Bad for business

South coast operators react to US, UK and Canada sewage advisories

Operators along the embattled south coast are concerned that the three advisories issued this week by Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, will spell more bad news for their businesses which are already reeling from a year-long sewage stench.

Earlier this week, Canada and the United States issued warnings to their citizens to “avoid waters in the affected areas” between St Lawrence Gap and Hastings and to “beware of sewage on the streets”.

Today, the British government followed suit, telling its nationals that “certain areas of the south coast are experiencing breakdowns of sewage pipes.

“Leakages are occurring; you should avoid coming into direct contact with raw sewage and normal hygiene precautions should be followed,” the UK government’s statement read.

Amid the advisories, street vendor Sadè Douglas, who operates out of St Lawrence Gap, told Barbados TODAY the development was definitely bad for business.

Vendor Sadè Douglas is demanding an urgent fix to the south coast sewage problem.

In fact, she was very concerned that some visitors were already saying that they were going to change their flights from Barbados to other Caribbean countries.

Douglas also said she had received reports of visitors who had cancelled their travel plans completely.

She also told Barbados TODAY that she had heard first-hand some tourists saying that they would not be returning to Barbados because of the ongoing sewage leaks.

While demanding an urgent fix, the businesswoman suggested that Government should use its earnings from the National
Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) to ameliorate the situation.

“The Government needs to take the taxes they have taken from us, actually the NSRL that was put in place to maintain the place and actually maintain the place,” she said.

Laura Galt, food and beverage director of Lucky Horseshoe, also called for immediate action on the part of Government.

Laura Galt says business will drop further following the latest travel advisories.

She explained that with business already on the decline since last November, the latest travel alerts were simply bad news.

“As it is our business has dropped off since like November and it has not been as busy as we normally are and I expect that with the travel advisories our business will drop [further],” Galt said.

Amid the ongoing sewage problem and 35 suspected cases of gastroenteritis in the area, there have been calls for the temporary closure of food establishments along the south coast, with the spokesman for the south coast residents and community activist Adrian Donavan suggesting two weeks ago that the sight of faeces bubbling at the doorstep of restaurants was akin to “selling food from a portable toilet”.

However, Galt said her company has not been as badly affected by the sewage problem as the neighbouring Chicken Barn, which was recently forced to close its doors.

“We still do get a pungent odour that affects the customers and the staff in the restaurant as the wind blows in our direction [but] in-house, we have taken steps to accommodate customers in the upstairs lounge if it is needed,” she said, adding that the Barbados Water Authority has been assisting the food outlet in ensuring that the area was kept clean.

However, Galt remains anxious for the sewage problem to be resolved.

“They [Government] need to fix it. They need to come out and show that they are trying to get it fixed because it has been plaguing us for over a year. Now it [has] come to the top, it can’t go any further. It has to be dealt with,” she said, adding “I hope they didn’t wait until too late.”

While agreeing with Galt, Manager of Stream Restaurant and Bar Monica Boland said her business had also been adversely affected by the sewage mess.

“Obviously we have seen a decline. We have checked our numbers . . . and I know there are people not coming here because of the smell,” she said while calling on Government to come clean on what has been happening.

“I think they need to give out some form of advisory on what is happening because no one has come out and said this is what is happening or this is what we are doing to rectify it,” she said, while suggesting that the Ministry of Health also needed to be more actively involved in the process.

13 Responses to Bad for business

  1. John Everatt January 12, 2018 at 12:19 am

    Actually it IS too late. The damage has already been done. I wonder what would have happened if this had been the fault of one of the businesses along the south coast road instead of the BWA. I tend to think this mess would have been stopped immediately years ago. But — since the BWA is government corporation that is at fault the government has simply ignored it.

  2. Bwanarz January 12, 2018 at 6:48 am

    Many people need to be fired immediately over this total and utter embarrassment!!!!!

  3. Ralph w Talma January 12, 2018 at 7:44 am

    Enough is enough. Could the threat of a class action court case be a way of waking up the Government?

  4. Jacqui Hodges
    Jacqui Hodges January 12, 2018 at 8:25 am

    Such a sad state of affairs. The local people have been ignored, the businesses and potentially the health of all the people in the area and visiting the area has been put at risk. When will somebody take ownership? When will the plan that has been talked about for so long be shared? And when will somebody take some action to resolve the problem?

  5. Richard Johnston January 12, 2018 at 9:08 am

    Wait till somebody dies.

  6. Reg January 12, 2018 at 10:58 am

    The engineers working on the sewer system would have known within a short period of time why the system was malfunctioning.
    The question is, why is it taking so long to be fixed?
    The main reasons sewage systems fail are, blockage, overcapacity, poor maintenance and inadequate pumps. I have a feeling that the failure is a combination of all of them.
    Let us hope that it is fixed soon.

  7. Carson C. Cadogan January 12, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Part of an interesting article a friend emailed me from England:

    “”Raw sewage ‘flowing into rivers across England and Wales'””

    Raw sewage is flowing into rivers at thousands of sites across England and Wales, a report has warned, harming wildlife and putting human health at risk.

    The total amount of raw sewage intentionally being put into rivers is unknown, which is a “huge concern”, according to conservation group WWF, which produced the analysis. The available data suggests that more than half of overflow sites spill sewage into rivers at least once a month and 14% at least once a week.

    WWF argued this is far more frequently than allowed under regulations that permit overflows only at times of unusually heavy rainfall, when treatment works cannot cope.

    The report also said the number of reported sewage pollution incidents, including failures at sewage treatment plants, rose in 2016 for the first time since 2012. Furthermore, only 14% of rivers in England have “good” ecological status, which reflects both sewage and farm pollution and low water levels, compared with 27% in 2010.

    • Sue January 12, 2018 at 8:39 pm

      Your comment seems a desperate attempt to save face for the current administration. Sewage is not running through the streets of other countries in the manner you describe. And, in reality, it would have no bearing on the Barbados situation. This is about sewage that has been leaking for over a year. Businesses are being effected. Citizens are being effected and some are made ill from this. I am witness to this runoff in Dec. of 2016 and again in Dec. of 2017. To have your Prime Minister suggest that the country is “not perfect” offers nothing in the way of problem solution. Very sad.

  8. Tony Webster January 12, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    @Carson: is this really your best shot? Never heard that home sewers stink louder than uthuh drums?

  9. milli watt January 12, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    USA got TRUMP and we got the DLP and very soon the BLP……you could not want more comedy than this.

  10. Belfast January 12, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    The way I see the Prime Minister laughing like a Cheshire cat, talking and taking selfies with visitors at Illaro Court, you would not think that we had what amount to 3 more downgrades by the British, American and Canadian governments.
    President Trump sure got it right, in terms of Barbados when he made the reference to S***Hole countries.
    To echo the words of a Guyanese Engineer working as a labourer in Barbados.” Look what the RH (I) we have come to !”.

  11. Jus me January 13, 2018 at 7:09 am

    Trump is proved to be correct!!

    Just a small aside.
    When the human smelling function operates it also
    Incorporates taste.
    So the person tastes as well as smells.

    Restaurantes are even Allowed to function.!!??

  12. Jus me January 13, 2018 at 7:12 am

    You putting out more than a South Coast drain.


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