Guests cancelling stay due to sewage mess

One day after Sandals General Manager Fernand Zievinger warned the ongoing sewage crisis on the south coast was not good for business, one accommodation executive is counting her losses as a result of the mess.

Manager of Gentle Breeze Apartments in Worthing, Christ Church Emily Long is reporting that the establishment has received a number of cancellations in light of the crisis.

English couple Drusilla Stainsby and her partner are thinking about calling off their trip.

Long is also worried that those who have not yet cancelled might opt out of their reservations the moment they arrive at the property.

“We’re supposed to have guests today but I don’t know if they are going to stay; that’s the truth. They might just come and be like, ‘no, we’re not staying,’” Long told Barbados TODAY.

The manager said the situation was so bad, that with faeces swimming at the back of the apartment complex on Monday, the last remaining guest stomped out complaining, “she just couldn’t deal with it”.

“It was really, really bad. It was the worst I had ever seen it,” recounted Long.

Equally disturbing for the tourism executive are the number of guests asking whether the problem will be resolved by next year, with many having second thoughts about their planned stay at the south coast property.

“People that are supposed to come next year are already asking whether they should come, but we don’t have any definite answers to give them. We’re just waiting to see like everybody else,” she said.

Among those thinking about calling off their trip are English couple Drusilla Stainsby and her partner.

They are due to arrive here on January 10, 2017 for a two-month stay at Gentle Breeze Apartments, but are likely to change their minds, Stainsby told Barbados TODAY.

The regular visitors were not being reassured by the absence of clarity on the cause of the problem and when it will be resolve, she added.   

“Neither the owner of Gentle Breeze Apartments nor the manager seem to know what the Barbados Water Authority or the Government are doing to stop this situation recurring,” Stainsby said.

“We will have to try to reclaim our rental money from the owner of the apartments. As to the airfares [that is] difficult.

“We have been visiting your beautiful island for many years and we are very worried about the current situation, as we have no wish to stay in accommodation which has been contaminated with sewage. We are both senior citizens and take health issues very seriously,” she added.

When Barbados TODAY visited the business today, a Barbados Water Authority (BWA) pumping tanker was stationed there removing the last of the waste from the premises.

However, the Gentle Breeze Apartments manager described a chronic problem, with excrement and toilet paper scattered around the compound becoming a regular occurrence for over a year.

In fact, she said the sewage problem had been lingering during the entire two-year period that she has worked at the Worthing, Christ Church guest house; only that it had spiralled out of control since the rains of November 29.

“In 2014, it was the smell we had to deal with, but this year and last year too, we had stool coming out from the back apartments. Now it’s really bad,” she said.

The putrid smell from the sewer is not only an environmental concern, but a health issue as well for the manager, who revealed that the sewage was surrounding her office at the back of the apartment complex.

In a graphic and upsetting description of the effect it was having on her, Long told Barbados TODAY she sometimes had a burning sensation in her throat and she could virtually taste the waste from the smell alone.

“I have to work here, I have to deal with it, so even if they don’t have any guests, I still have to come down here. I still have to smell it, I still have to deal with it. It’s not a pretty sight, it’s not a nice smell. I think they should hurry up and just fix it,” she pleaded.

Sharing further worries as the busy winter season commences, Long said: “My biggest fear is that next year January people are going to start coming in. We have a boatload of people coming in, and I am afraid that they won’t come or want to stay, and you know business is going to start going downhill. So that is what I am afraid of.”

Also concerned about the crisis, resident Raymond Mustor told Barbados TODAY he was not interested in apportioning blame, he simply wanted the problem resolved.

“It’s a major, major problem and the Governments have known about it,” Mustor, said.

“It has nothing to do with DLP and BLP. It’s about people’s livelihood and people’s health. All of that needs to be looked at,” he said in reference to the governing Democratic Labour Party and the Opposition Barbados Labour Party.

Mustor said with the issue continuing to attract public attention, BWA sewage tankers have visited the area three times already this week, with the flow stopping at each visit, only to return.

17 Responses to Guests cancelling stay due to sewage mess

  1. Chantal Brathwaite
    Chantal Brathwaite December 16, 2016 at 2:03 am

    Terrible! I hope the government will start taking this issue seriously.

  2. Kay Critchlow
    Kay Critchlow December 16, 2016 at 4:47 am

    Crazy crazy situation the one industry that brought money to the island neglected sorry but how bloody stupid can they be.

  3. Sheldine Dyall
    Sheldine Dyall December 16, 2016 at 5:26 am

    If the 2 clowns had admit there’s a problem and try to solve it from the start , them in a sea bathing and the sewage problems still EXISTING. The minister of health and the environment pass these roads on morning with the vehicle glass up .

  4. Loretta Griffith December 16, 2016 at 5:53 am

    This is pathetic! All I can say this government should be hanging its head in shame. After the warning signs were there, why were corrective measures not taken? Misplaced priorities.
    I can’t help but ask, what will Prime Minister Stuart’s legacy be?
    There is no way I would have sat back and allowed ineffective managers to destroy what little legacy I thought I had.
    How much more, can one take?
    This is a NATIONAL DISGRACE. It’s not me and I feel very hurt.
    Although it is alleged the problems were there before this administration took office, you had ample time to be proactive.

