Costly mess

South coast businessman takes $20,000 hit from sewage crisis

The vexing south coast sewage crisis has left a $20,000 hole in the pocket of one businessman who was forced to shut down his operation because of the ongoing mess.

Taking a break from hosing down the road leading to his Worthing, Christ Church property this afternoon, Raymond Mastor, who once operated his home-based catering business before shutting shop six months ago, told Barbados TODAY he was simply fed up of the empty promises from the authorities.

Former caterer Raymond Mastor is fed-up and at a loss as to why authorities are failing to quickly fix the sewage problem on the south coast.

Mastor, who now resides in Canada, hurriedly travelled to Barbados earlier this week after receiving a distress call from his 66-year-old mother who complained about the dire situation she was facing, including a pungent stench and periodic flooding of the property and the road leading to her home.

“When I left in July it was okay and then it started again. I don’t know when exactly it started. But when I get the phone call from my mum [saying],‘I need help’, that is when I booked a ticket last week to come here this week. So I had to ask for time off from my job in Canada to come,” he said.

The sewage water which flowed freely today on the property of the Gentle Breeze Hotel.
These crates have been placed on a section of the sidewalk to allow for ease of entrance and exit once the area is flooded with effluent.

“This has been an ongoing problem for about five years and they [the authorities] waited until it has reached maximum
capacity that literally s**t is flowing and it is hard for me to leave my pregnant wife in Canada to come here to help my sick mum who is being affected with this,” Mastor complained.

Up to late this evening the top brass of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) was meeting in another attempt to come up with a short, medium and long-term solution to the problem, which has resulted in the closure of at least two other businesses and the Worthing Post Office within the last year.

Popular restaurant Chicken Barn officially closed its Worthing branch early last month after battling the problem of raw sewage flooding its compound for some time.

The recurring flow of raw sewage has also forced the closure of the once vibrant Gentle Breeze Hotel, located adjacent to Mastor’s property.

Out of fear of people getting ill, there have been recent calls for other food establishments in the affected areas, including Hastings, Christ Church, to close their operation.

Yesterday, health authorities confirmed a Christmas Day outbreak of gastroenteritis at some business establishments on the south coast, but said they found nothing so far linking it to the ongoing sewage mess.

Today, Mastor was able to pump off approximately 8,000 gallons of sewage water from his property, which was taken away by sewage trucks.

“I have had enough . . . I’ve just had enough of people promising. They said they were going to help with the pump. I had to go and buy a brand new pump for $800, along with $30 a day in gasoline. And then to hire someone to help at $250 a day,” he complained.

Asked how much he was now out of pocket as a result of measures he has been employing over the months to help his mother cope, Mastor responded: “I would round it up to $20,000 easily, and it is ongoing. Today alone I spent $550.”

He said he started to save his bills in anticipation of a lawsuit over the situation, although he had no details of the pending court action.

In order to keep the sewage water from flooding the house, Mastor said someone had to be employed to carry out daily work, which included pumping it from the property and washing down the driveway.

After speaking with the owner of Gentle Breeze Hotel, he decided to run a pipe from the boundary of the properties over to “a canal” across the road in order to divert some of the constantly flowing effluent water, he said.

Expressing disappointment at the closure of the hotel, Mastor said he was concerned that the situation was negatively impacting the island’s tourism product.

“It is hurting Barbados for the long-staying guests. It is just so sad because this was such a beautiful island and it is just being tarnished worldwide. Friends of mine in Canada aren’t coming,” he lamented.

He also said he was worried about a possible disease outbreak or an increase in the mosquito population as a direct result of the leak.

“Who is saying that this isn’t being forced into our drinking water? How can they prove that it isn’t?” he asked.

Mastor said the last thing he was told by the authorities was that each property in the affected areas would be allowed to have its own wells, and he complained that the sewerage system had not been properly maintained over the years, nor was it built to handle the current load.

Meantime, BWA Rapid Response and Communications Manager Joyann Haigh said the water company accepted there was a problem and was working to get it rectified.

