency back-up outfall, and the pairing of different pipe systems in a common duct clearly point to this fact.

Now that the inevitable crisis has come, millions of dollars are being assigned to deep injection wells, bypass systems and other expensive fixes, while the environment and economy suffers the bad decisions taken by non experts over 20 years ago.

Recent suggestions, that whole new philosophical approaches such as MBR technology should now be introduced is exactly the kind of thinking that gave us the flawed level one plant in the first place. Clearly these political decisions are well intentioned and genuinely conceived, however we continue to reiterate that the technological world of the 21st century is far too complex and sophisticated for such decisions to be made without full involvement of the experts and even the public, in the various pros and cons, and the justifications for the final choices made.

Unless we establish a new regime for decision-making with respect to national infrastructural projects such as the SCSP, our road and transport network, the water works system and other critical assets, we will only encounter even worse failures. It simply is not possible to successfully conceptualise and manage such complex, large-scale, projects in the absence of professional, dedicated, and transparent management – empowered with full control of the resources needed to follow prescribed construction standards and maintenance schedules.

Barbados Association of Professional Engineers Issues Statements on Potholes and South Coast Sewage Problems

Submitted by the Barbados Association of Professional Engineers (BAPE)

The Barbados Association of Professional Engineers (BAPE) issues three press releases:-

  1. The Potholes Problem (1)
  2. The Potholes Problem (2)
  3. The South Coast Sewage Problem


Time for the Authorities to SHUTDOWN Activity on the Sewage Affected South Coast

David Estwick, minister responsible for the BWA/water

Has the time come for the authorities to divert traffic from driving through sewage water on the South Coast of Barbados?

Does commonsense require citizens to avoid the use of the road?

Should eating establishments be closed in the area of the sewage leak?

What about the two bus stops located in the area adjacent to Lanterns Mall and Tapas/KFC where school children and adults like are spotted daily waiting for public transport?

What are we waiting for?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

USA Embassy Unfairly Issues PUBLIC Health Advisory on Barbados

The following communication was brought to the attention of the BU blogmaster by the Administrator of Facebook page Social Education and Accountability in Barbados.

–NB: This was going to [be] posted last Monday. However there was so much noise on the topic that the concern was that it would be lost in the fog.–

Our aim is to attain accurate information with minimal political rhetoric, preferably from source to reduce concerning levels of misinformation being propagated as fact.

We need to accurately identify those responsible for the failings of Sewerage System and hold them accountable in adherence to the Group’s principles of good governance, participation, transparency, accountability and prediction. There will be a time for accountability. Currently we require participation and transparency.

During a meeting with the BHTA on Friday January 26 2018, I commended the GM Mr Keithroy Halliday for taking the lead, providing key information about the problem and quelling much of the misinformation being spread locally and now internationally.

I reminded him of Principle 10 of the Rio Accord of which Barbados is party. This primarily states that the community/citizenry must be included and be participatory to any discussion on matters relating to the Environment. Accordingly I reiterated that the 285,000 of us are part of his team. We are not adversaries to the BWA. We are not interested in blame or what has gone on in the past. There will be a time for that. We are interested in the current situation and how can we help! What are the issues? How long will we have to endure?

I found Mr. Halliday to be genuine and forthright. He earned my utmost respect.

As a consequence please note the following messages from the GM of the BWA and one from the acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Anton Best

COMMENTS BY Mr Keithroy Halliday GM of BWA

“I hope that by being as transparent and as open as we can be, however cautiously at times, that we can get that Trust.

“I rarely comment openly on fb on these matters but loose speculation without facts and the propagation of misinformation will forever be our damnation. Chlorination increase in the treatment of water supplies to the south coast was done out of an abundance of caution when the sewerage overflows increased and the discovery of breaches in the system was suspected. This is in the most unlikely event that we have a burst pipe/main that results in the influx/draw of water other than treated water into the mains. There is nothing in the least suspicious or hidden about that. Under my watch, there has not and will be no deliberate deflection of information. We have been presenting the facts as clearly and as honestly as understood but in fairness, we are now using the offices of GIS to ensure better dissemination of the information that the BWA been sharing for the past while. For several of the residences tested, they actually have independent mains supply and none are the recipient of potable water from the mains supplying or are even located in the direct catchment area of the south coast where the breaches and fractures are evident. The bacteria could not be determined because neither the BWA or EPD or MOH who have such lab facilities or access to such lab facilities were involved in the process sufficiently early and the [US] Embassy testing only provided very non-specific details but the BWA records demonstrate that our potable water testing in the areas where the embassy tested the water at those US Embassy residences, even as recently as this week is SAFE.

The information from our health officials , ministry of foreign affairs and the BWA through myself has been accurate. Discussion is healthy and should keep those in Authority rightfully on our toes but we must be doubly responsible about our remarks when our health and economy is at stake. In repeating, statements made before and during several discussions, the BWA conducts tests on fifty samples weekly. This was particularly augmented by over 100 tests since December 2017 in addition to near shore water testing. Our tests are rigid and rejected if the protocol has strictly not been observed and fresh samples always immediately redone if there is a failure in result or suspected protocol breach. Based on advices the BWA has never had a failure rate on retesting. We have had fluctuation in levels from time to time but these are never cause of concern, being within satisfactory levels. When visiting properties, testing can never be done in isolation, the point of source or even entry must be tested and compared to tests done on properties and particularly those with water storage capacities or properties that have not been fully occupied for a while or even properties that plumbing was done on. In the latter cases, sometime pseudomonas species is discovered to be a typical bacteria of note as they can grow in stagnant and tank waters. I go further..for clarification we have agreed with the embassy to a regime where simultaneous samples will be take. For all of their 68 properties in addition to the ones already tested.. test at source and on property. Once must test BWA potable water at well sources and on properties, and throughout the distribution system then we can draw conclusions. The Embassy Health Alert to its employees was more detailed that that to the public and in that context as indicated by them was done under the clear direction of their Washington office out of an abundance of caution as would obtain for any other jurisdiction for the slightest of risk.

They only tested 5 for which 4 showed elevated levels of bacteria. All properties have tanks and are not in the area of concern and neither are they connected to the same shared mains.

The announcement/advisory was done at 6 pm on Thursday night. It would be foolhardy to jump and denounce without checks being done; firstly did the BWA have any compromised results recently? Secondly were we (BWA/other affected agencies) a part of the process? Thirdly who were the impacted ministries besides the public that needed to weigh in and give their findings (testing is also done by epd and MOH), fourthly: were we all using the same protocols, same labs, both testing on property and at source? Fifthly – when were the tests done and did ours confirm, sixthly it is our responsibility to ensure that the nature of the results were understood as in the unlikely event pathogens were confirmed to be present we needed to immediately treat from a Public health standpoint and then deal with the fallout seventhly, we responded the very next day as given the above we wanted to back our denouncement by facts and evidence based analysis, eighthly whether someone follows diplomatic protocols to the extent we may like or perceive, there was an agreement to meet and gather more details at the meeting with the embassy officials the next day at ten am before speaking aloud and this had to be respected. The discussion coming out of that meeting rightly informed the way forward. A press release was crafted and a press conference held at 2 pm to firmly address. If you saw the video of the same conference I was at and understanding the nature of all diplomatic relations you would not suggest rash responses but respect the process that was followed and you would have also seen very clear pronouncements made about our water quality. The Minister was also clear about not engaging in tit for tat behaviours.

