Oistins stink

Thorne decries unsanitary conditions at popular tourist spot

The man seeking to take the Christ Church South seat from Minister of Health John Boyce is raising a stink over the conditions in which vendors at Oistins Bay Garden are forced to operate.

Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate Ralph Thorne, QC, has described the condition as a disgrace, and has called on the National Conservation Commission (NCC) to re-evaluate its contracts with the vendors.

Today, rats could be seen running across the road. Pools of water also settled in the environs, highlighting the poor drainage system.

The operators said the conditions were deplorable and unsanitary, with food operator and customers subjected to mounting garbage, overflowing drains, scampering rodents and foul odours.

Thorne, who toured Oistins Bay Garden this afternoon, accused the NCC of breaching the contract it had signed with the vendors, while arguing that as owners of the allocated spaces it was the Commission’s responsibility to ensure the safety of its tenants.

Christ Church South BLP candidate Ralph Thorne, QC, listens attentively as one of the vendors complains about the unsanitary conditions.

“It must be an implied term of the contract that if you are renting a place . . . if you are renting a facility that is providing food to people and that business is being hurt by unclean surroundings then the NCC is breaching its contract,” the fledgling politician said.

Thorne contended that the NCC should not be demanding payment from operators for such sub-standard facilities.

Considering that Oistins has remained a premier tourism attraction, the senior attorney-at-law contended that the current conditions were a sign of disrespect by the Freundel Stuart Government, and Boyce in particular.

“The irony is that the representative for this area here is the Minister of Health and the minister next door [Dr Denis Lowe] is responsible for the environment and the NCC, and this [Oistins Bay Garden] has become an environmental hazard,” Thorne charged.

As he spoke from Crystal’s Bar and Grill located at the back of the popular tourist hub, rats could be seen running across the road. Pools of water also settled in the environs, highlighting the poor drainage system.

Owner of Crystal’s Bar and Grill Michelle King

Michelle King, the owner of Crystal’s Bar and Grill, said the vendors had been appealing to the NCC for over three years to clean up the place, but their cries had repeatedly fallen on deaf ears.

“The customers are not coming down at my place, Crystal’s Bar, because they are complaining about the smell. Some of the customers come and when they sit, they call for drinks and when they get the smell of the drains they ask for the bill and they get up and leave,” said King, who has worked in Oistins for nearly 20 years, and who insisted the facility was in dire need of industrial cleaning by the NCC.

“They said not to wash down but they have wild fowls, the birds around here and you have to clean the place. The drains overflow and nobody comes to clean the drains.

“It has been going on for a very long time now; it is overbearing and we can’t handle it anymore,” she stressed.

Supervisor of Crystal’s Bar and Grill Renee Boyce

Crystal’s Bar supervisor Renee Boyce, who has worked there for 18 years, described having to serve customers while rats ran around at her feet, and spoke of blackened bathrooms in desperate need of cleaning and walls plastered with urine stains.

“You don’t want to stay and eat in a place where you can’t swallow your food, your belly burning you or your stomach burning you. It need to be fixed and it need to be fixed right now,” an outraged Boyce said.

“We need help in this Bay Garden, we need the minister to come out and . . . we need to get the problem solved,” she stressed.


22 Responses to Oistins stink

  1. jrsmith May 13, 2017 at 4:24 am

    Politicians , politicians, past and present , we the people need to wake up and do something to safe guard our selves, from the pain we are still suffering , by the people we voted for ,people who shows no real concern about the black masses of our nation… everything is hidden …. who can you blame ….. who do you try to talk to…… some people has forgotten what they (MP) looks or sound like since the last election <<<<<<<<

    Our politicians has exposed barbados to the world , issues after issue of failure .. How do we rate our politicians… doing nothing for our black masses………
    We survive on tourism the only thing we have, they allowed this to be world news,,,,,,,,, Oistins our major attraction having problems after problems and what is really done , nothing our politicians have no real concern other than for the 1% of our nation , people who is in control of barbados and have no political concern………………………………………………….
    I am of the opinion that this government is going to be voted back in power ,, this is how bajans behave , the party vote………

  2. Bobolee Popo May 13, 2017 at 6:19 am

    do the Health-Inspectors visit and inspect the Oistins Bay Gardens!??!!!

  3. Samantha Trotman
    Samantha Trotman May 13, 2017 at 7:13 am

    Who made oistins stink?

    • Kevin May 13, 2017 at 2:00 pm


  4. Skylar Prince
    Skylar Prince May 13, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Exactly Samantha Trotman All of us as Barbadians need to take personal responsibility for keeping our environs clean.

  5. Bobolee Popo May 13, 2017 at 7:55 am

    has the health inspector visited and inspected this said area recently!??!

  6. Greengiant May 13, 2017 at 8:04 am

    This facility had issues from the design phase. The drains there backed up from the time the facility was opened. It was suggested that an air compressor be attached permanently to the drains so they could be cleared by hot air pressure regularly, but this is still to be done. This shouldn’t be a political issue, this is one for Ralph Thorne to address legally for the association members with the NCC for contract breach. I wonder if he has even seen the contract, instead of seeking legal redress, he seeks political mileage, while their business suffers there’s no talk of compensation from NCC but about the two neighboring ministers. The fact that they head the portfolios responsible for the upkeep of the island’s facilities is even more reason why this issue should be legal Ralph.

