Mottley wants Stuart to step in sewage mess

Opposition Leader Mia Mottley is asking Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to step into the ongoing sewage mess on the south coast tourist belt that has forced the closure of the Worthing Beach in Christ Church.

During a tour of the area this afternoon, accompanied by her Shadow Minister of the Environment and Energy Senator Wilfred Abrahams, Mottley said the problem involving burst sewage pipes and overflowing sluice had been going on far too long and it was time for Stuart to intervene.

Opposition Leader Mia Mottley and Shadow Minister of the Environment Wilfred Abrahams visited Worthing Beach this afternoon. Above, a section of the popular beach that has been affected by run-off.
Opposition Leader Mia Mottley and Shadow Minister of the Environment Wilfred Abrahams visited Worthing Beach this afternoon. Above, a section of the popular beach that has been affected by run-off.

“This has been going on for too many weeks. It cuts across all kinds of residents, all kinds of business . . . it’s tourists, it’s the beginning of the tourist season [and] we see the comments overseas. The Prime Minister needs to have a heart and he needs to exercise leadership, and to recognize that being Prime Minister is not just about consorting with princes and foreign dignitaries,” the Opposition Leader said.

She advised Stuart that being Prime Minister was about rolling up his sleeves and getting the business of Barbados working because there were too many people suffering.

Meanwhile, commenting on the matter, Abrahams recalled bringing the issue to the public’s attention several weeks ago, and urging Government to act.

“My concern is for the people who actually use the beach. I am a beachgoer, I don’t want to be in water diving and swimming with my children and playing and not knowing what is going on. For a while, Government must have known that sewage was going into the water,” the Shadow Minister of the Environment said, adding that mistakes had been made and equipment and systems had broken down.

However, Abrahams said he did not believe a caring Government should allow the people of Barbados to walk around in raw sewage or have children playing in such conditions.

“You bend down and you tie your laces then you get back up and you eat some food. That is a recipe for disaster. The water is going off up and down the south coast. We are now being affected in a major way by water outages. When you combine a lack of water with people unknowingly trekking through sewage, you have a catastrophe waiting . . .  .That is the height of irresponsibility at the highest level,” the Opposition spokesman on the environment added.

He also stressed that Minister of Health John Boyce, Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe and Minister of Water Resource Management Dr David Estwick ought to be held accountable.

23 Responses to Mottley wants Stuart to step in sewage mess

  1. Hal Austin December 6, 2016 at 3:53 am

    The sewage problem is but the latest in a long list of examples of the incompetence of this ramshackle government.
    The Opposition has come out of its slumber at last; it must not give Stuart and his band of jokers a free pass on any issue. Pile pressure on them, force them to implode.
    With overambitious people like Donville Inniss in their ranks, they will eventually turn inward on themselves.
    Ms Mottley must not lead on every issue, but get her leading spokespeople to attack, attack, attack.
    The good ship Barbados is in rough seas and Captain Stuart is not the person for the job.

    • Walmark John F December 6, 2016 at 8:10 am

      Reminds me of the movie JAWS…. everyone just ignored saying SHARKS….?…. WHAT SHARKS.

  2. Francis December 6, 2016 at 5:28 am

    Mr PM be a leader.
    Take charge please!!

    • John Walmark December 6, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      wonder if the prime minister would take his family into the sea at Worthing for a swim? I think not…

  3. Tony Webster December 6, 2016 at 6:32 am

    Hmmm…why do I recall, another place..another time…another clarion call to action…which produced…a signal poetic effort, delivered at a grand assembly…”Ode To The Environment”? At least that PM understood the importnace of our environment…be-stirred himself…and “took action”……

  4. Antionette Sealy December 6, 2016 at 7:31 am

    Leader of the Opposition was on Monday night CBC”s 7 o”clock news with the BLP candidate for the Christ Church South constituency, calling for the Prime Minister to urgently address the sewage problem in the Worthing area. My question for Mia is ”Was her Government aware of combined sewer system problems , before they contracted an overseas company to install the South Coast system ?” In an earlier posting I suggested that Chief Engineer of BWA, visit the area with a crew from the news media, bite the bullet and if there was evidence of faeces, admit it , give reasons for the overflow and promise that everything humanly possible would be done to correct it. My suggestion fell on deaf ears but Ms. Mottley used the same media on Monday morning to put her slant on the seriousness of the matter. Unfortunately she did not have a waste management expert present, to help her with her mouthings.