I am weary of entering any particular space that could be adjudged to be political. As a BWA employee, I support strongly the positions taken by the joint ministries and our responses. Where BWA is concerned, I think the public is aware of our water quality and trust our statements to be true. The south coast challenges are a test of our organizational abilities and that of the supporting ministries but being intimately close to activities on the ground gives me a sense of confidence that all is being done to arrest the situation.

Understandably it was of immense concern to all of the stakeholder ministries which is why we responded immediately. The one thing we have always been proud of is our water quality. We recognise the risks and guard against them and this should not be confused with instances of brown water which I will will tackle this week

It was a collaborative effort by joint ministries to responsibly address the issue with great haste and caution. Centrally, it was and will continue to be made clear that our water is safe. This is an inescapable FACT! Our weekly rigid test sampling of at least 50 per week proves that. Secondly EPD and MOH who performs independent test do not hesitate to rap the BWA if they have the slightest bit of concern regarding health risks. To that end we knew that if near shore testing or any causal link to the recent Viral GI from the south coast was made, business and beaches would have been closed! Thirdly, though a blow as a second advisory of sorts, it was a highly cautionary alert by the US citizens under their care. We understand why we can be circumspect about other motives as individuals but as a Government, and based on enquiry and the meeting held with the US Embassy Officials, the protocols followed and the explanation offered by the US Embassy was officially accepted. Fourthly, what is missing is our data that would have addressed/rebutted concerns about our water quality for source testing and Fifthly the US water test results were based on results ON property only and we simply do not know what protocols were followed.”

I think it sparks a healthy debate but if folks are not listening or reading or analyzing, they are in danger of inflicting real harm to our country. All matters of discourse must be properly contextualised. Yes, We owe ourselves a duty of care to give constructive criticism, but I think fairly not to be active participant of the spread of paranoia or fear-mongering.

The meeting with the US embassy officials served to inform the press meeting approach and content. The relationships are cordial and from the US perspective, they had to follow the standard protocols set in place by their Washington office. We obviously do not like the end result, but we have made it clear concerning the quality of our water supply.

They were only able to confirm a very non-specific elevated total bacteria count. This did not include any of the three kinds that would normally raise alarms. The bacteria could be harmless or it could have potential negative effects, but this can only be analyse with further tests [BU emphasis].

It’s a concern for us, particularly if instances of bacteria elevation are pointed to the BWA, where unfounded and therefore we will assist with the PSAs.

COMMENTS from Dr Anton Best Acting Chief Medical Officer:

Just to reiterate of the 4 types of tests done at the 5 selected residences, the one that was positive was the heterotrophic plate count. The other 3 tests for pathogenic bugs were negative.

The HPC is a very nonspecific test that when positive warrants further investigation to confirm the type of bacteria, then localize the source. If the residences had water tanks on them, it is likely that there was stagnation, declining chlorine levels then lead to a proliferation of pseudomonas. This is speculative! This would not be due to contamination from the BWA, the BWA would however help remedy. To implement a remedial action having not done additional tests is irrational and careless on the part of those responsible for the testing or the management of the problem.

The alert was unwarranted and misleading.

Local Biotechnologist Comments on American Advisory | Should Barbadians be Concerned About ELEVATED Levels of Bacteria in the Water? | Should Food Establishments on the South Coast be Closed by Government?

David Estwick – Minister of Water

Dr. Robert D. Lucas

Dun-Low lane


Barbados, BB11157



28th, January2018

The Editor

Barbados Underground

Bridgetown, Barbados

West Indies

Dear Sir/Madam,

A press conference was held on the 26th. January that sought to clear the air over the discrepancies in microbial findings and interpretation of the potable water quality on the south coast of Barbados. The Americans found that there were elevated counts of microorganisms (this was not refuted by the local authorities) and advised their citizens to boil the water before drinking it. The Barbados’ government position is that Salmonella, coliforms and E.coli (fecal indicator (FI) organisms) were not detected and therefore the potable water on the south coast complied with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines. The press conference was aired live on the Voice of Barbados (VOB), and it was admitted by the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) that it had increased the level of chlorine added to the potable water supply on the south coast of Barbados. It was disclosed by the Minister of Health, that he became particularly concerned when it was revealed by the Americans that the advisory affected the area where he lives among other areas (it appeared that he was only interested in saving his own hide).

The following is written in the public interest. Let me start by saying that the Americans are correct in the position that they have adopted and that the local authorities are skating on thin ice, as I will now show…

There are other fecal indicator organisms also recognized by WHO. These are fecal streptococci, Clostridium perfringens among others. What are of importance from a microbial aspect of the above disclosures are the elevated numbers of organisms detected and the increasing levels of chlorine being used. When added to water, chlorine forms chlorous acid, which is able to penetrate bacterial cell walls, and disrupts protein synthesis resulting in death. It also attacks organic matter and indeed this is one of the drawbacks when using chlorine based-disinfectants. In other words, the greater the organic matter load of water, the greater the amount of chlorine which has to be used to attain a specific disinfectant level Fecal matter is highly organic in nature and therefore it is correct for the local authorities to up the levels of chlorine used. The problem, however is that the exact amount of fecal matter seeping into the potable water cannot be ascertain plus the microorganisms continue to grow and multiply and therefore estimates have to be made. This is starkly revealed by the elevated counts obtained by the Americans. From the disclosure the following events have occurred. Note we are dealing with hard science not law, economics or political science.

1. There was a high level of organic matter present in the water (could be fecal in nature or derived from food processing operations) and most of the chlorine disinfectant was used up in reacting with it.

2. Microorganisms were present at what is known in microbiology at levels too numerous to count (TMC); and since microorganisms are organic in nature, the disinfectant was not present at concentrations adequate to destroy all of them.

3. A combination of one and two occurred.

There is a risk associated with the use of chlorine as a disinfectant at high concentrations. At 200 parts per million (ppm) there is no carcinogenic risk associated with its use. At 1000 ppm chlorine is carcinogenic. BWA must in the public interest state what levels of chlorine have been used in an effort to achieve safe potable water.

Increasing levels of disinfectants increase the selective pressure on microorganisms and can result in pathogenic genes being passed from pathogenic organisms to non-pathogenic ones creating unwanted problems.