Speaking on local radio this afternoon, Haigh said some of the intended equipment for the south coast sewerage system was already at the Bridgetown Port awaiting clearance.

“We want to let the public know it is not a quick fix. It is very technical and we are very comfortable with what the engineers are putting on the table and the assistance we are getting, but we just have to get everything together in terms of the equipment down. That is priority so that we can have room now to fix what we need to fix,” Haigh assured.

66 Responses to Costly mess

  1. Gail Agard Wallace
    Gail Agard Wallace January 4, 2018 at 11:06 pm

    Nothing for us to say. We have said it all.

  2. Antheia Springer-Williams
    Antheia Springer-Williams January 4, 2018 at 11:24 pm

    The public should have been told the truth should have been told in the first place! One nasty cover up after the next from this department which included blatant lies. A law suit will be a further switch to tax payers backs.

  3. Donald MacPherson January 4, 2018 at 11:24 pm

    “BWA Rapid Response…Manager!” Now there’s an oxymoron!

    • Barbadosbelle January 6, 2018 at 6:16 am

      Well said you!!

  4. Linda January 4, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    This situation is so unfortunate. I have been travelling to the Island and spend a month or two each year for over 30 years but since the sewage issues have become out of control i will spend my time and money elsewhere

  5. John Everatt January 4, 2018 at 11:59 pm

    Let’s see, the BWA rapid response team accepts that there is a problem. Wow, after 2 years of this sh**t they accept there is a problem. They say that the equipment needed to fix it is in the port awaiting clearance. Come on, this is a national disaster and you are simply waiting for some port authority clearance? Get real!! Is that sort of like “the new garbage trucks are in the port awaiting clearance”? And the prime minister speaks not a word. Guess he is still sleeping. Businesses are shutting down and losing money. The tourists are changing their plans to visit. People are getting sick from gastro. Is this the best you can do?

  6. Pat Clarke January 5, 2018 at 12:45 am

    I don’t care what anyone has to say about who is to blame for this mess. I blame the present Government. Every single one of the Ministers including the PM should have to fork out their own money and assist those people and businesses on the south shore. This is a national disgrace. Why would the Government over the last 10 years not maintain the system. Every thing in this country has been neglected for the past 10 year and they got the nerve to be running for a next election. They should all resign immediately. Come on Barbados let’s get this country working again. You know exactly what you have to do. And to those of you who seem to think that this Government has done a wonderful job and deserve to stay in power, I hope the s**t reaches your doorstep if you vote to keep them in power because that is all you will be getting for the next five years.

    • milli watt January 5, 2018 at 3:14 pm

      @ Pat you unreasonable, easily persuaded, illogical in the reasoning and wrong in the assessment. Both political parties had a hand in this and while I am no DLP supporter to allow the BLP to score cheap political points encourages a repeat performance.

  7. CD January 5, 2018 at 1:55 am

    what a stinking mess!

  8. Wendy Reece
    Wendy Reece January 5, 2018 at 2:07 am

    I take it that no politician lives near where the sewage crisis has occurred, please correct me if I’m wrong because if they were action would of been taken long ago to repair the problem.

    • Dana Jemmott
      Dana Jemmott January 5, 2018 at 7:49 am

      Wendy Reece I think u know better cause u answered ur own question

    • Khati D
      Khati D'Souza January 5, 2018 at 8:16 am

      None for the record.

  9. Tony Webster January 5, 2018 at 4:27 am

    Sue the government. To settle, government can increase the NSRL to 15%, and hike VAT to 25%. Problem solved. Yes?
    NOW do you see why a vote is such a precious thing?
    Hmm…we CUD build a wall…

    This place only now needs a Mad Hatter to appear, offering to sell us worm-holes…yes, a Chinese mad-hatter. Just be patient…

  10. Alex Alleyne January 5, 2018 at 4:51 am

    By the look on his face he should be at lawyer COMMIE office door bull-cow speed.

  11. Sophia Lewis
    Sophia Lewis January 5, 2018 at 5:01 am

    Lawsuit massive.

