Canada issues travel advisory against Barbados due to sewage mess

Barbados has suffered its biggest tourism challenge yet as a result of the ongoing sewage mess on the island’s south coast, with Canada today issuing a travel advisory in light of the worrying issue.

The government in Ottawa, through the Public Health Agency of Canada, issued the safety and security warning this morning, advising its residents to avoid the affected area.

“The south coast of Barbados, between Hastings and St Lawrence areas is experiencing an overflow of raw sewage due to a mechanical breakdown. Avoid the affected area and follow the instructions of local authorities,” the statement on the travel and tourism section of the government’s website stated.

The tourism belt on the south coast has been plagued by the perennial sewage problems dating back more than a year.

The warning comes at a time when tourism officials here were salivating over the prospects of another record year in 2018, with Canada as a major contributor.

In an administrative report in mid-December last year, Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association Rudy Grant had announced that tourist arrivals from Canada had increased by 9.86 per cent up to October 2017 when compared with the same period in 2016.

And with 533,296 tourists visiting the island during the first ten months of the year, the country was on track to shatter last year’s record 610,000 arrivals, Grant said then.

However, the tourism belt on the south coast has been plagued by the perennial sewage problems dating back more than a year – Director of Gentle Breeze Apartments Jackquelynn Jones said on a Barbados TODAY blog three days ago that it has been happening “for more than three years, probably closer to five” – as raw faeces can often be seen floating on the road, particularly after heavy rainfall.

The leaks, which began sporadically, have reached crisis levels, according to the Barbados Water Authority, and has made it uncomfortable for residents and those traversing the area, as well as businesses and visitors.

And as tourists to the island turn to social media to air their concerns about the issue, many Barbadians have said it is a matter of time before the industry begins to see the effect.

While the Canadian authorities did not advise against travelling to Barbados, but simply to “take normal security precautions in Barbados”, industry officials and practitioners will fear that Canadians will interpreted it as an advisory against travel.

Local authorities will also be keeping an eye on other major markets like the United Kingdom and the United States, in the hope that they will not follow the Canada example.

37 Responses to Canada issues travel advisory against Barbados due to sewage mess

  1. John Everatt January 10, 2018 at 2:50 am

    What did this government expect? This is a tourist destination and to have sewage all over the roads for over 2 years was bound to attract the international attention it is getting now. It is not rocket science to figure that one out.

  2. harry turnover January 10, 2018 at 6:04 am

    ……and the Guvment wun resign fa RH. Governments ALL OVER THE WORLD resign for something far less than this but we got a PM saying that he intends to use up the 90 days after the 5 year term is up.

  3. Sheron Inniss January 10, 2018 at 7:01 am

    I have been playing my part. What about you? I have started posting on my Facebook page and elsewhere that the rest of Barbados is still good to go. Do yours as this gov’t playing the RH with us.

    • milli watt January 10, 2018 at 5:44 pm

      you got to be mekkin sport……….this place is a 2 by 1 place and you think the rest good to go stupse.

  4. Alex Alleyne January 10, 2018 at 8:44 am

    They will treat this warning just as they did with the many downgrades.

  5. Sue January 10, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Sorry to see that it is coming to this but what can you expect?? Have said it before but as a tourist from the U.S. we saw/smelled this last year near Graeme Hall and then again this year…….there it was again, bubbling up around Big B. The stench is horrific and the risk for disease is high. This is a public health issue, something your Prime Minister does not seem to understand. Have not read 1 word quoted to that man throughout this disaster.

  6. Peter Cusack January 10, 2018 at 9:50 am

    Why doesn’t the Water Authority just get the problem fixed.

    This should be no.1 priority for the Government otherwise tourism will decrease and so will the reputation of Barbados and so will the economy.

    The solution is very simple, fix the problem.

  7. Tafkag January 10, 2018 at 9:53 am

    To relieve the immediate problem of the sewerage system not being able to handle the current volume of sewage , and so overflowing into the road , why does the BWA not issue an advisory/request to customers in the affected areas to reduce the volume entering the system ? Why not apply the old saying : ” In this land of sea and sun , we never flush for number one ” .