In any event, elevated levels of microorganisms indicate that something is wrong and the absence of the presence of fecal indicators does not preclude their presence at some time prior to the testing. The local authorities should therefore advise citizens in the affected areas to boil their drinking water, given that at the same press conference, the BWA admitted that the situation was getting worse.

The local authorities have been keeping a lot of noise about the gastroenteritis outbreak not being associated with the sewerage problem. They have not demonstrated the following:

Koch’s Postulates

Four criteria that were established by Robert Koch to identify the causative agent of a particular disease, these include:

  1. the microorganism or other pathogen must be present in all cases of the disease
  1. the pathogen can be isolated from the diseased host and grown in pure culture
  1. the pathogen from the pure culture must cause the disease when inoculated into a healthy, susceptible laboratory animal
  1. the pathogen must be reisolated from the new host and shown to be the same as the originally inoculated pathogen

Have the authorities grown the suspected causative viral agent in cell culture or have they used a DNA probe to substantiate their claim? Proof must be presented.

From food safety aspects, establishment dealing in food in the area affected should not have a say in whether or not to open or close their shops. Under the hazard analysis critical control (HACCP) system, which is considered the Holy Grail designation for food establishment, there are certain prerequisites, which must be met. These are sanitary standard operating procedures (SSOP’s) and current good manufacturing practices (cGMP). Absence of filth and obnoxious smells fall under these prerequisite conditions. Since currently, in the affected area these conditions are not being met, all such establishment should be closed by law. I train members of the Environmental Health Department at the Barbados Community College (BCC). The last time one of my students closed down a food establishment I wrote about it and the print media would not publish the article. It was published online and I was fired and actually received a letter from a prominent attorney giving me two-weeks to retract the article or be sued for libel. I ignored the joker. Last year I was at BCC teaching the students again. Most likely I will be fired again for writing this, which is neither here nor there with me.

Robert D. Lucas, PH.D.

Food Biotechnologist.

Barbadians Suffering from Fatigue with a Capital F


Fruendel Stuart (l) Denis Lowe (r) – the buck stops with Prime Minister Stuart.


And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land King James Bible

For 7 years plus the Barbados economy has been contracting. The country has been running a deficit on current account. We have had to significantly reduce capex. And this is despite raking in unprecedented levels of revenue if the reporting from the relevant government agencies are accepted. There is a resignation by Barbadians to the fact those charged with managing the economy seem are unable to do so. The discussions everywhere is whether this is due to incompetence or other reasons.

If we are to buyin to the government’s mantra that we should strive to build a society not an economy, ‘recent’ developments in the country have served to challenge this objective.  As if carrying the weight of an nonperforming economy on their backs like the proverbial albatross has not been the greatest burden- there is the evidence daily of the country’s infrastructure crumbling before our eyes. The sick South Coast Sewage Plant has occupied the newsfeeds on the domestic and international front in recent months. The prime minister FINALLY addressed the issue frontally by informing the country this week a request has been submitted to the IADB and experts to assist Barbados in addressing the problem. Bear in mind the leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley had informed the prime minister this was a problem waiting to happen two years ago. Like how most issues are dealt with in Barbados the politically expedient decision was taken, she was ignored.

Can you imagine this is the government that was this close to foisting a gasification plant on an island nation the size of which had never been built anywhere on planet earth?

After 7 years plus of economic famine, 2 plus years of a leaky sewage plant on the South Coast- today the local US Embassy slap Barbados with an advisory.

Event: Recent tests at several U.S. Embassy residences revealed bacteria at elevated levels in the tap water.  As a precautionary measure, the U.S. Embassy recommended to its staff to boil their drinking water or use bottled water.  The U.S. Embassy will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates accordingly.

Actions to Take:


We are a few weeks from a general election being called, clearly decision making by the government will be steeped in political consideration and antithetical to what is in the national interest. Even if the government by some miracle is able to fix the problem in the weeks before the general election there is the memory of a fatigue public to factor and anticipating how they will respond on election day.

The BU household cannot wait for election day to arrive!

Barbados Integrity Movement – South Coast Sewage Project Not Listed on Contractors Website

Neil Holder, leader of the Barbados Integrity Movement (BIM)

South Coast Sewage Crisis_Statement_180116 The Barbados Integrity Movement (BIM) recognizes that the current state of the South Coast sewage system is a looming national health crisis in the making!

BIM feels compelled to act at this time to ensure that this national crisis is managed and resolved so as not to escalate to epidemic proportions. In this regard, we are going to reach out to international entities to solicit assistance with addressing the issues whether they be technical or social.

To this end, we will also endeavour if elected to identify and address the problem within 90 days of taking office and thereafter try to resolve it within 12 months to the satisfaction of all parties concerned be it Barbadians or tourist alike!

Full text of statement delivered by the Barbados Integrity Movement (BIM) – The South Coast Crisis

RH PR Spiel from BWA Conflicting with the TRUTH about the Sewage Plant

Patricia Inniss, head of the Waste Unit at the BWA

After listening to the two Barbados Water Authority (BWA) officials (Nicole Austin of the Waste Water Unit and Joy-Ann Haigh Corporate Communication) on the Sunday talk show it prompted the blogmaster to have another listen to an earlier program of the 13 November 2017 with Patricia Inniss the manager of the Waste Water Division. It was evident that the Sunday program was rehearsed and scripted to deliver the message that the South Coast Sewage plant was being misused by consumers.

The following represents the blogmaster notes taken while having another listen to the 13 November 2017 talk show which featured Patricia Inniss the manager of the Waste Water Unit and a former DLP candidate.

Recording #1 (numbers represent the approximate time of the comment on the recording)

3:50   – Inadequate management and maintenance

4:20   – proper cleaning required of outfall lines (financial constraints)

4:55  – better pipes for effluent required

5:24  – screw lift pumps problematic (under repair at the time of the show), trash pumps problematic – these pumps are important to   the process of screening extraneous matter from entering the system

6:25  – blockage detected in the sewage line between Graeme Hall Sanctuary and Republic Bank

Recording #2

1:40  – Serious concerns expressed by Mr. Harris for years about the state of the sewage plant

2:51  – Patricia Inniss authored a report detailing several issues which needed urgent attention by the BWA/government

5:58  – sewage plant neglected due to financial constraints

6:17  – a robust and sustained PR campaign recommended to educate Barbadians the use of the sewage plant

7:44  – retiring employees read knowledge drain/transfer a challenge

9:00  – waste water division regarded by the BWA as a ‘step-child’

10:48 – “An old system not maintained”

15:00 – Haigh points to capacity of the plant an issue which conflicts with the position of Andrew Hutchinson an engineer on a subsequent program.