  12. M.D.M. January 5, 2018 at 5:57 am

    The tourism organizations here in Barbados are saying how great this winter season is unfolding. Well, watch out……there is a time lag when events happen. Watch out for future cancellations in numbers. Some will come from valuable repeat visitors who have been loyal to this Island. This is our bread and butter business.

    Few, if any, have used the word disrespect in this whole mess. The lack of action, poor investment and length of time this has taken is a mark of disrespect to the people of Barbados. We have to wait until the sewage becomes a long standing crisis and disgrace before we signs of response. Then the basic first step to stop the overflow cannot be fixed after months. Please bring in qualified contractors who know how to manage in a timely manner.

  13. Ali Baba
    Ali Baba January 5, 2018 at 6:17 am


  14. Dee Marshall
    Dee Marshall January 5, 2018 at 6:43 am

    What if , WHAT IF or drinking water gets contaminated and there’s an out break of cholera ?? WHAT THEN ????

    • Linda Dear
      Linda Dear January 5, 2018 at 7:28 am

      I agree ..What then? Very worrying..This is tourist time now here in Barbados but for how long!

    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete January 5, 2018 at 8:27 am

      Linda Dear tourist season? Sure but the residence that pay taxes live in the area support local businesses plus visitors also come here all year round. What a mess and a sham!

    • Linda Dear
      Linda Dear January 5, 2018 at 12:06 pm

      Gillian Skeete This is what I meant,I’m feeling sorry for the island and the locals ..your right it’s not so easy for them to up and just go..I came over to try and make a life here 10 months this ago..Deep down I would like to still make a go of it,..I have no where at home in England but there is always somewhere to rent and make it..But I feel here family stick together ..Well I think most if I have that right..At home they don’t have that family commitment,which is bad..I’ve made a few friends here and I like the way they speak of family which to me is right..But it is worrying for the businesses I have to say and if coarse there losses …it’s very very sad for all people here and there families..

  15. John Digger Benn
    John Digger Benn January 5, 2018 at 7:08 am

    sleeping giant still sleeping

    • Michael Goodman
      Michael Goodman January 5, 2018 at 7:51 am

      Enjoying the master bedroom at Ilaro Court to the max as it won’t be for much longer.

    • John Digger Benn
      John Digger Benn January 5, 2018 at 7:52 am

      he proves that he really does not give af

    • Maureen Fields
      Maureen Fields January 5, 2018 at 9:06 am

      Hopefully Michael Goodman.

    • Belfast January 5, 2018 at 6:18 pm

      He is not sleeping, just lying low from pit bulls.

  16. Shaquille January 5, 2018 at 7:31 am

    Have any of you at all read the article about all the crap people are senfing into the system that should not be there. It is like your own home certain things you do not flush like adult and baby wipes, pantiliners, sanitary pads etc. And fats and oils are also disposed of improperly. But some ppl are still doing it. If you continue doing it obviously the system will break down. The current system is not maintained properly by both BWA, hotel and guest house operators and tourists and also residents. I looked at the photo of the damaged pump with all the cloth, rags etc stuck to it. Where the heck did that stuff come from in the sewage and someone whad to put it there. At the end of the day everyone has to work together to solve the problem. I recently read an article which indicated that some cities in the USA were experiencing the same thing with their sewage system as many ppl use adult wipes instead of toilet paper and were flushing them instead of putting them in the garbage and as a result it was causing a similar problem like we have in Barbados.

    • Belfast January 5, 2018 at 8:45 pm

      If you put crappy oil into your car, there are filters and strainers to prevent the crap from reaching the vital parts of the engine.
      Where are the strainers and filters on this sewerage system?

  17. harry turnover January 5, 2018 at 7:34 am

    Stuart…RESIGN NA !! I beg YA..cheese on bread man Ya mean SH8 in gine move wunna ??
    A fitting send off though for all wunna SH8 hounds.