    Here is the definition of a combined sewer systems.
    Combined Sewer Systems

    Combined sewer systems are sewers that are designed to collect rainwater runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial wastewater in the same pipe. Most of the time, combined sewer systems transport all of their wastewater to a sewage treatment plant, where it is treated and then discharged to a water body. During periods of heavy rainfall or snowmelt, however, the wastewater volume in a combined sewer system can exceed the capacity of the sewer system or treatment plant. For this reason, combined sewer systems are designed to overflow occasionally and discharge excess wastewater directly to nearby streams, rivers, or other water bodies. These overflows, called combined sewer overflows (CSOs), contain not only storm water but also untreated human and industrial waste, toxic materials, and debris. They are a major water pollution concern for the approximately 772 cities in the U.S. that have combined sewer systems. CSOs may be thought of as a type of “urban wet weather” discharge. This means that, like sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) and storm water discharges, they are discharges from a municipality’s wastewater conveyance infrastructure that are caused by precipitation events such as rainfall or heavy snowmelt.

    I have searched the Internet for Combined Sewer system overflow problems in countries from which Barbados attracts the most tourists, so that Ms. Mottley and the rest of Barbados would understand that the problem is not unique to Barbados. Some of the articles are long, so I have provided the http addresses which you can open and read.

    Combined Sewage Overflows (CSOs)

    More than 27 billion gallons of raw sewage and polluted stormwater discharge out of 460 combined sewage overflows (“CSOs”) into New York Harbor alone each year. Although water quality in New York Harbor and throughout the Hudson River Estuary has improved significantly over the last few decades, many parts of the waterfront and its beaches are still unsafe for recreation after it rains. As little as one-twentieth of an inch of rain can overload the system. The main culprit is outmoded sewer systems, which combines sewage from buildings with dirty stormwater from streets.

    This extraordinary degree of pollution imposes steep environmental, human health, and economic costs. CSO discharges, in addition to preventing safe recreation, impair navigation and damage fish habitat.

    South West beach water affected by raw sewage


    Raw sewage is being pumped into the sea around Devon and Cornwall after heavy rain overwhelmed drainage systems, water bosses have admitted.

    Water quality warnings have been issued on beaches in the county because of the problems, South West Water said.

    It said intense rainfall leads to run-off from fields and towns combining and affect bathing water quality.

    Andy Cummins, Surfers Against Sewage (Sas), said the drainage infrastructure needed to be upgraded.

    “We need a sewage infrastructure that can cope with the amount of rainfall we get year on year,” he said.

    Sas has previously slammed South West Water’s systems after claiming there had been 40 incidents of raw sewage polluting beaches in one weekend last year.

    Mr Cummins said many people were not even aware “raw untreated human sewage” was discharged into the sea when the problem arose.

    Tourism groups in the area have complained about the sewage, saying it puts people off going into the sea.

    Fatos Fida, on holiday from London, said: “I think it is disgusting. As a tourist I had no idea. It puts me off visiting the beach as it isn’t hygienic.”

    A South West Water spokesman said they operate an information system telling people about storm water overflows and the risk of pollution affecting quality.

    The firm was the only water and sewerage company of the nine operating mainly in England, to have performed “significantly below target” by the Environment Agency’s (EA) 2015 performance assessment.

    It had 171 category 1-3 pollution incidents per 10,000 km of sewer, 74 more than the next worst-offending firm, the EA reported.

    An Environment Agency spokesman said being rated “poor performance” led to “more visits, scrutiny of incidents we attend and increases the number of audits we carry.

