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.
[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.
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’.
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!
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.
–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.
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:
Four criteria that were established by Robert Koch to identify the causative agent of a particular disease, these include:
the microorganism or other pathogen must be present in all cases of the disease
the pathogen can be isolated from the diseased host and grown in pure culture
the pathogen from the pure culture must cause the disease when inoculated into a healthy, susceptible laboratory animal
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.
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.
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!
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!
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
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
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)
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.
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.
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.