17:00 – flow rates at the sewage plant were not being done before Innis assume the role of manager of the waste water unit

19:00 – a structure is now being implemented at he BWA to effectively deal with the issue

20:30 – no masterplan exist to manage waste water

23:00 – minister Estwick is fully apprised of the situation

35:00 – Ellis observes that the BWA owns a 50 million dollar building yet the sewage plant was starved of financial resources

Recording #3

6:50  – Drains in the Massy, Lucky Horse Shoe areas not cleared for years by the Drainage Unit, have become swamps

19:00 – there is a lack of maintenance of the grid chambers in Bridgetown (a potential next problem)



Featured image extracted from mJones blog







Another Heather Cole Column – Five Asses Who Don’t Know ‘Shit’

Submitted by Heather Cole

It has all come down to shit. A few days ago Donald Trump’s racist use of the word shit-hole when referring to some African Countries, elevated the word shit to more prominence on the International scene than it has ever held. Interestingly enough shit is also trending in Barbados but not because of Donald Trump but the coincidence has expanded an already brewing storm.

A year ago it was first highlighted that the South Coast of Barbados was threatened by raw sewage flowing in the street. Pictures of the raw sewage flowing into the sea were captured by the print media so it could not be denied that what was flowing into the sea was raw sewage ridden with bacteria. The government applied a Band-Aid and the Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy and the Minister of Health John Boyce invited persons to join them when they jumped into the sea as a publicity stunt to prove that it was shit free.

At present there has been the backing up of sewage into private homes and properties on the South Coast, fish kills in the Graeme Hall, closures of restaurants, an outbreak of gastroenteritis, nauseating smells and raw sewage overflowing in the streets which affected local residents and visitors who were already on the island. More serious reputational damage came when tourist began to write reviews on travel sites and most recently when the US, the UK and Canada all issued warnings of potential health threats that could occur as a result of a visit to Barbados.

There are four ministers: the Minister of Health, the Minister of Tourism, the Minister of the Environment and the Minister responsible for Agriculture as well as the Prime Minister who must all own this catastrophe.

If this were not real it could easily fit into a satirical film, for we have five leaders of a country who do not know shit; literally and figuratively. If they knew shit, Richard Sealy and John Boyce would not bathe in the shitty sea; the Ministry of Health would not deny a link of gastroenteritis and the sewage problem and not provide the evidence. Denis Lowe would have provided a reason for the fish kill and David Estwick would have known that it was a DLP government that initially held responsibility for the sewage plant. If Freundel Stuart, who is the Prime Minister of Barbados, knew cared about the environment within which Barbadians lived, he would have addressed the people long ago and ensured that the problem was fixed. Instead he chose to refer indirectly to the problem while speaking to tourist at a function at Illaro Court. His nonchalant attitude shows a level of disrespect continuously being meted out by him towards the people of Barbados.

This is a serious matter. If we have five asses who do not know shit when they see it how can we expect them to be competent leaders of the country? They have put the health of every Barbadian at risk over the past three years with this sewage problem as the water supply may be contaminated, they have endangered the livelihood of all those dependent on the tourist industry for survival not only those who live on the South Coast. Then there is that element of reputational risk that can cause the tourist industry to collapse. Perhaps those who denied and ignored that shit was evident expected it to mysteriously go away with a Band-Aid.

No one will ever forget what Donald Trump said about the African Countries, no matter what he says after the fact. He will bear the label of a racist until he dies. No one may ever forget what they read on a travel site or their respective country’s travel advisory about Barbados. The government has not stated specifically what the problem or problems are with the sewage system so one can be assured that this is not another Band-Aid fix of a few months ago. Regardless, every citizen of Barbados has the right to ask the government of Barbados to clean up this mess or just go.

Bajans Wake Up!

Submitted by Theo

Today I am deeply saddened, as a patriotic Barbadian, to read a Notice in today’s Sunday Sun Newspaper advising that the ABSOLUTELY EXCEPTIONAL, BROADWAY TO BARBADOS CHARITABLE TRUST, which has been working tirelessly over many, many years, assisting the Queen Elizabeth Hospital with yeoman’s service, has been finally dealt the death Knell by Chris Sinckler, Freundel Stuart and Minister of Health John Boyce, who by the way, has the Gall to tell Bajans in today’s paper:  “no need to panic”!

This Trust, a completely voluntary organization, has now been dealt the death knell blow by these heartless thieving and corrupt  ministers of Government. This now annual show, held at the Frank Collymore Hall, is a world class Production and brings joy to countless persons who support the Trust and the proceeds go to help save lives at our Hospital.

Why stop this effort Prime Minister?

So the Government now don’t want any outside help with the QEH? Come on Ministers, Bajans, this Trust is helping the Hospital. Don’t you Ministers have a heart or any sense of decency or any business acumen?

Can this Government take Barbados any lower? Chris Sinckler: presiding over 23 downgrades in eight years, still walking bout pompous, convinced that his economic homegrown policies will bring prosperity to Barbados.. Never, Never, Never . It will NEVER NEVER HAPPEN. Wake up Bajans.  Read Sanka Price’s piece on Marla Dukharan’s comments in the same paper today. connect the dots. Real Exchange rate down 9:1!

Freundel, not a word. Nothing to say, shameful, disgusting , Mr Prime Minister. When we last heard from you, you were still trying to convince Bajans that the recession gripping Barbados is as a result of the world economy. Hogwash. Wake up Froondel. Can’t fool Bajans any longer.

Add to those economic downgrades, 3 even more catastrophic downgrades [Advisories] over the last few days for Barbados from Canada, the USA and the UK , over the absolute mismanagement of the South Coast Sewage Project Fiasco. Absolutely Unacceptable.

Wake up Bajans. After all the hard work and all the money spent Marketing Barbados to the world over the years, our reputation has now been smeared in S**T.

Barbados is a business whether you ministers accept this fact or not. We have to run this country as a business. Government has to put things in place to facilitate continuity of business not kill business. Once big business and small business start to flourish again the economy will rebound. But not until the idiot policies and corruption in place today are cleansed from the country.

Wake up Bajans: Local contractors offering to help the Water Authority and all help refused. All we hearing are lies and more lies from the General Manager of the BWA and the PR persons at the BWA. Why? Cause Ministers controlling all the kick backs for the clean up work. Will come back to that in another post.

These Ministers are so out of touch with reality and have placed so many layers of bureaucratic red tape in every ministry, that it is almost impossible to get anything done in Barbados without bribes being paid. We are the absolute worst on the index of getting business done, In the WORLD.

Why should we put up with this any longer? : Wake up Bajans.

Who do Bajans think will be ultimately paying the cost of these bribes that the corrupt ministers have been taking and continue to take in the few months left in power? Think about that.

Citizens, wake up. Never before in the History in Barbados has a group of persons raped and pillaged this beautiful country in the manner that has been done by this DLP Administration over  the last  8 years.

