$600m fix

Estwick looks to Cabinet for loan approval for West Coast Sewage Project

Two months ago, Opposition Leader Mia Mottley raised the alarm over the South Coast Sewerage system, saying the situation was nothing short of a crisis which posed a serious threat to the health of workers and residents in that area.

Now, Government Minister Dr David Estwick is warning of an equally dangerous situation along this island’s west coast, which he says, if left untreated, could also erode the vital tourism industry, as well as endanger the livelihood of scores of fisherfolk.

As is the case in the south, the problem on the west coast is one of untreated domestic, commercial and industrial waste reaching the sea.

And Estwick is worried that it could jeopardize the beaches and coral reefs, which have made the area “golden” for tourists and locals alike.

He is therefore preparing to take the matter before Cabinet tomorrow with a view to getting the Ministry of Finance to give the urgent go-ahead to the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) to secure a loan of $600 million from the People’s Republic of China and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited for the West Coast Sewage Project.

“I am hoping that at the next Cabinet meeting I can provide the information required and we should be able to start the West Coast Sewage Project sometime within the first six months of next year, as long as we have covered the regulatory requirements for Town Planning, EPD [Environmental Protection Department] and so on,” Dr Estwick told Barbados TODAY.

Emphasizing the critical importance of getting the project started, he referred to a recent study conducted on behalf of the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU) by marine biologist Angelique Brathwaite.

He said the study shows that “the situation regarding the island’s coral reefs is now dire and all sectors need to come together to save them”.

As a result, Estwick said Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has already included the West Coast Sewage Project as a top priority for Chinese funding.

“The damage to the reef systems is coming about because of man-made insults like agriculrtural run-offs, pesticides, fertilizer etcetera, as well as agricultural waste  . . . and then you are also talking about human waste,” said Estwick, who also explained that apart from those hotels which had a sewage treatment facility, “you are talking about pits and septic tanks for pits and all that sewage essentially going into the ocean causing severe damage to the coral systems”.

The primary objective of the proposed sewage project is therefore to reduce public health risks from domestic, commercial and waste water pollution, through the provision of a modern sewerage system, and to improve environmental conditions for residents and visitors.  

It also aims to protect the coastal and marine ecosystems, particularly the reef system and its role in containing beach erosion.

Estwick disclosed that phase one of the project – costing $300 million – would see the decommissioning of the existing treatment plant and the construction of a sewerage treatment facility at Lakes Folly, Bridgetown, as well as collection systems from Porters, St James to the new Lakes Folly facility and upgrade of the Greater Bridgetown Collection System.

Phase two, which Dr Estwick said would cost another $300 million, would establish a tertiary treatment facility at Porters and collection systems from Shermans, St Peter to the tertiary plant at Porters, St James.

An upgrade of the South Coast Sewerage plant from a primary to a tertiary system is also in the works, which would allow it to treat waste.

The Minister said a bypass or link road will also be constructed to allow west coast residents access to their homes during the contruction phase.


6 Responses to $600m fix

  1. J. Payne December 24, 2015 at 3:07 am

    That loan should be secured from the IDB because they will make sure it is done right. Give the roadworks to the Chinese instead. What major environmental breakthrough has China presented the world that makes them the right force to put together an environmental contingency for Barbados?

  2. Tony Webster December 24, 2015 at 5:53 am

    Let our Chinese friends first make the very air they breathe (or try to breathe) something better than unspeakable.

    Hon. Minister’s “Great Talk of China”…will also serve to distract from the lack of water in St. Joseph, St. Lucy etc. Is this the best he can do?

  3. Sue Donym December 24, 2015 at 8:05 am

    For the length of time that a west coast system has been touted, still no financing and still no town planning permission?
    We can’t afford to let this be another White Hill. No, it wouldn’t exactly be a WHITE hill, would it?

  4. jrsmith December 24, 2015 at 11:01 am

    The real issue, bad government after government minsters,have neglected , most of Barbados infrastructure. our so call educated government, minsters, have nothing in they brains ,beyond tourism. that’s why Barbados/ bajans will suffer decade after decade. Our bajan politicians, have the same injections, in they brains, as all the others in the region. they failure is the worlds biggest excuse, only by black politicians,( climate change.)

    We in the Caribbean, was never given the chance to contribute to the world contamination. but the excuse comes in very handy, for our failing politicians, to cover they, backsides.

    Reading through , what DR,Estwick said, would prove the failure cannot be claim by the failure brigade , as to be nothing else ,other than, again the total neglect of our infrastructure. remembering , all politicians knew for the time period 1 to 15 years, that the sewage system in the south was (crap)and the minister said this himself, but after 3 years in government, still nothing was done, a bunch of (wankers).

    All we need in Barbados, to get our island moving , 3 to 4 , highly qualified, technical, and experience, persons , non partisans , who ever and where ever they are from, as we seems to only have lots and lots of educated talkers. we are stuck in the mud of
    education . needing sensible logic to stand on.

  5. Sam clarke December 24, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    This project , if it is d one should have very environmental standards. This project cannot be done by the Chinese.
    Why? Because they do not adhere to any international standards, with inferior building materials, substandard steel and bogus engineering.
    If the gove is getting a loan for this project, then we must make sure that the workers in Barbados and caricom get first chances for the jobs.
    The chnese countinue to exploit caribbean and African countries where ever they give loans.
    They bring in the workers from China, making sure that the money stays in China and countries are saddled with paying back loans that essentially rape them.
    This current government love of all things Chinese, smell to the heavens.
    It is time that these loans and projects are ckearly vetted and transparency BE THE UTMOST CONCERN.
    For the level of corruption that is all these deals, are a major cincern for good governance.

  6. David Hall January 3, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    I don’t believe the WEST Coast problem to be as acute as is being suggested but rather the appeal in my view, is just another false cry of wolf to get more money from Barbadian’s to support more DLP pork barrel projects.


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