Epidemic lurks

Sewage threatens south coast water system, Liz warns

Weeks after calling for the heads of five Government ministers over the long running sewage mess on the south coast, former Minister of Health Elizabeth Liz Thompson is raising concerns about the possible impact of the problem on potable water and the overall health of residents and visitors to the area.

In a Facebook post which included a video showing what appears to be raw sewage, Thompson demanded to know whether Government had sought any advice from the relevant agencies, including the Pan American Health Organization, in assessing the level of public health threat caused by the worrying leakage of raw sewage.

She also raised concerns about the likely impact of the situation on drinking water, pointing out that “if the sewage is visible above ground and is bubbling up through any space available, it must be worse underground where water pipes are located”.

“Can the ministers of health, water resource management and environment indicate what type, level and frequency of random testing of the water quality of residential and commercial properties in the affected area is being conducted to determine if there is any intrusion of bacteria or other compromise of the potable water system?

“If no tests are being conducted of properties or beach quality, with comparisons of available data from the period before this crisis, would the Government indicate why not and when it is proposed to start?” she stressed, while pleading with Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler to give the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) and the south coast sewerage plant adequate resources to effect repairs and ensure proper maintenance of the sewerage system.

It was earlier this month that Thompson had told Barbados TODAY that Sinckler, as well as Minister of Health John Boyce, Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe, Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy and Minister of Agriculture and Water Resource Management Dr David Estwick should resign or be sacked over their handling of the crisis, which began over a year ago.

Her Facebook post is a continuation of the pressure on the Freundel Stuart administration to act decisively to bring an end to the issue, for which Estwick has said there was no quick fix.

Since her call popular restaurant Chicken Barn has closed its Worthing, Christ Church branch, after losing a one-year battle against raw sewage flooding its compound.

In addition, the Worthing post office has been closed for what the postmaster general was quoted in a Barbados Government Information Service announcement as calling “an ongoing environmental problem”. However, Boyce has since confirmed that the indefinite closure was due to the sewage problem.

Thompson today said Chicken Barn’s closure was evidence that the issue also put businesses at risk.

And she called on Minister of Commerce Donville Inniss to take action to “help impacted businesses on the south coast and protect people from losing their jobs and livelihoods”.

“We are in the high season for tourism, we are approaching Christmas, businesses in the area are losing money and the health of Barbadians is at risk,” she said in the post.

“Given its denials and delays, when does the Government propose to take action, and what does it intend to do?”

The political consultant and former Barbados Labour Party (BLP) legislator said the situation was nothing short of a crisis, using a description that the BWA had used earlier this month while describing the ongoing overflow of effluent and the pungent smell, even as it was giving the assurance that work was being done assiduously to correct the problem.

“I use the word ‘crisis’ because that is the word used by the person who the media identified as having responsibility for management of the system and because that is what we have on our hands,” Thompson said.

“Much is at risk, including jobs, health, tourism, businesses and our national reputation. How long did the Government know there was a problem and what have they been doing about it, other than denying its existence and sending two minsters to bathe in the dirty water?” she asked in reference to a public relations stunt last year by Sealy and Boyce, who were seen diving right into the waters at Worthings Beach, in full view of the media, in a move designed to reassure Barbadians and tourists alike that at no time was the beach threatened by sewage.

Thompson recalled that BLP Leader Mia Mottley had raised concernS last year about the lack of proper maintenance of the south coast sewerage plant.

However, she said, despite warnings from Mottley of the risks to tourism, public health and the environment, the Opposition Leader’s caution was ignored.


22 Responses to Epidemic lurks

  1. Antheia Springer-Williams
    Antheia Springer-Williams December 23, 2017 at 2:14 am

    The minister responsible said there is no disease… Think he is suffering from foot in mouth disease or plain old verbal diarrhoea!

  2. Nickk Moore
    Nickk Moore December 23, 2017 at 6:16 am


  3. Sophia Foster
    Sophia Foster December 23, 2017 at 6:39 am

    Woman go back under your rock stupse

    • harry turnover December 23, 2017 at 7:21 am

      Seems like you are comfortable with all that SH8 around,
      Yard fowls would wallow in anything jack..even discarded sanitary napkins…you should have remained underground around all the sewage then…seems that those who you follow can rub SH8 in your face and you gine skin ya RH teet like a roast dawg and ask for ketchup and pepper sauce to enhance the taste
      The topic is about SH8…but you don’t have to talk it …go and wipe ya mout and flush it IF ya want to.

    • Luis Fuentes
      Luis Fuentes December 23, 2017 at 8:19 am

      Politics aside, not a valid concern?