The Great Errol Walton Barrow would turn in his grave were he to be aware of the level of deceit and corruption now entrenched in Barbados.

Sir Hillary and UWI academics: you all need to speak out, we can’t hear you.

Bobby Morris: we can’t hear a word you.

Trevor Marshall: we can’t hear you

Union Leaders: you all mekking real mock sport. Jokers.

Opposition Parties: we listening and waiting

Church Leaders: we can’t hear you.

David Commissiong: keep up the good work, keep the pressure on.

Your collective voices need to be heard.

This current status of affairs in Barbados is unacceptable.
Understand that bribery and corruption have so taken over this government that NOTHING new can proceed without payments of Bribes to Government ministers in Barbados.

This is beyond Shameful that the momentum of this most important CHARITABLE  TRUST must now be afflicted by the idiotic policies of the Minister of Finance and by extension the Prime Minister.

This is Shameful.

Bajans wake up.

Barbados Integrity Movement (BIM) Demands Government Address the Nation to Update on South Coast Sewage Crisis

Submitted by the Barbados Integrity Movement (BIM)

Neil Holder, Leader of BIM

Barbadians have given the Democratic Labour Party Administration the benefit of the doubt since the inception of the South Coast sewage issues that every effort was diligently exhausted to ensure that this problem would have been quickly rectified. It is apparent that this problem has now escalated to reach CRISIS level which is unprecedented in the 50 plus years we have been an independent nation.

Read FULL Text of BIM’s Statement – The South Coast Sewage Crisis

Will Anyone be Held ACCOUNTABLE for Sewage Scandal?

Submitted by DAVID  COMISSIONG, PRESIDENT, Clement Payne Movement

David Comissiong, President, Clement Payne Movement

Who is going to hold the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) accountable for the south coast sewage crisis – an environmental and public health scandal that is threatening to destroy Barbados’ all important Tourism industry and to unleash diseases on persons who reside or work in the affected areas. And perhaps even more to the point, who is going to hold the Minister responsible for the BWA – Dr. David Estwick – and the Cabinet that he is a member of, accountable?

We Barbadians need to remind ourselves that this sewage scandal has been ongoing for well in excess of two years now! Please recall that as long ago as Thursday 22nd of October 2015 Opposition Leader Mia Mottley – speaking at the Barbados Labour Party’s Christ Church West Central candidate nomination meeting – issued a public warning that “something has gone terribly wrong with the south coast sewerage system’’, and that people who live around Graeme Hall, Christ Church were already complaining bitterly about the breakdown of the sewage system. Ms Mottley also made a pointed call to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to bestir himself and carry out an urgent investigation into the matter.

Well, the 22nd of October 2015 is exactly twenty-six and a half months ago!

As we are all aware, the duty to establish, operate and maintain public sewerage systems in Barbados resides with the Barbados Water Authority (BWA), and it is a statutory duty.

The BWA is a statutory corporation that was established by the Barbados Water Authority Act, Chapter 274 A of the Laws of Barbados, and section 5 of the Act stipulates that its functions are:-

  • to prepare and submit to the Minister proposals for the establishment of efficient sewerage systems capable of meeting the need for sewerage services throughout Barbados;
  • to design, construct, provide, operate and maintain sewerage works for the purpose of receiving, treating and disposing of sewage;
  • to keep under constant review the quality, reliability, and availability of sewerage services;
  • to conduct research programmes for its purposes; and
  • to disseminate information and advice with respect to the management and treatment of sewage.

All of the evidence that is available to us points to the BWA having failed to carry out the duties and functions imposed upon it by the Barbados Water Authority Act and/or having been guilty of gross negligence in the carrying out of those duties and functions. This – it seems to me – may well be a matter that should be taken before the Law Courts of Barbados under the provisions of the Administrative Justice Act Chapter 109 B of the Laws of Barbados.

Section 6 of the Administrative Justice Act provides that “the Court may on an application for judicial review grant relief in accordance with this Act

a) to a person whose interests are adversely affected by an administrative act or omission;

b) to any other person if the Court is satisfies that that person’s application is justifiable in the public interest in the circumstances of the case.”

And the “relief” that the Court may grant includes an order of Mandamus requiring the statutory board to carry out its public duty, as well as an order for damages in money.

We Barbadians must resolve to bestir ourselves and make the effort to hold our public authorities – inclusive of Government Ministers and statutory corporations – accountable. If we fail to take steps to do so, we will only be encouraging them to engage in even more irresponsible and detrimental behaviour.

David Estwick and the BWA Board Must Resign Over the South Coast Sewage Mess


Atlee Brathwaite, Chairman of the BWA

Early in 2017 the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) introduced changes to the management team.  Acting General Manager John Mwansa was replaced by Keithroy Halliday, Charles Leslie assumed the role of Director of Engineering, Wayne Richards was appointed to the post of Project Director, Patricia Inniss took over the Wastewater Division and Joy-Ann Haigh retained her corporate and communications role with additional responsibility for the rapid response unit. BU cannot confirm if the appointment of a Director of Finance was filled as announced.

Why have we highlighted the changes in the management team?

One year after the management shakeup the challenges the country has subsequently experienced with the South Coast Sewage plant leak exposes a level of incompetence on many fronts. In particular the decision by the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) to NOT replace two pumps required to ensure extraneous matter is screened and prevented from infiltrating the sewage lines is very serious and those responsible must be held accountable. The result of the mismanagement is that blockage has occurred in the sewage system. Ironically the Board had no problem paying an invoice to Hal Gollop QC for 1.5 millions dollars in legal fees – see link to the invoice.

It is not a case of being unfair to BWA employees, however, given the threat to the health of residents and visitors, millions of tax dollars already spent to remedy the problem and to remain true to an effective performance management system heads must roll as a result of the South Coast mess. We should add that the lack of routine maintenance of the plant appears to be the cause of the equipment failure.

To date most of the commentary has been wrapped in the political.  The reality is that we have very qualified professionals employed at the BWA who are charged with making decisions in the interest of the country. The public must be told if the Board was advised to replace the two pumps and if it ignored the decision. Was it a case of the Board not being informed about the failed pumps because of a flawed internal reporting process? In any event the buck stops with the Board of the BWA which reports to Minister David Estwick. To date the Atlee Brathwiate Board and David Estwick have not been asked to resign neither are we aware their resignations have been tendered.

Clearly any decision to dismiss personnel at the BWA at this time will have political implication with a general election around the corner. In a private sector organization the personnel responsible for a foul up of such magnitude would have been dismissed for incompetence a long time ago. In a meritocracy this must be the routine. Regrettably our system is one where political expediency takes pride of pace.

A lot has been written and said about the South Coast sewage leak. BU adds to the commentary by calling for the resignation of David Estwick and the Atlee Brathwaite board of directors with immediate effect.