    Politics is an unpredictable environment though Ralph, the style, type and size of your political shoe can change quite quickly. The school of thought teaches that smart politicians are build in opposition and the construction takes years. So a word to you Ralph, use your legal ability for the benefit of the people, don’t use the people’s plight and sufferings for your political advantage. If the habit of advantage creeps into your political life, your stay will be short. The political landscape has changed forever mate.

  7. Fan May 13, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Samantha Those who are supposed to keep it clean have made it stink!

  8. Calloutlies May 13, 2017 at 9:36 am

    @samantha Trotman & Skylar Prince.

    Please do some fact checking before making comments. While I do agree with you about persons taking responsibility to keep environs clean this isn’t the case with Oistins. The drainage system in Oistins is very poor. The landlord (NCC) does a terrible job and completely neglect oistins. If you read the tourism master plan you would understand the importance of oistins to our tourism product. Take time out to visit Oistins on any given day then you would be in a position to speak. Even the ministry of health complain about the tardiness of the NCC but nothing is improving.

  9. Tony Webster May 13, 2017 at 9:49 am

    When I pass there walking…I don’t smell fish….I smell sewage. There are also pools of stagnat water ( perhaps mixed with something else?) at several places along the access roads to the rear of the facility.

    Minister of HEALTH… with this festering mess on his doorstep?

  10. Observer May 13, 2017 at 10:21 am

    I understand conditions are bad but vendors you have some responsibilities in this mess also you see government aint doing a damn thing you all should come together and help fixed this mess that you guys help create

  11. Biscuits May 13, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Was thinking the same thing! While there is empathy for their plight, the vendors also have to accept some responsibility for the situation they find themselves in. We as a people need to adapt the attitude displayed in other countries…learn to help ourselves instead of relying on others for everything.

  12. Sherlock Holmes. May 13, 2017 at 11:13 am

    This style of predatory politics and bias reporting does nothing good for this country as a whole. This problem at Oistins it would appear has just started at least this is the impression that some would like to convey. There must be thorough scrutiny of political hopefuls and those who apparently seek to collude in the media for the purpose of scoring points,their agendas are known. Rather than an all out combined non partisan effort to clean up Oistins for the benefit of our tourism product we have a story published here telling the entire world how unsanitary a known tourist attraction is, i bet this is a good story for the food network channel.The thing is as one who sometimes follow foodies on the international scene persons like Mark Wiens ,the food ranger, Andrew Zimmeran to name a few i have seen them eating in places on streets that pale in comparison to Oistins yet i have never heard them being critical in a manner that would affect the tourism industry of those particular countries. I have often said to myself when viewing some of those segments that they really have a heart to eat in such places. As the two previous commentators have stated the vendors in Oistins need to take the time to be more prudent in taking care of their environs this was never and will never be a political issue some of these political aspirants need to get serious and real.

  13. Biscuits May 13, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Once again…the vendors also need to accept some responsibility for the situation. Instead of waiting on others to assist, it might augur well to rally together and find a solution .

  14. jrsmith May 13, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Blame the government, the politicians ,these people are just a bunch of liars , promising the world when they only need a vote and cant or have nothing in return to offer…………………
    This bunch exposed barbados to the world showing everything thats bad , because they dont care, only doing what it take for the interest of some bajans…………………………………………..
    We are surviving by tourist visiting and the only good thing we have left , which gives barbados a lift is (Oistins) but our politicians couldn’t care less……………………………..
    I am of the opinion that this government is going to get back in power, thats how bajans are , voting for the party come what may and will carry on hiding away and moaning……..

  15. Peter May 13, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    It is not the minister’s fault. many business owners there do NOT practice hygienic operations. I once recently took a group of eight visiting friends who wanted the cultural experience. Needless to say, rats and cock roaches were observed running across the stove, and there were at least three large ones and a few young looking, smaller ones, Cock roaches were actually seen crawling on uncovered, prepared food waiting to be served.
    I apologized and telephoned a friend in Sandy Lane. who offered to have fish, steak and lobster prepared immediately by he, and a couple of friends he was hosting. Even though they lost their appetite, the alcohol brought it all back. Oh and this unsanitary condition was seen at more than one place. Something needs to be done with the vagrants who accost people to wash their vehicles, smell terrible and beg for money. even threaten them. It’s bad. Really bad. Funny thing isz I do not believe Ralph Thorn can and will do anything about that as he does not impress most people that he really cares. He lives an upper class lifestyle.

  16. Milli Watt May 13, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    only one thing missing is the disease……like how this place imploding.

  17. Zeus May 13, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    What amazing journalism ….over twenty stall owners but yer the interview is done at a particular stall and only the owner and staff of that establishment is interviewed …..where are the other stall owners or maybe the rats are at one particular stall

  18. Pat May 13, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Did anyone enlightened the occupants of the need to assist themselves and to keep their surroundings clean?

  19. Kammie Holder May 13, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    What part does the stall owners play in the filthy surroundings?

  20. Daemon Willkinson May 14, 2017 at 1:22 am

    All traders at Oustins should keep their environ clean if you were in another country you would be closed down. Public health is at risk. Every single food seller should be stripping down their kitchens every day and cleaning. The government should be ensuring the drains are cleared and fixed and that the garbage waste is removed twice a week. The tourists and locals will stop coming once this gets out and so you all need to work together as public health is at risk therefore the vendors business are too. Pistons is an amazing place. Let’s not lose it!

  21. F.A.Rudder May 16, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Definately a major concern for the Ministers of Health, Tourism and Lands respectively!


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