    • Mervin Kellman
      Mervin Kellman December 23, 2017 at 8:44 am

      Yes go back under that rock where she will find you and others like you. Unaware;exposed to the threat and couldn’t care less as this country plunges in to a health crisis. You see, you feel insulated because you do traverse that area much, you don’t inhale the stink, you don’t have to navigate your way across roads with raw sewage streaming down. The point being made here is that this very soft, laid back approach to the matter by this Government is totally unacceptable.Too much is at risk.

  4. archy perch December 23, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Liz has No shame whatsoever. No matter what Ministry her former boss Owen Arthur put her to run, she failed or led things in such a way to benefit her husband’s construction business. She is most famous for the expensive toilets at Oistins. No wonder the sewerage that comes from between her licking lips.

  5. Patrick December 23, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Failure, she is back because the slate of candidates is so poor she thinks she can be a senator and get a minister pick. Shut up you were poor minister!!

  6. milli watt December 23, 2017 at 8:51 am

    she would know………………..ARTHUR fire she all that is left is for MOTTLEY to do the same hmmmmmm ALTHOUGH WELL ANY WAY LETS JUST LEAVE THAT THERE.

  7. Francis December 23, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Looking for a Minister pick if the BLP
    win the government.
    Plain and simple. She has NO SHAME.

  8. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner December 23, 2017 at 10:37 am

    Ok lets be real BLP playing politricks with this issue but she right about lurking epidemic if this sewage leak is not fix.Simple if human waste flowing in streets it’s not rocket science as to what the outcome will be.

  9. archy perch December 23, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Yes Rawle, but do you really feel the government is not trying to get a handle on this matter? This is a general election period at that. The problem did not start yesterday or the day before. This problem grew from a lack of proper planning by the Arthur bunch of rebels, held over now to lambaste the present government over it. I remember Mount Stinkeroo created by that crooked BLP
    millions of dollars down the drain. Now all of those hypocrites have become universal lecturers. SMH

  10. Helicopter(8P) December 23, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Well for those who do not travell to far off and away places in the east-orient and parts of latin America you may one day see canals of raw sewage flowing down to the rivers where ravenous fish devour and disintegrade it. In Holland the river becomes a sewer and the stentch allows you to know that. This matter could have been worst, “thank God not”! The engineer-archect who planned the sewer system should have given upgrade blueprints and plans from inception and that would have been a requirement from the chief town planner’s office. This a new era in the maintainence of our Barbados . Today and beyond!

  11. Greengiant December 23, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    The only epidemic lurking around Barbados currently is Elizabeth Thompson. That’s if she gets the chance to manage anything that involves building or civil works contracts.

    Boy she really understand the theory, ‘by the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread’. The woman working tirelessly for this BLP victory. Lol

  12. Jennifer December 23, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    But why do we a people constantly put a lot of faith and hope in a lot of old dead wood and little hope or chance in anything new. Why do we love lies and hate truth. Is it inbred or is it all part of our brainwashing.

    • Bajan USA December 23, 2017 at 6:14 pm

      Jennifer. The school system in barbados is the beginning of they brain washing. Thank havens i never set foot in the so call SECONDARY school. No wonder overseas bajans dont want to come back. Even the ones with tourist visa not coming back. Barbados heading down the same road as Guyana.

  13. JM December 23, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    @Bajan USA. After reading your comments, the reason you “never set foot in the so call SECONDARY school ” is quite obvious.

    • Bajan USA December 24, 2017 at 3:03 pm

      I’m not worry about critic like you. Leaving barbados has open my eyes to the real world. You all so call educated people are the reason barbados and Barbadians are catching hell. Brain wash labor camp education is why barbados is where it is.

  14. Pat Clarke December 23, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    It does not take a brain surgeon to see that the problem with the sewage on the south coast is a lack of maintenance. In order for things to work they have to be maintained and nothing has been maintained in this island for the last 10 years. The south shore has a lot of hotels, guest houses and businesses not to mention it is a very heavily populated area. That equates to a lot of waste so if the system is not maintained then you would obviously get the problem we are getting now. I would suggest that we use the money that has been allotted (Millions) for vote buying to get the system fixed as soon as possible and then maintain it thereafter on a regular basis.

  15. Ralph W Talma December 24, 2017 at 9:04 am

    1. @Helicopter(8P). Cities in the Far East and Latin America where you might have seen ‘canals of raw sewage’ do not rely upon tourism as their prime export. Barbados does!
    2. You are also wrong vis-a-vis Holland. The EU has the most stringent rules as regards pollution of all kinds, and what is happening now in B’dos will not be allowed in any EU member State, including here in the UK.
    3. One of the problems is that the original system in B’dos was not designed to take this amount of sewage. Upgrades are urgently needed.


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