  8. Brewster January 10, 2018 at 9:59 am

    This is so embarrassing, Barbados looking like a third world country. You would think the the Government/Water board would be on this so fast, if you consider the implications and health hazards for bajans and of course visitors, who will be unwilling to visit for this reason. If you add to the spiralling gun crime we knock it will effect the island. So so sad to see the way things are turning out there. Beautiful place and people SHAME on the GOVERNMENT!!!!! I am praying for Barbados

    • Sue January 10, 2018 at 10:23 am

      Brewster, As I have said before, we have been coming to Barbados since the Gap was a dirt road. We are very lucky that
      ( so far) where we stay has not been effected by the sewage but the fact that this is the 2nd year we have experienced this mess is really unbelievable.Yes, it does make Bim start to look like a 3rd world country and the crime is starting to make it look like Jamaica. So sad.

      • Carrie S January 10, 2018 at 11:36 am

        Where are you staying that has not been effected? I am booked to stay at the Blue Orchid Hotel on Worthing Beach in a few days. Can you honeslty tell me the sewage situation there? Thank you!

  9. Ossie Moore January 10, 2018 at 10:20 am

    Brewster says : ” This is so embarrassing, Barbados looking like a third world country “.

    Ossie : Well it certainly isn’t a 1st. or 2nd. world country ! ! !

  10. Ossie Moore January 10, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Just a few days ago St. Kitts was the only Caribbean destination
    selected as one of the ” 22 ‘hot spots ” named by BLOOMBERG from across the globe in it’s ” where to go in 2018″.

    St.Kitts one of the islands that bajans used to call “a low island “.

    It’s very strange to see now how what bajans used to call the ” low islands ” ( St.Kitts , Nevis , St.Lucia , St. Vincent etc ) are now all the ” high islands ” and “buh”bados is now the low crime ridden , sewage island.

    • David Brathwaite January 10, 2018 at 12:15 pm


      It is so painful to have to acknowledge this truth. We did not realize, even a few short years ago, that all it would take to drag us down would be an incompetent and indifferent government. It is not easy to get back to the top after we have fallen so far.

      But we have to start by electing a new government and then work day and night, step by step, to rebuild the image and status we once had and were so proud of.

  11. Bill Nicholson January 10, 2018 at 10:56 am

    All it will take is for one tourist to return home with cholera and you can turn the lights out on the south coast and half of the west
    coast. Please wake the PM up.

  12. Tom Brabenec January 10, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Kudos to all( Johnny Boyce and company). Job well done! Tell them Johnny , tell them it ain’t so, tell us everything will be alright. Right?

  13. Sue Donym January 10, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    That’s a pretty impressive brown splash in the accompanying photo. Now that the authorities are prepared to tackle the mess that has attracted the international advisory, perhaps they could manage the inconvenience of the potholes – another nail in the coffin of a dying administration.

  14. Helicopter(8P) January 10, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    The Eastern Sea Board of Barbados is now prime vacationing location on the island in the Sun, wishing only they were more places of entertainment, and local and exotic foods. The east coast is an environmentally and ecologically friendly region on the Atlantic coast of the island, with constant easterly sea breezes coming across the Atlantic for approximately 6000 nautical miles. A healthy environment it is quite frankly speaking. If visitors like reacting with locals this a a good location to do so. The local District F Royal Barbados Police station serves the area and there is a banking facility on location.

  15. Helicopter(8P) January 10, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Up North. Sunny with snow slush, dirty runoff water at the street curb, a hot and sweaty overcoat and jacket and expecting more snow at a latter date.

  16. luther thorne January 10, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Bound to Happen
    The Government of the Day MUST take the BLAME.

    Time to call Elections
    Fresh start needed

    Confidence needs to be restored

  17. luther thorne January 10, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Cant understand why the Prime Minister would not want to call Elections .He should support the idea of having the electorate exercise a new mandate. New mandate needed. Stale mandate at present. Be a Statesman Mr PM

  18. Belfast January 10, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    Have you noticed that all the relevant Ministers associated with the south coast problem have taken a back seat? Health, Water, Environment and Transport and Works.
    Do they still draw humongous salaries and allowances?

  19. Atman January 10, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Fundel want slapping in his face wid some of that sewage doah.

  20. luther thorne January 10, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    Bloody inept GOVT
    Cor Blimey
    Making Barbados POOR again
    Bringing Barbados shame again and again
    Call the Bloody elections and get a fresh mandate
    Why wait ?

    • straight talk January 10, 2018 at 7:06 pm

      Yes, call elections I want a change of government but not even a new government can solve that problem the same time it might be able to fix the problem temporarily but that will only be for a period of time the south coast need a new sewage plant.