    (2) Honolulu sewage problems

    Waikiki Beach Closed After Massive Sewage Spill


    (3) Why heavy rain can affect bathing water quality


    (4) Stop polution on U.K beaches


    (5) Hermine’s heavy rains causing sewage woes across Tampa Bay



    Toronto sewage and storm water overflows regularly into Lake Ontario


    (7) Fancy a Swim in Sewage? Take a Dip in Ottawa River After It Rains…/ottawa-river-sewage_b_563576

  5. Zeus December 6, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Mr Austin are you the same person that said that Barbados was mismanaged for the last 50 years but yet you here pushing for a party or someone who according to you helped mismanaged this country before…. Man you keep confusing me

  6. BoBoTheClown December 6, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Look what have become of our Island with some of the most Prestine beaches in the World.
    Do DOO all over de place. Are we becoming the next Haiti of the West? I know how proud I would be when returning Canadian residents would ask me ,”Where are you from” and I would would without without a moment of hesitation or thought ring out “Bardados” with pride when all the accolades about our beautiful beaches and friendly people would be talked about.
    I not sure if the beaches would be mentioned in any such conversation now that there is sewage seeping into one of those oft mentioned . Instead I might have to answer the question ,as to what has happened to your once Island Paradise . I am not quite sure how i’ll be able to defend or give an honest answer to any such question . I might have to defer or deflect that question elsewhere, to lets say the Minister of Environment Whosoever that is , if there is a living one.

  7. Phil December 6, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Barbadians are ALL very complacent. Nothing will be done nor expected to be done. Unfortunately this the behavioral attitude of our ruling leader. He calls a press conference to announce Rihanna, one of his party’s staunchest financial supporter will perform at a certain washed out event, but does not or rather cannot because he dares not call in his Environmental minister to find out what damage control is best suited He will as predicted sit backj and let it blow over,

  8. antionette Sealy December 6, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Sewage overflows on streets and beaches after heavy rainfall are common worldwide where combined sewerage systems transport sewage and surface water run-off. Take time off to google waste on beaches in Cornwall, Plymouth and Devon in England after recent flooding. Similarly check Tampa Bay sewage overflows after the September hurricane. The problem is not unique to Barbados and Ms. Mottley along with her Cabinet colleagues should have known about the consequences of flooding on combined sewerage networks before the system was installed on the Souith coast during their regime.

  9. F.A.Rudder December 6, 2016 at 11:20 am

    O K it’s quite fair to say that sewage runoff is a problematic event in the environmental and ecological systems of major cities. Here in Barbados we have to be mission ready for events such as raw sewage leakage as we perform as a world class tourist destination. Bilge-pumps , lift-pumps and supply pumps are to be at operational and ready;all standby- pumps should be serviceable and ready for installation. Trucks with raw-sewage tanks and high pressure filtration should be mobilized on an event of such magnitude.

  10. jrsmith December 6, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    We are expecting too much from our politicians, they are not really interested in what happens domestically in Barbados…
    If this was a new project with foreign involvement you would see how many politicians line themselves up ,ready for the take….

    I would say again , who is more dangerous our corrupt politicians or the guns on our streets…… I hope at the next general election not one of this government never ever hold office in barbados again……

  11. Jan Conway December 6, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    I just left Barbados after spending two weeks along Worthing Beach. While my area was not so bad, my friends staying near the Graeme Hall sluice gate could plainly see (and SMELL) the sewage coming into the sea. Not only that, but there was sewer water bubbling up through manhole covers along the Worthing Main Road, Rendevous, near Massy and TriMart markets, and behind Mojo. Who wants to pay good money for beachfront accommodation only to be subjected to that mess and banned from the beach? Together with the poor conditions of the roads and the work slow-down by Customs Officers at Grantley Adams, this government has a true mess on its hands. 24 years vacationing in Barbados and it might very well be the last.