  5. Tony Webster December 16, 2016 at 5:53 am

    @Chantal: Yep…the Gorilliphants will deal with this emergency…right after they fix all others which are at the front of the line:-
    1. Transport Authority: approx. 140+ new buses required.
    2. Sanitation. Plenty new compactor trucks needed…like now.
    3. B.W.A. $1 Billion “being sourced’ for new mains network.
    4. Q.E.H. New hospital to be built…or not built, depending on who is speaking.
    5. Sugar “Industry” – funds “being sourced” so “plans on the cards” ” can be implemented.
    6. That “Junk-Bond status/rating: We gotta call Trump, so he can get our rating…again…”right back up there”. Yes, In Trump We Trust.
    7. Government “fiscal challenges”. God might soon be sending a Jumbo Jet…to GAIA, loaded with all the cash (yes, USD) that is necessary to “solve” the problem. Meanwhile, NIS still has funds they “need to invest at a good rate of interest”. BTW, if Min. Finance borrows at say 5% from NIS, and this is “good”…why not let NIS lend Chris at , say, 10-15%%? Hmm…sounds like an even better deal…but waitaminit…WHO is to pay back these never-ending loans, PLUS that interest? You? Me? God? Or YOU AND ME, from our TAXES? For Pete’s sake…why can’t we Bajans think for ourselves…rather than our politicians doing the “thinking’ for us?

    Yes, Chantal…we also need to pray…for deliverance. ASAP.

  6. Peter December 16, 2016 at 8:48 am

    This is a long and uselessly repetitive article. However, it clearly seem that NOTHING is nor will be done except to sit and wait for this situation to correct itself naturally. We have to accept the fact that there is serious climate changes occurring and rainfall may get worse. The authorities, whichever party is in governance, need to implement better water and drainage management systems. Move away from partisan finger pointing and do what’s best for this island.

  7. Walmark John F December 16, 2016 at 8:58 am

    We have cancelled our planned visit to South Coast 2 weeks ago after our Nov visit. We dealt with sewage draining into sea at Sluice Gate on Worthing. We have decided to still travel to Barbados but will move up to the west coast for our 3 week stay. This will be a loss of $10,000 us to the south coast just from our trip.
    PLEASE, FIX THE PROBLEM AT SEWAGE PLANT FOR RESIDENTS , BUSINESSES AND TOURISTS. We as tourists can go somewhere else…. the great people and businesses on the south coast can’t.

  8. Bewildered By Barbados December 16, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Very sad to cancel at Gentle Breeze this year because of this sewage crisis; but moreso for the locals at the mercy of an obviously corrupt Gov’t.
    How many tourism dollars flood (no pun) into that Country and Never get to where they need to go. And from what I surmise reading the papers, sadly they will Not act until they have a Health Crisis on their hands. Just because you pump sewage away does not remove bacteria in the ground and water supply as well as other risks. There are caterers, next to this apartment building and Massey (local food supply) across the road – ever hear of contamination ?
    All of the fat ‘Suits’ and ‘Designer Dresses’ in their swanky cars, dining in restaurants for free (from underhanded kickbacks):
    You will miss our HARD EARNED dollars !
    (but perhaps you mightl develop COMPASSION FOR YOUR BROTHER when you, Yourselves, have no alternative but to occupy the meager little jobs that Most Barbadians do !!!)

  9. Mack December 16, 2016 at 11:29 am

    It is so sad, this present Government of Barbados is the worse ever. The primeminister is just good at speaches and ceremonial occasions. That is it, he need to get a pair of jeans and a pair of muddy boots and get out there and do his job.
    Tourism is the last goose that will lay the golden egg. If we kill it , what will we have?????

  10. Bewildered By Barbados December 16, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Interesting how you Select which responses you print ….I submitted one this am (Bewildered by Barbados). Wonder which side You are on

  11. Bewildered By Barbados December 16, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Strike that last comment please …and THANK YOU for posting. So upset at this…..I would have rather have had the Money I lost go to a local food bank there !!!!

  12. Bewildered By Barbados December 16, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Can you please post my original comment ? It was there, now gone.
    We NEED our friends to know our Hearts are with them.

  13. John Walmark December 16, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    We have been travelling to Barbados annually for 20 years from Canada. Barbados has been our home away from home when on vacation .We have stayed every year on the South Coast , and spending close to $10,000 US on each trip. Im sure we are no alone in having Barbados our primary vacation place. Great People , Good accommodation pristine beaches and outstanding weather . this past Nov was 2 weeks of sewage on Worthing Beach and we had no place to go ….. Our plan was to return in the spring but we will now stay further up the west coast . Until we are assured the sewage and any health concerns are addressed, we will give The South Coast a pass . That is very unfortunate for The Businesses on South Coast but our health is a primary concern .
    Thought you should hear from more of us tourists. Residents don’t have a choice which is very troubling as well.
    John F Walmark
    1602 Lincolnshire Blvd
    Mississauga On Canada

  14. Susan Geofroy December 16, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    We are coming in April as well not sure if we can cancel flights maybe go to another island so gross and unhealthy feel sick just reading this………..

  15. John Walmark December 16, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    please communicate as i have not received one response from any government dept . we as tourists , residents and businesses have to keep the pressure on. we love Barbados , its great people and businesses and beaches. we dont want to go elsewhere …. give us a reason to come back

  16. Brathwaite Awc December 16, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    We are considering calling off trip to Barbados on January 22, 2017 due to your beaches in the Christ Church sea front.

    correction to visiting date

  17. Lisa Lansdown December 17, 2016 at 7:16 am

    Couldn’t agree more @John Walmark. I too have been visiting barbados for the past 20 years and it’s definitely home from home for me too.
    I was also there for 3 weeks in November this year and saw the problems for myself, I am due to return march/April ’17 but will avoid my beloved south coast as it made me very poorly with an upset stomach!
    I am planning on staying with friends in March but then I have to hope they have water!
    Barbados Government need a swift kick up the backside, for locals and tourists alike, they are going to lose so much revenue, because this will deter people from vacationing on the island!
    Heaven only knows what first time visitors to BIM thought of it this year!
    So very very very sad!


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