  21. Lorenzo January 10, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    This situation is disgraceful,Heads should have rolled for this,as it has gone on far to0 long.Of course no one will be fired.Heard a Dem on thecall in programme stating that one of the reasons for the problem was heavy rain around Independence 2016,can you believe that,another said that the country is ding well since it has not defaulted on it,s debts and yet another told Mr Wickham that a statement Mr Wickham made had his mother feeling uneasy overseas.Really what about the people on the South Coast battling it every day.These persons are amazing,all about party not fellow bajans plight.

    caost experience the conditions every day

  22. milli watt January 10, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    If I could get de yankee an limey to follow suit would make my day.

  23. Sheron Inniss January 10, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    @ milli watt. A resounding YES. Up north is not like on the south coast for sure. Neither is the west coast. They may have their problems but it certainly is not sewage. If you do not know where the north and west coast is maybe you should take a bus ride.

  24. Helen Juanita Lynch January 10, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    @milli watt January 10, 2018 at 5:45 pm “If I could get de yankee…to follow suit would make my day.”

    Looks like one of your wishes has come true.

  25. Belfast January 11, 2018 at 12:22 am

    This government will always be remembered in the same vane that we will remember the south coast sewerage cock up.
    The PM and his S*** hounds Ministers must be very proud of diverting the course of Barbados from attaining First World Status, to becoming a full Turd World country long before he gets down to the wire.

  26. Belfast January 11, 2018 at 12:33 am

    The BWA is patting itself on the back because the manholes have not oozed today.
    By the time BWA finishes every residence, hotel and business along the South Coast will be taken off the system. Gives the term Load Shedding a new meaning.
    It’s back to Poes, wells and septic tanks. Just like the people in St Joseph with the water system, who had to revert to going to Mwansa’s version of the standpipe.

  27. Ralph W Talma January 11, 2018 at 3:58 am

    I said this would happen and I am so sorry for all those living/working in the area. Hope a solution will be found urgently. What a way to start the New Year.

  28. cleo sandi January 11, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    Britain, USA, Canada, and others; warning their national’s.This could be the start of a boycott, to this beautiful place, called home.
    To those in charge, you muppets!!! You have buried your only industry, because of your lazy stubborn and clueless attitude, your constant 24 hour wearing of blinker’s, you did not see or listen to prior warning’s, to collectively get your act together, and fix the problem’s that are on most tourist’s and local’s alike lip’s. (Sewage) Now that the Doo Doo has hit the fan, meaning that in the nicest possible way, what’s next Batman?

  29. Ossie Moore January 11, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Fellas can’t pitch de ling now too much yard wok to do!

  30. Dick Stoute January 11, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    I can’t find this advisory on the Canadian government website.

    could someone publish the link? With so much false news going down these days we should check that this is not false news.

  31. Ed Mellor January 11, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    As a Canadian who dearly loves Barbados, I must say this issue would keep our family from travelling to Barbados until this issue is taken care of. When we go we stay at a hotel on the beach in Hastings and we always have the best time and love the people of Barbados. I have personally been on the wrong end of a bacterial infection (NOT acquired in Barbados) which nearly took my life and I would not risk another infection. That said we will wait patiently for a lasting fix to the problem so we can return to Beautiful Barbados. Hopefully it won’t take too long.

  32. Don Hill January 12, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Being a spectator on this issue and a tourist to your lovely island come March, I have a few questions. I have been in the Water Treatment Industry for many years and have seen many issues come and go. When the government said they have bi-passed the blockages, have they dug a new temporary drainage line? All indications from witness reports say no. That means they probably have diverted the sewage overflow into the run off sluices which dump into the Ocean. Thus the problems at Rockley and Worthington Beaches. Now with the diverted lines, this means all the crap is being dumped untreated into the Graeme’s Hall Sanctuary and then out to sea. That in itself is criminal. No wonder there have been reports of gastrointestinal illness. I feel that the blockage issue is a symptom not a root cause. The root cause is an overtaxed treatment facility which only removes the suspended solids and then sends all the rest into Graeme’s Hall Septic Sanctuary!

    Paul Watson from the Sea Shepard would just love to hear this.
    We need to wake up before its too late and the Oceans of our world are gone for good.

    “Just saying”


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