Government apologizes for sewage mess

Minister of Health John Boyce today apologized to business operators, residents and tourists who have been affected by awful runoff from the faulty South Coast Sewerage Project that has so far forced the closure of Worthing Beach.

Speaking in the Lower House of Parliament during debate on a resolution to guarantee a $12 million loan for the Hilton Barbados Resort, Boyce, who is also the parliamentary representative for the area, revealed that the technical team investigating the matter was ready to hand in its first report and that Government had already secured the necessary material to correct the problems at the sewerage plant.

“We certainly want to apologize to those who have been affected by failures of the system from time to time and I hope the point that we have reached in terms of our discussions with the team from the different ministries will see us have this matter corrected for some time,” said Boyce, the Member of Parliament for Christ Church South.

“I am fairly comfortable in my mind that action is being taken in terms of procurement . . . of the equipment required to carry out an immediate repair to the equipment at that South Coast Sewerage Project so that plant can be fully operational,” he added.

The Minister of Health also rubbished concerns that Government was not treating the matter as a priority, while warning critics that “we must not curse our country when we have to manage these crises”.

This was in an obvious reference to Opposition Leader Mia Mottley and other Barbados Labour Party members who visited the area yesterday to hear the concerns of residents and business owners.

During that visit, Mottley also appealed to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to intervene in the situation, which she said was nothing short of a “crisis”.

However, in response to Mottley’s appeal, Boyce sought to assure that “these matters are being handled [and that] the Prime Minister is well on board”.

He also assured that Cabinet was fully seized of its responsibilities in the matter, while revealing that “the Minister of Agriculture, who has responsibility for water, the Minister of Tourism and I spent a lot of time on [Worthing] Beach on Saturday with the technical people [considering] how do we go from here.

“We do not have to treat our country’s name as badly as we can in order to achieve a solution,” he added.

Declaring that Barbados was open for business, Boyce said there was no need for anyone to avoid the popular south coast.

“The restaurants on the south coast are up and running. Like any other facility they are properly monitored, so the health standards are assured. So we can go and we can sit, we can eat and we can enjoy what is offered on our south coast tourism belt,” he stressed.

The Minister of Health also said that all the required warnings had been shared with visitors to ensure “there will be no incident of ill-health as a result of any of these activities”.

He also warned that the problems emanating from sewerage project should not be confused with the current discoloration at the Worthing Beach, which he insisted was coming from the nearby Graeme Hall swamp.

“When the mixing occurs, naturally the brownish colouration of the swamp would interfere with the beautiful pristine waters of our beaches. And this has occurred from time to time and this is not anything new.

“Whenever there is an over collection of water in the swamp it is necessary to allow that run off to occur,” he said.

Boyce also strongly defended the decision to set up the South Coast Sewerage Project as a primary treatment plant, saying it was not made “willy nilly”, but based on scientific advice.

He also said the island had to take a decision on the future management of its sewage, while warning that upgrades would come at a high price.

sandydeane@barbadostoday.bb.

33 Responses to Government apologizes for sewage mess

  1. michael parker December 7, 2016 at 3:23 am

    some little words come to mind, ie, prevention is better than cure,and to little to late. saying sorry does not compensate buisnesses.

    Reply
  2. Lucinda Katrina McSinister
    Lucinda Katrina McSinister December 7, 2016 at 4:35 am

    You all have a social responsibility to fix the shi*** problem that is in our south coast road. What wanna really doing with we 2% levy?

    Reply
  3. Jerome Jordan
    Jerome Jordan December 7, 2016 at 5:12 am

    WOW… THEY OWNED UP AND APOLOGIZED, I’M IMPRESSED! I TRULY AM. NOW FOR THE NEXT STEP, FIXING THE PROBLEM.

    Reply
  4. Samantha Best December 7, 2016 at 5:51 am

    Tired of the way things are done here!!! There is a problem and guests are already here. Why can’t the hotels or apartments who have guests do like their counterparts in the other other destinations that are cutting our backsides?

    They provide transportation to and from beaches. We can never work around a problem and always look to Government for a handout or a solution, but yet we bank the money. It is so pitiful and we want to claim ‘development status’.