  18. Sue Donym January 5, 2018 at 8:16 am

    But @Shaquille, slow down for a moment and understand that any competent authority dealing with such a system knows that some people will dispose of objects improperly. Packages for many of these products warn users not to drop them in toilets etc, meaning that they are aware that people do it, whether because of ignorance or apathy, or sabotage. The point is that periodic and thorough checks – and the necessary corrections – must be done to avoid events reaching crisis level.

    I would say we have a crisis here, and now is the time to take action. All sectors of officialdom must see this as a priority and move swiftly. There is no entity that is unaware of this and it would be a disgrace if any department is dragging on this.

    DEM want the full 10 years, DEM get back the 10%, we want the job done – 100%!

  19. Sophia Lewis
    Sophia Lewis January 5, 2018 at 8:22 am

    ……and I may add lawsuit at the Ministers responsible. This should not be the inheritance of any new administration. 10 YEARS these ones had!!!!

    • Sophia Lewis
      Sophia Lewis January 5, 2018 at 10:19 am

      That’s my girl! Yup….that same one. Star boy in this s….! Count the dots.

  20. Samantha Trotman
    Samantha Trotman January 5, 2018 at 8:42 am

    How I’m seeing this this government prolonging this problem for next government to fix and it going to affect our tourist industry in doing so. People walking in stink water fish dying humm

  21. Cyan Jada
    Cyan Jada January 5, 2018 at 8:46 am

    In the port waittttiinnngggg to be cleared???? Man wth!

    • kk January 5, 2018 at 10:42 am

      yes girl but drugs and guns done cleared!!!!!

  22. Michael Berry January 5, 2018 at 8:58 am

    “Haigh said some of the intended equipment for the south coast sewerage system was already at the Bridgetown Port awaiting clearance.”

    Why would such equipment have to await clearance? This does not make sense. It should be released forthwith.

  23. Cindy Bunting
    Cindy Bunting January 5, 2018 at 9:20 am

    This whole stinking mess is disgraceful.

  24. Robert January 5, 2018 at 9:55 am

    How Sad! I have been visiting Barbados for over 50 years, and although I am booked for this season for six weeks, if the situation is not addressed I will cut that short , take the loss on my air fare and rethink of ever returning!
    The economy is not in great shape, well if the government does not fix the problem quickly, oh I forgot the problem has been evident for over a year and little done, it will be a lot worse!
    The government of Barbados is its own worse enemy!

  25. BimJim January 5, 2018 at 10:06 am

    BWA need to have more meetings. Meetings are the solution to all of the problems. The more meetings and the more participants at all of the meetings the better, then everyone will have a vague idea where they are sitting. In my opinion, neither politicians nor bureaucrats have enough meetings, and they should lay off all the people who do the actual work so that their meetings can be facilitated without worryiong about actual results and so that there is more funding available for meetings. Look at the CARICOM HoG Summits – they meet at least four times a year, sign endless agreements and nothing gets done, but they really enjoy their meetings. Meetings are the solution, I suggest more meetings.

  26. Joan Crawford
    Joan Crawford January 5, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Where the dlp yardfowls

    • Belfast January 5, 2018 at 2:16 pm

      Actually we ,the non-DLP constituency members are the real DLP yardfowls. We have to wait on the scratch grain scraps of information thrown at us via CBC from the various DLP constituency meetings, and conferences.

  27. Andrew Charles
    Andrew Charles January 5, 2018 at 10:25 am

    If no one in Barbados can fix this problem, why can’t the government bring someone from outside who can?
    Not fair that businesses in the area are closing because of this…..and isn’t this a serious health threat?

  28. Sue January 5, 2018 at 10:37 am

    Tourist here…….I have already commented on our recent stay and walking from Cave Shepard to Big B. Every time I read another story about this mess the one thing that is quite clear is that your government officials have no interest in trying to correct this serious health problem. And now they expect people to believe that an outbreak of gastroenteritis in the area is not connected?? Seems it is time for people to gather at Ilaro Court and be heard. Are there no Public Health officials that can force the hand of the “do nothings”?