Blame Government for South Coast Sewage Disaster

Submitted by Theo

Leaking manhole located at the exit of Chicken Barn as at 5PM on 04 January 2018.

Good evening.

I feel compelled to share this information with the folks on Barbados Underground.

Please go to the below link and download the document.

Digest it.


One can form an intelligent opinion as to what is the real problem  with the South Coast Sewerage Project.

It’s  textbook case of absolute maladministration. Absolute poor management from the top down. With the structure of Bajan party-in-power politics, it mirrors exactly why Barbados is where it is today. Absolute lack of leadership.

Go to:


Please read through the wealth of documentation.

Reflect on the predictions made since 2008 as to what would happen.

Why has no one on your Blog connected the dots with this entity and the Government of Barbados?

Go to:


Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary has an excellent website and for years they have been battling government to resolve the issues being confronted. NO Action.. Its now 10 years since they closed in December 2008 according to their press releases.

I’m not sure why government refused to let this investment flourish.  That’s another discussion to entertain.

Leaving politics out of the discussion this sanctuary could only have brought major benefits to Barbados.

Summary: From pg 31

B. Objectives

2.2 The primary objective of the project is to achieve a bacteriological standard for the near-shore waters on the south coast that corresponds to accepted international standards and at the same time to reduce the chemical contamination that affects the reefs, marine life and beaches. Specifically, the project would:

(a) prevent further contamination of the near-shore seawater and deterioration of coral reefs and other marine life;

(b) prevent further contamination of groundwater reserves in the project area; and

(c) improve sanitary conditions generally. The project would also contribute to improve the operation and maintenance of the existing Bridgetown sewerage system and the efficiency of the BWA in the commercial and financial management areas. All these elements, but particularly the restoration of water quality, would protect the tourism industry, a sector which is vital for the economic future of Barbados. The project would complement planned investment projects for solid waste management, sewerage on the west coast, and coastal conservation which are under study (see
paragraphs 1.33).

C. Project Description

2.3 The components of the public sewerage system for the south coast
would be as follows:

a. a collection svstem composed of approximately 40-44 km of PVC gravity sewers, 1.4 km of PVC pressure pipe; 0.5 km
polyethylene gravity pipe, and 20 km of pipes for service connections;

b. five lift stations at Aquatic Gap, Palm Beach, Deal Gardens, Welches and Hastings. These five stations would have submersible-type pumps;

c. gi force main 1- of approximately 4.1 km of ductile iron pipe, from the pumping station at Graeme Hall to Drill Hall;

d. B was the water treatment plant and main Dump: station of approximately 27,930 m3/day of peak hydraulic capacity which would include: (i) influent and effluent pumping stations; (ii) coarse, medium and fine screening; (iii) a screening
incinerator JJ/ and a grit chamber; and (iv) odor control units;

e. ocean outflow of approximately 1.1 km seaward from Needhams’s point. The outfall works would consist of: (i) a
steel pipeline with a cement mortar lining and coal tar enamel fiberglass mat protection plus a concrete weight coat on the
outside; and (ii) a diffuser section at the end of the outfall. f. installation of connections (in-house) to properties in the
service area. (converted from PDF)


Barbados Water Authority Press Conference | Sewage on South Coast a BIG Problem

David Estwick, Minister responsible for the Barbados Water Authorty

The problem of sewage running on the street of the South Coast is so serious BU shares a public service recording produced by the Barbados Water Authority which attempts to explains the challenge.

South Coast Sewage Stink Makes for Political Capital

Dr. Hugh Sealy’s comments carried by the Nation newspaper make for compulsory reading. It is important because he is one of the few technocrats available who worked on the South Coast Sewage plant project team at start up- a plant that is failing and as a result leaking raw sewage on the popular strip frequented by tourists and locals alike from Hastings to Worthing.

The question BU has for our government of 8 years:-

  1. Why was a primary treatment process considered as a “treatment” method for the South Coast plant? Why did the government not see the immediate need on assuming office to integrate a secondary and even tertiary treatment process? Didn’t they tout a waste management plan?
  2. Will the Board of the Barbados Water Authority resign after supporting then general manager Dr John Mwansa’s claim in December 2016 that the manhole covers were being removed and that there was no sewage leaking into the street and sea – read Nation report BWA denial .

Already political forces have capitalized on the issue, see embedded video. It will be an interesting general election to observe how Estwick, Lowe, Boyce et al deal with this matter of effluent leaking on the South Coast road and sea. Do not forget the stench!

Barbados Dumping Millions of Gallons of Good Water Into the Sea

Submitted by PHILIP G HUNTE

Keithroy Halliday, GM of the BWA

Some years ago, around the turn of the century, I wrote one of the only two “letters to the editor” that I have ever written. I am not the prolific Philip Hunte that is regularly seen in the papers.

The letter dealt with our declining sugar industry and our then new South Coast Sewerage Project [SCSP]. I had learnt that the SCSP was a primary treatment plant and that the “treated sewage” was to be discharged some 1Km southwest of Needhams Point.

I also learnt that it would be dumping 7 million gallons daily into the ocean. The BWA uses imperial gallons, so this translates to just under 32000 m³ of water loss for this island. Water that used to go back into the ground is now being dumped into the ocean.

The whole South Coast sits on a sheet of water, anywhere from Bridgetown to Long Beach and below the escarpment that runs along Gunsite, Rendezvous, Top Rock, Thornbury Hill, Gibbons and Paragon. It is an area of about 3300 acres, all in Christ Church. Anywhere in this area, you could dig a well down to sea level and find fresh water. Many wells are still used, none I believe for potable water. This type of water catchment is called sheet water where freshwater will rest on a layer of seawater that intrudes through the limestone. At Rockley Golf Course well, for instance, the well is 54’ deep and contains about 8’ of water. I have had the pleasure of swimming in it and once dropped a wrench while changing a pump in there and had to dive to the bottom to retrieve it. With no mask on, the deeper I went the more my eyes burnt, meaning that the water got saltier towards the bottom. That was ten years ago and I wonder if it has gotten saltier now that we have been depriving the area of what works out to be the equivalent of 34” of water spread out over the entire south coast from the Garrison to Long Beach. Oh, and that figure is annual. You see the green strip that is the racetrack at the Garrison Savannah? It is irrigated from a well located about 250’ away from the finish line, a desalination plant was built a few years ago.

I say the above to address the fact that, in a water scarce country, we have been getting rid of water worth almost $150000.00 per day for the past 14 years. My letter to the editor went on to say that we should further treat that water and use it for agriculture. My proposal was to treat it at Graeme Hall and pump it eastward along the ABC highway, all the way to St. Philip where it could benefit farmers and in particular, the growing of sugar cane.