    Reply
  5. Ricardo Bascombe
    Ricardo Bascombe December 7, 2016 at 6:23 am

    Did they visit the site I doubt

    Reply
  6. Tony Webster December 7, 2016 at 6:30 am

    The lack of any apology…any hint of contrition or culpability….. in the “statement” issued by the Ministry Of Tourism etc….was glaring and inexcusable. Its absence clearly indicated that there was much childish buck-passing amongst the SEVERAL ministries culpable and responsible. Very poor reflection on the government as a whole, and did not make me feel very good as a simple citizen-host to our many affected visitors- and also as an equally- disappointed taxpayer and citizen!

    Minister Boyce either got bigger cojones, or a deeper sense of doing the decent thing, than all the others weak-backed culprits.

    Reply
  7. Sara Patel-Motara
    Sara Patel-Motara December 7, 2016 at 6:42 am

    I hope they rectify the problem as soon as possible after this apology

    Reply
  8. Bajan Positve Brian
    Bajan Positve Brian December 7, 2016 at 6:49 am

    Did I just read that the government is going to guarantee a 12mill loan for Hilton?
    Interesting.

    Reply
  9. Macmood Tata
    Macmood Tata December 7, 2016 at 6:56 am

    DEM ONLY APOLOGIZE B CAUSE MIA SHOW DEM UP AGAIN

    Reply
  10. Mechell Springer
    Mechell Springer December 7, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Smh

    Reply
  11. Kimberly Simmonds Vaughn
    Kimberly Simmonds Vaughn December 7, 2016 at 7:00 am

    Lol it take the backlash on social media for this

    Reply
  12. harry turnover December 7, 2016 at 7:07 am

    Fix the problem Boyce.If the place din smelling STINK wid PERFUME, locals and visitors din gine have to cover their noses.
    Like wunna VEX because locals,visitors and now the Opposition in FULL FORCE highlighting a REAL problem.
    This is NOT a political problem Boyce….every man ,jack can SMELL the rat.

    Reply
  13. Hermine Alleyne
    Hermine Alleyne December 7, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Well don’t that take the cake,they can’t get a loan from a loan shark but can guarantee a loan for the Hilton,I am at a lost, these people crazy.

    Reply
  14. Concerned Citizen December 7, 2016 at 7:28 am

    I appreciate the appology, now where are the resignations? Due to this terrible mismanagement of the sewage system we as an entire country will suffer. Who will be held accountable? Surely they were warnings that were ignored, or maybe they were none and it was a case of neglect. If no one is held accountable we can expect this to happen again.

    Reply
  15. Lisa Jane Harewood
    Lisa Jane Harewood December 7, 2016 at 7:29 am

    They only owned because they were caught lying in the first place.

    Reply
  16. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner December 7, 2016 at 7:37 am

    Typical useless politician blaming everyone but themselves damm apology too little too late,my homeland in big trouble with this present day group of clowns in charge not that I care for other political party either.

    Reply
  17. Dominique Tudor
    Dominique Tudor December 7, 2016 at 7:53 am

    How would the public know everything was under control if your government never spoke to us?? It took several fb rants and finally Mia’s visit to the closed beach with no warnings posted…to finally have you all speak out…what a shi*** situation you put us in….and your leader telling primary school children…he chooses carefully what he responds to …. so the silence up until now should mean he does not care. Like a cheater that only expose themself when they are caught..apology accepted but we won’t forget. You never forget when you are treated like sh**. #dobetterbim

    Reply
  18. Nico HL Beckles
    Nico HL Beckles December 7, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Wait I thought they said it wasn’t sewage? Well well well

    Reply
    • John Walmark December 7, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      mia cupla

      Reply
  19. I Brathwaite December 7, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Again, lack of timely leadership, lack of communication, lack of courage. Then finally after a public outcry, social media outcry and opposition leader going on site ( something which the Minister or even the Prime Minister himself should be doing rather than being silent) an apology get issued. Yet still criticizing those who speak out negatively at the leadership failure: “…The Minister of Health also rubbished concerns that Government was not treating the matter as a priority, while warning critics that “we must not curse our country when we have to manage these crises”.
    Criticism of a problem and pointing out flaws in government is not “cursing our country” it is the foundation of free speech and a democratic society. If the government was up front, quickly responsive and showed leadership in this matter, none of the negative PR storm would have happened. This could have been a positive opportunity rather than the negative debacle it has turned into.

    Reply
  20. Jennifer December 7, 2016 at 10:44 am

    @Lucinder Mcsinister – Your 2% levy gone to the Hilton. Another of this governments nonsense.