    • Belfast January 5, 2018 at 8:57 pm

      Sue, we are a nation of cowards who will do nothing to jeopardise our jobs or fear that if we speak out, or protest in any way, that we will be victimised. The politicians know this, that is why they treat us like what is flowing out between Cave Shepherd and Bib B. Then there is the question of DLP supporters who will walk through this sea of filth and tell you that they do not see or smell anything unusual, as so ably demonstrated by the two government ministers. And also those unscrupulous business operators on the south coast, who come rain or deep do do, do not want to lose out on business,and will try to assure the public that the government /BWA is trying its best.

  29. Alex Alleyne January 5, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Rest ashore that everyday the doors of these establishments are closed, the TAX PAYERS will have to pay for it in the end. These owners on the South coast don’t let money just run down the drain.

    • Belfast January 5, 2018 at 9:01 pm

      And one lawsuit from one Yankee visitor can, and the Central Bank will be working non-stop printing money to settle the bill.

  30. Judy Skinner
    Judy Skinner January 5, 2018 at 11:08 am

    This is terrible.

  31. Cecil Brooks January 5, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    As far as I have seen most buildings that are connected to the sewer pipes have a direct connection to the public sewage/sewer pipes. that means the grease from most kitchens (domestic or commercial/industrial) along with raw sewage, goes straight into the sewage pipes. This was done by the people who built the system in the first place. I do not know if there are any inspections to make sure that this should not be so, however if the BWA knew this, this should be corrected by having grease traps installed at the appropriate place on each building, so that the grease does not enter the sewer pipes. The general public should not be blamed for grease in the sewer pipes. The question that needs to be asked is, does the BWA have the appropriate pumps for sewage mixed with grease.

  32. denise clendinning January 5, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    i was in barbados in December and we drov by in hastings my god what a pong Im glad i am not staying in a hotel near the pong.

  33. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner January 5, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    I have always said that Barbados is a backwards place and it’s because of old worn out useless politicians,there will be a cholera outbreak and we still gine have ignorant politicians denying it had anything to do with this sewage leak.

    • Belfast January 5, 2018 at 9:11 pm

      Perhaps a Cholera outbreak would work out fine for this breed of greedy politicians. Then with a very diminished population, they will be able to make millions in real estate sales transforming every village into Sandy Lanes, Sunset Crests, Sugar Hills and exclusive gated communities.

  34. Freeagent January 5, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    Everyone is blaming everyone for this sewage problem but the problem is that persons are putting things in the pipes that should not be in them. Towels, rags and such should be placed in bins for garbage collection, not in the sewage pipes. Everyone is feeling sorry for everyone except the BWA workers who have to work in the sewage – they are people too. Barbados is not exempt from such problems which occur elsewhere from time to time. The BWA seems to be trying to resolve the problem but it seems not to have the expertise to fix the problem, so we have to await assistance from knowledgeable experts.

  35. Tina Schulz
    Tina Schulz January 5, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    It made me think
    twice about coming back

  36. De Fish Man January 5, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    Why does the equipment need to be held up to be cleared..??
    This is a priority situation the equipment should have been loaded directly from the ship to container trucks & delivered imideately to the sewerage plant for installation.
    While the Government sleeps & eats effortlessly the people of the south coast suffer & go out of business.
    Government is wasting time,they had 10;years to. Fix the problem.
    Does Fruendel think that he can fix it & in June when elections come around according to him he is going to make the people of Barbados wait another 6 months of agony by his government.He must think that people are stupid & they will vote back DLP into power.
    Any party but DLP please…….
    Give some one else a chance to repair the damage they have done……
    It hurts to know that Barbados was once AA rated with 1 more rating to reach developed status.And now since Fruendel how many downgrades 22/ 23/ soon going to be 24/ 25/ 26/ by June.