We grow our sugar cane without irrigation. About 20 years ago, a pilot project was carried out at Grove Plantation St. Philip where a 5-acre plot of cane was irrigated and fertilized using subsurface irrigation (dripline buried beneath the cane), the fertilizer was injected directly into the irrigation where any weeds saw no benefit from it. Grove (well managed but in a dry part of the island) averaged 17 tons/acre, the pilot plot produced 51 tons/acre, had to be cut by hand as it grew too tall for the harvester and produced slightly less the following year. They could have had two crops if they had somewhere to deliver it. The data is still out there.

The above shows the potential that is still there, The available water, full of nutrients, can be used to irrigate 2000 acres in this manner, producing at least the equivalent of what 6000 acres now produces and being able to continuously produce, the equivalent of 12000 acres. The added benefit would be to concentrate the growing into a smaller area thereby reducing harvesting & transportation costs. It would take a team of intelligent, resourceful, innovative and above all, honest people to work on the feasibility of a project like this.

So we now have increased production but we still cannot compete with the world market for bulk sugar. Don’t, package it really nicely, hire a marketing firm to promote it and the only sugar that leaves this island leaves in 500g packages made of compressed bagasse. We charge top dollar and at last something exported will subsidise the cost to locals, unlike things like cement & ice cream, made in Barbados but can be bought cheaper overseas. We can then say that our rum is again truly ours because our molasses would not have to be imported. Lets not forget that the Bridgetown sewerage plant dumps 2 million gallons per day and that the West Coast system was projected at 5 million.

The Grenville Phillips Column – South Coast Sewage Solution

It has been reported that the sewage problem in Worthing is beyond the technical capabilities of the Barbados Water Authority.  The evidence suggests that that may be so.  However, it is not beyond the technical capability of Barbados. The reason why the problem is allowed to exist is essentially a management problem, and therein lies the solution.

Seeking outside assistance is the responsible thing to do, but only after properly managing the local expertise on this matter.  The problem is not a lack of technical knowledge.  But rather, the management of this knowledge.  Let me explain.

The Auditor General regularly complains about the poor management of statutory corporations, especially in their continual failure to provide audited accounts.  Can members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados complete the accounts?  Of course they can.  The main problem is that Barbados’ resources are being poorly managed.  Is the solution to deem all local accountants not sufficiently competent and invite accounting companies from the US and China to perform the audits?  Of course not.

The Caribbean Court of Justice regularly complains about the poor management of Barbados’ court system.  Can members of the Bar Association and management consultants improve the system?  Of course they can.  But our national resources are being very poorly managed.  How would members of the local Bar Association feel if the Government invited lawyers from the US and China to displace them, and show them how it should be done?

The sewage in the streets of Worthing is evidence enough of bad management.  Can Environmental Engineers in the Barbados Association of Professional Engineers solve this problem?  Of course they can, but our national resources are being very poorly managed.  The management of our public services is so far beyond redemption that not even raw sewage regularly flowing along the streets of Worthing, for over one year, can get them to improve.

In order to provide quick relief, we offered to train all Board members and Chief Executive Officers of our statutory corporations in the customer-focused ISO 9001 quality management system.  We promised them that after 2 hours of free training, they would have both the knowledge and confidence to implement the system in their organisation the following day.

Their sacrifice of 2 hours being trained was to provide almost immediate relief to their frustrated employees and the long-suffering public.  To their utter shame, not one board member or CEO attended.  Therefore, relief from sub-standard public services must be tolerated a bit more until a Solutions Barbados administration.

Grenville Phillips II is the founder of Solutions Barbados and can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

Leaking Waste on the South Coast, AGAIN

Manhole @Rendezvous 25/08/2017 6PM

There is no need to be prolix about the importance placed on local health authority to prevent liquid waste leaking onto our streets. It presents a health hazard to locals and visitors -bear in mind where Rendezvous is located.  It makes taxpayers question the managerial and financial ability and capacity to manage the sewerage infrastructure. It raises the issue of trust in local public officials who promised last year the problem of leaking waste on the South Coast was fixed when the BTII gave a broke Barbados Water Authority (BWA) 2 million dollars to repair the infrastructure.

The embedded image was captured within the last 24 hours at the start of a weekend that will see CARIFESTA reaching its ‘climax’. The leaking waste water and the unholy stench violating the atmosphere in the area of Rendezvous Post Office is a national embarrassment.


This Government Needs to ‘Retire’

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Months ago leader of the Opposition -in guarded language- hinted that all was not well with the South Coast Sewage plant. Barbadians on the ground who have interacted with the workers would have been aware of the unavailability of parts and tools to perform required maintenance on the plant. As expected the government remained loyal to its tried and trusted MO -to be silent. The few times it broke silence was to issue denials.

Successive governments have struggled with implementing effective maintenance programs. What is unraveling on the South Coast should therefore comes as no surprise. The latest report is that a part that is required to fix the sewage problem will take about three months to be installed.

Enough is enough!

Blaming the BLP will not resonate with Barbadians. This government through its agent the Barbados Water Authority found the resources to construct a 60 million dollar edifice on St. Barnabas Hill, the Sanitation Service Authority is currently constructing its headquarters at Vaucluse, YET, a few parts to fix the sewage plant on the South Coast and to make the Sluice Gate at Graeme Hall operational remains undone. How many blogs have been posted on BU to highlight the ramshackle sluice gate? The very gate the government refused assistance to make operational?

The BU household will continue to pray that the players charged with correcting the problem on the South Coast are able to move with haste. Already there are reports of cancellations by tourists and locals who traverse the area have has to tolerate the putrid smells emanating from one of our main tourist resort areas. All the gains accrued from the 50th anniversary have dissipated.

We now turn to the matter of accountability.

The PR stunt undertaken by Minsters Richard Sealy and John Boyce although understood given the threat to our tourist product trivialized the seriousness of the matter. Whether there is fecal matter leaking into public spaces or stagnant water and decaying matter from Graeme Hall swamp the average Barbadian and tourist who travel the area know there is a problem. There is the very bad smell AND the ‘weeping’ manholes. Then there is the video posted by the owner of a property on the South Coast.

The problem on the South Coast is indicative of how as a country we have managed several others. There is Combermere Secondary School now closed for 1 month because someone sabotaged the sewer covers IF we are to believe the principal. There is the Barrack transaction that has costed the taxpayers over 100 million dollars. What about the NCC and Employment Rights Tribunal matter? Alexandra Waterman Commission and CAHILL???

Against the forgoing shouldn’t Barbadians be calling for the immediate retirement of this government? At worse a few heads should roll. 

Today’s Nation newspaper is recommended reading -here is an extract:

Abracadabra connotes a sense that by mere pronouncements, great things take place. For instance, in this year’s budgetary presentation, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler told Barbadians that “with a concentrated effort by all parties we can at least have the City of Bridgetown ready for this type of business (duty-free shopping) before Christmas”. Just eight days shopping left, sir. Sinckler is particularly prone to over-promising in his Budget speeches as we can see in four extracts taken from presentations in 2010, 2011 and 2013 in addition to this year’s.