    Reply
  21. Jennifer December 7, 2016 at 10:48 am

    @Dominique Tudor – well said. This is why our people should never forget what our oppressors did to us too and is still doing.

    Reply
  22. Phil December 7, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    If this government do a survey of the comments shown on this topic alone, it will or should tell them e xactly where they stand in terms of popularity.

    Reply
  23. John Walmark December 7, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    make these politicians swim in the mess as punishment , then tell them they have to swim in it every week until its fixed…. What does everyone else have to say / Agree

    Reply
  24. John Walmark December 7, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    stmichaelsouth@hotmail.com
    Mr. Prime Minister
    Firstly, may I wish you a very merry Christmas and a joyful new year!
    My wife Pam and I have been travelling sometimes twice a year for 20 years to Barbados. A few years ago, we were honoured to be chosen to meet the former Prime Minister David Thompson and his family. At that time, we were made honorary Bayans, which we cherish.
    Our most recent visit was our second visit this year. In March, we brought all our family to experience Barbados. In Nov, we spent 14 days on Worthing Beach at our favourite home away from home at The Coral Sands.
    Our first beach walk was to say the least disgusting to see and smell. We both were gaging from the stench. 5 of our 14 days on Worthing were days where we were unable to even walk on the beach let alone think about swimming in the sewage in the sea.
    Barbados has been known for outstanding weather, beautiful people and pristine beaches… Any business that had an asset like the Beaches in Barbados would be cherished and protected …. Well think its time to make sure that happens.
    Residents don’t have a choice where they live but we as tourists have many choices where to spend our vacation dollars. We are now reconsidering another island … it breaks our heart to think we might not be back to Barbados ..
    What will be done to correct the sewage problem and when will it be done.
    I have sent numerous emails to various organizations without receiving one reply.
    Please reply and advise the plan.
    Respectively
    John F Walmark
    1602 Lincolnshire Blvd
    Mississauga On Canada
    L5E2S7
    905-271-2790

    Reply
    • Sunshine Sunny Shine December 8, 2016 at 5:19 am

      I want to assure you that what you experience is not the Barbados you enjoyed over the many years you visited here. We have serious issues with a government that is just plain and simple, UESELESS. Bajans have never experinced Barbados in such a terrible mess either. It is breaking our hearts that our homeland is on a negative spiral towards becoming a full fledge Banana Republic. We have this incompetent government led by a bunch of arrogant and boldface deceivers to thank for all of this. I hope that you and your family will return. Trust me when I say that all the negativity will force these imbeciles to rethink what is important to them and fix the little things that are becoming big problems.

      Reply
  25. Scott colwell December 7, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    I completely agree. We will think twice about returning next year.
    From a worried canadian traveler

    Reply
  26. jrsmith December 7, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    People stop expecting anything from politicians , so long the people they protect and the areas they live in is okay barbados doesn’t matter , see how long a response came..
    Our government is perfect……50 years of (Independence ) (Dependency)…
    No water from the taps ,importing dirty water from foreign………..
    No buses might as well walk…..no one to complain to…
    Shit all over our streets, stinking up the place……..
    The constitutional right to carry fire arms , around in your pockets..on loan from the (US) constitution………

    What is more dangerous , a gun or a Barbados politician…

    Reply
  27. jrsmith December 7, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    People stop expecting anything from our politicians, so long the people who is protected is okay and the areas they live is okay barbados doesn’t matter, see the time it took for anyone of them to reply, because they have no real interest……….
    Our government is perfect , 50 years of (Independence ) (Dependency)…….
    No water coming from taps , importing dirty water from foreign…
    No buses , may as well walk, no one to complain to….
    The toilets over flowing in the streets and on the beaches, stinking up the place …… no concern..
    The constitutional right to bear arms that right borrowed from the (US) constitution , again no real concern DODDS fill with young black men others dont commit crimes……
    What is more dangerous to bajans our politicians or guns……

    Reply
  28. John Walmark December 7, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    send a message directly to Prime Minister Freundel on his facebook page.

    http://www.facebook.com/pg/Hon-Freundel-J-Stuart-QC-MP

    Reply
  29. Y December 7, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Will leaving a message to the PrimeMinister make a difference? I doubt it. He cares only about himself .

    Reply

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