  37. Jeff Klein January 5, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    I’m a tourist presently visiting the island for the first time. I’m staying at a house on Worthing beach. I’m not a wealthy man, and we save throughout the year for our annual family vacation. My children were splashed by sewage from a speeding van on the way to Massy’s. Yesterday five of the six of us awoke to abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and fever. The smell outside the house is horrendous. I will never visit this island again and I will post on every travel website I can find about what a disgrace it is. Barbados has benefited from the hurricanes affecting islands to the north, this was an opportunity for the island to generate more interest for tourism dollars. What a shame, the people are lovely though, they deserve better from their government.

  38. Randolph January 5, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    An ignorant woman called in on “down to brass tacks” blaming the rain.They also blamed the rain for the potholes.

  39. Belfast January 5, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    To quote an expert from the sewerage section of the BWA, talking on CBC, “We have the expertise, all we need is the equipment.”

  40. Belfast January 5, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Cost of new BWA Headquarters——Nuff Nuff millions.
    Cost of SSA Headquarters……………Nuff Nuff Millions.
    Cost of ABC overpass by CBC……….Nuff millions.
    Cost of Stuart monument at the Garrison……Nuff Nuff millions
    Cost of maintaining South Coast Sewerage System…..apparently Zero dollars.

  41. Helicopter(8P) January 5, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    I as a fellow Barbadian feel your pain. The sewer project has to put in place a new system of degrading and suspension filtration to eliminate raw sewage. Lift pumps shoud be put at strategic locations and efluants pumped to an inland ponds facility where chemical treatment disinfectants and pH balancing are implemented! I suggest looking at Venice and Holland for some of these critical answers to the problem. A rising tide combined with surface area rain fall will create problems during the wet season. I wish you the best for the new years!

  42. Diana January 5, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    What the hell does the following statement mean?

    ” some of the intended equipment for the south coast sewerage system was already at the Bridgetown Port awaiting clearance.”

    They too have to wait like people picking up barrels?

    Where is the sense of urgency? SMH

  43. Valerie Knight
    Valerie Knight January 5, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    All these problems with the sewage system and those damm educated fools want money wasted on moving Nelson for the second time. I say get your priorities right.

  44. milli watt January 5, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    I got to admit this is enjoyable. I live with the stench of a dump, fires every now and again, mosquitoes. Nuisance and no coverage like this. I don’t have a business and I black so I suffer in silence and still suffering. I want it to flow because when it was built it had problems with labour, cost overruns, design issues (clearly) and no maintenance. This country has a lot to answer for especially the money that is taken from these projects without accountability to the taxpayers. The next crisis is the economy if all yuh tink dis is stress all yuh tink again.

  45. Jeff Klein January 5, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    I’m a disgusted tourist. My previous comments were not published. That’s okay. TripAdvisor will publish them.

  46. Pat Clarke January 5, 2018 at 4:37 pm


    One thing you have left out

    Cost of buying votes – $32 million

  47. Donild Trimp January 5, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Speaking on local radio this afternoon, Haigh said ======= “some of the intended equipment for the south coast sewerage system was already at the Bridgetown Port awaiting clearance.”

    Can someone please explain how Barbados reached this stage of backwardness and stupidity?

    You have a problem that is at the breaking point, soon to become a national crisis with dire circumstances and the public is being told that equipment to deal with this national crisis is awaiting clearance at the Bridgetown Port.

    Are you people serious? I do not blame this manager for making such a statement because it is the slackness and ineptitude of the Minister whose port folio this crisis falls under and the leadership of the DLP Government who cannot see past their noses, who are responsible for the delay in clearing this equipment from the port.

    I cannot support such slackness from a Gov’t who are asking the people of Barbados to elect them to another term.

    It is time for Barbadians to give someone else a chance to hold power in Barbados and to act the way a Gov’t should act, with common sense.

    It is impossible to believe that not one person in the entire DLP Gov’t could find a way to expedite the passage of this important equipment through the Bridgetown Port.

    I am sorry to say but the entire DLP Gov’t seems to be a bunch of stupid people.

    I cannot hold back my feelings about this one. Please demit office.

    • Belfast January 5, 2018 at 6:22 pm

      AKA. Your cheque is in the mail. Just another stalling tactic.


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