2010: “Reductions (of fees for public service vehicles) will be performance-based as operators will only be able to access these benefits if they have demonstrated proper standards on the public roads. Some of these will include the wearing of uniforms by employees while on the job; a drastic reduction in traffic violations; the elimination of the playing of loud and offensive music and generally good deportment.” Proper standards? Good deportment?

2011: “…Following months of analysis and consultation, this government has decided to move ahead with the construction of a brand new multi-purpose, state-of-the- art cultural and performing arts centre. It is expected that the centre will be financed and constructed through a grant from the government of the People’s Republic of China and it is proposed that it will be located, once the Town Planner approves, on the land at Spring Garden opposite the Brandon’s Beach facility in the constituency of St Michael North West….” That was over four years ago, sir.

2013: “The National Housing Corporation, along with a private developer, is expected to begin work on the Exmouth Housing Complex in October of 2013. This is expected to inject Bds $33 million in investment in the housing market over the planning period with another 75 jobs to be created.” Not so fast, Mr Minister.

-See more at: http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/91459/editorial-abracadabra-answer#sthash.D727mcCW.dpuf

Sewage on the South Coast and TIDES

There was a very lively town hall meeting held yesterday to further ventilate on the vexing issue concerning the deterioration of the environment on the South Coast of Barbados to follow the well attended BLP political meeting held on Sunday night. Successive governments have invested heavily in education and health, the unfortunate and protracted situation playing out on the South Coast begs the BU question if the heavy investment has provided an adequate ROI.
The following comment was posted by John, a prolific commenter on the issue.

Barbados Underground

John commented on Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Assessment Report and the South Coast Sewage Plant Connection

So, here’s my thinking at the moment.

There is a standard 3 foot increase in underground water level due solely to tidal fluctuations.

The rain falls … 6 inches plus.

The sluice gate is nailed shut for whatever reason.

It’s operation is the responsibility of the owners of Graeme Hall Plantation … GOB.

The 3 foot fluctuation now occurs on top of 5 feet due to the inability of the water to drain through the sluice gate.

So underground water levels can vary from 5 feet above a zero datum to 8 feet above that datum.

Before, the most it would increase to was 3 feet above the zero datum and that was due to due to an act of God.

Water now “springs” from unlikely places due to an act of man.

Manholes, backyards wherever it is forced by the sea it comes up.

The sewage issues, both from the plant and the development in the watershed make a bad situation worse.

Is Government liable for its handling of the sluice gate?

There is the 1945 conveyance which specifies how the owner of Graeme Hall Plantation is to operate the sluice gate.

Here is what has happened with Mrs. Burke.


She knows instinctively at 84 that the operation sluice gate has been mishandled and is one of the causes of her problems.

Her residence looks like it is closest to the zero datum

…. and then there are businesses


It is possible that like Mrs. Burke, this business is also a victim of the handling of the sluice gate?

If it is where I think it is I believe it is a victim too.

Clearly it is suffering loss and it is easily quantifiable.

Does the decision regarding liability of the GOB to the GHNS only apply in the case of the BIT or does it have implications for locals seeking redress for loss through the courts here?

Would the GOB be strictly liable to those suffering loss under the laws of Barbados?

Probably phrased it all wrong as I am not a lawyer but just applying logic which might not be legal!!

… maybe that’s why spring tides are so called!!

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Assessment Report and the South Coast Sewage Plant Connection

Garbage in the canal at Graeme Hall wetland and Ramsar site

Garbage in the canal at Graeme Hall wetland and Ramsar site

The MANGROVE ECOSYSTEM ASSESSMENT GRAEME HALL NATURE SANCTUARY  report was prepared by the Environmental Engineering Consultants, Inc for Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary in 2010. The findings in the report demand an immediate statement from the authorities regarding how the Graeme Hall wetland is being managed -importantly, the release of raw sewage into the wetland.

Former BLP Government Blamed for Sewage Problem

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur (l) Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley (r)

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur (l) Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley (r)

The following was posted to Facebook by Minister Denis Kellman who acted as Minister of the Environment for a short period.

Denis Kellman

1 hr ·

As Minister Of the Environment I toured the plant and the swamp and what I was told about he plant and its capacity to function perfectly . I was told that a plant was built that was not suited for us and they have to dump . The most affected person is the lady by the corner by the swamp , who had problems from the inception. MIA AND HER GROUP must take blame for building an outdated plant and now blaming the DLP. We will clean up your mess again. Buses, sanitation trucks, windmill and Sewerage Plant all new to Barbados to old to the world

Sewage Alert!

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 …

Sewage Alert!

Sewage leaking into the sea on the South coast  Image credit: Barbados Today

Sewage leaking into the sea on the South coast of Barbados

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!

Is The Last Remaining Mangrove Wetland In Barbados Disappearing?

Submitted by Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

[Bridgetown, BARBADOS, May 6, 2010] A new environmental study sharply critical of the Government of Barbados shows the key Graeme Hall mangrove wetland is disappearing due to outside pollution and poor water quality.

The Graeme Hall wetland is the last remaining mangrove in Barbados – a red mangrove forest that has existed for no less than 1,300 years. It is the only wetland in Barbados recognized internationally under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar). It acts as a Caribbean flyway stop for migratory birds between North and South America.

The extensive 800 page study prepared for the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary by Environmental Engineering Consultants of Tampa, Florida shows the Sanctuary has suffered a 77 per cent reduction in salinity in the past ten years due to an inoperative government-run sluice gate. The huge reduction signals “an inevitable failure of the mangrove ecosystem” as freshwater flora and fauna take over.

Continue reading

Sewage Operations Threaten Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary And Wetlands

Submitted by Greame Hall Nature Sanctuary

Graeme Hall Swamp

[Bridgetown, BARBADOS] According to officials at Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, the emergency sewage pipe and outfall from the South Coast Sewerage Treatment Plant facility to the sea has been effectively abandoned and is not operational, threatening the biodiversity and operation of the Sanctuary and Graeme Hall wetland.

Inspections last week confirmed continued silting of the Emergency Discharge Canal Structure outfall at the bisecting canal and an inoperative sluice gate at Worthing Beach. The approved Emergency Discharge Canal Structure was completed in 2003 to direct emergency sewage to the sea when needed by the three (3) million gallon-per-day South Coast sewage facility.

In sharp conflict with the originally approved operation of the facility, during emergency operations the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) manually bypasses the Emergency Discharge Canal and pumps sewage directly into the wetland. The Sanctuary and the wetland continue to accumulate contaminated sludge from this and other source points outside the wetland.

Continue reading