    • John Walmark December 6, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      we also just came back from Barbados and also were faced with human sewage in the sea at Worthing Beach 5 of the 14 days we were there . Any business that had an asset like to pristine beaches would do whatever they had to do to keep them brilliant . Sadly we are considering another place to spend our vacation dollars after spending 20 years with Barbados as our “paradise” . Sad , very sad indeed . Barbados soon could be Paradise Lost … I have sent emails to numerous officials and in many cases , the email addresses are not working….

      • BaJan boy December 6, 2016 at 4:39 pm

        @Antoinette Sealy that comment you mad is such a senseless one I believe you are a man. Women usually are more positive. Cannot imagine you would that because sewage over flowed in another country is enough reason for it to happen in Bim. We have a thoughtless,careless and indifferent Government which has show little regard for things affecting this country and its people and no one other than DEMS should be satisfied and not even DEMS if they truly put this country first. This Government has to and MUST go if Barbados is to move from the stop and reverse positions it has placed us in from 2008.

  12. Frank White December 6, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    The Prime Minister as per usual won’t say jack but you can bet your last dollar that when election time comes around, he will be singing again like a canary and all the hardships and silence will be forgotten and the masses like asses will sing along…They used you all, all in the name of being patriotic so that they would look good when in fact, you all were suffering before, suffering during and not that all the blue yellow and black fanfare is over, you all will continue to suffer…

  13. Hal Austin December 6, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    You are confused. I am not sure what you mean by ‘pushing’. Maybe you spent too long in uniform.

  14. John Walmark December 6, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    does anyone have a correct email for the Prime Minister… we should all send as many emails as possible and share with our contacts

  15. Antionette Sealy December 6, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    @ F.A.Rudder, I am in full agreement with you. However the flash flooding that occurred on Tuesday 29th was not in the forecast and it would have caught all concerned, off guard. On the other hand, problems existed at the Graeme Hall Swamp long before the flood but seemingly very little done to correct them.

  16. Antionette Sealy December 6, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Sometimes it is better to keep your mouth closed like Freundel and say nothing, than to open it and say nothing like Mia. Did she apologize to the Nation for her Government’s approval of the installation of a sewage system, which is known worldwide to overflow when rain falls? I forgive Mia because it is normal for her to be in the news calling for Freundel’s resignation whether there is a drought or a flood. Forty beaches were closed for over 72 hours in the U.K tourist belt of Devon and Cornwall in July of this year due to sewage settlements. Tourists from all over Europe were just as disappointed as the ones who are staying at hotels in Worthing. Not a word was heard from Theresa May, the Prime Minister of England. The people who are responsible for waste management in England and Barbados have spoken. It is the duty of the Opposition Leader to speak on every topic whether it makes sense or no sense.

  17. Phil December 6, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking…. We are on final approach into Adams Airport. Passengers seated on the left of this aircraft will notice the brown murky looking water lining the beach. Lovely Barbados is now known as the four S’ gem of the Caribbean. Sun, Sea, Sand and Sheet. This is because The Cable and Wireless owned telecommunications provider has overflowed. When we land, go visit the area and you’ll smell what I’m talking about. You may use this as a good conversational subject to your friends when you get back. Oh, the brown water helps with your tan. Thanks for flying with us.

  18. BoBoTheClown December 6, 2016 at 8:34 pm


  19. Joe Scoles December 7, 2016 at 1:11 am

    We have been visiting Barbados for over 40 years and since retirement usually stay 3 months during the Canadian winter.

    2 year ago we had a heavy series of January rains and unknown to me the holding pool at Accra beach was emptied into the sea. I went swimming there after the rains and became extremely ill for over a 2 week period. I plan a 3 month stay again this coming new year and am very concerned about the disturbing reports of the dirty seawater after heavy rains and the breakdown of the sewage system. So, I will be extremely cautious this coming stay and will inquire if authorities have tested waters where I normally swim, such as the Accra area. It will be a sad vacation if this area of the South coast is contaminated for safe swimming. I do suggest the authorities publish the condition of the water after each rain and advise unwary tourist accordingly.


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