Stuart says sewage issues not unique to Barbados

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is making it clear that Barbados is not entitled to any exemptions from issues such as the sewage spill on the island’s south coast.

Therefore, Stuart suggested to party supporters at a meeting of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) St George South branch at Ellerton Primary School last night, the uproar over the crisis was misplaced.

There has been growing anxiety over the possible impact of the ongoing spill, particularly in the wake of travel advisories issued by Canada, the United Kingdom and United States, warning their citizens visiting Barbados to “take normal security precautions” while here.

The US further advised Americans to “avoid water activities in the affected areas” on the south coast between St Lawrence Gap and Hastings, and to “beware of sewage on the street”, and it issued a health alert last Thursday, warning that the tap water in the affected area was not fit for consumption.

However, Stuart told party faithful while many of the visitors to Barbados were no strangers to sewage problems in their own countries, Government critics here were trying to imply that Barbados ought not to experience similar issues.

“They give the impression that the visitors that come here are hearing about sewage treatment problems for the fist time, that they never heard about it any time in their lives before they came to Barbados. These things are routine and the Government of Barbados have been working around the clock to deal with that challenge.

“So we have a problem, a problem not unlike what was going on in Toronto, Canada not too long ago, a problem not unlike what is going in Fort Lauderdale, [Florida], a problem not unlike what is going on London, but you have some elements here in Barbados who like to give the impression that Barbados enjoys some special dispensation and that things could happen in any other part of the world but they shouldn’t happen here,” the Prime Minister said.

Seeking to dispel claims that it was his administration’s failure to maintain the plant which inevitably led to the worsening mess on the south coast, Stuart said that experts in the field had advised that no amount of precautions could prevent failures in the system from time to time.

“Sewage treatment plants will fail. They will fail from time to time and they will have problems from time to time. So there aren’t any precautions that you can take to create any perfect situation with any sewage treatment plant. [The experts said] ‘I did them in Canada and Jamaica and all over the place’ and the reality is that they will fail because human beings are working them,” Stuart said.

The ‘we are not alone’ theme was also echoed by DLP candidate for St Joseph Denis Holder, who took issue with Washington over the recent advisory.

Holder told the DLP meeting the US should first look in the mirror before attempting to speak on the issues affecting Barbados.

“You would think that these countries don’t have problems when it comes to sewage. Fort Lauderdale had sewage flowing about in their streets and their government had to take $200 million to address it. New York City had their issue with sewage, and they would have you think that little Barbados that is doing so well and is experiencing a problem in an isolated area, is having the problem all over. It is only on the south coast, a segment of the south coast . . . but they have taken it and blown it out of proportion,” Holder said.

Meantime, as the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) struggles to cope with the ongoing sewage overflows on the south coast, it has now decided to dig fresh injection wells in yet another attempt to stop the effluent from rising to the surface.

General Manager Keithroy Halliday said tonight the sinking of the wells should give the BWA time to repair effluent lines, construct a permanent bypass, or put in a permanent inflow line, which is the most likely option.

He said the recent connection of the south coast and Bridgetown systems was holding up well, but because of the age of the Bridgetown Sewerage Treatment Plant, it was being closely monitored to ensure that the additional supply of effluent did not cause any problems.

In the wake of last week’s alert by the United States embassy advising that the tap water was unfit for consumption, the BWA boss also reiterated that the quality of this island’s drinking water was safe, pointing out that the World Health Organization (WHO) has had no issues with the water quality.

He explained that 50 water samples were taken each week, far more than the eight mandated by the WHO, and the Environmental Protection Department had independently conducted 100 over several weeks.

34 Responses to Stuart says sewage issues not unique to Barbados

  1. John Everatt January 29, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    We have heard all this before. Dennis Lowe not too long ago told us that the streets of NY were littered with garbage so Barbados should not be concerned over garbage all over the streets. Fumbles is now using the same tactic to tell us that Toronto and Fort Lauderdale also had sewage on the road. So we should all feel good about having sewage flooding our south coast tourist belt. Maybe Donald Trump was referring to Barbados when he recently commented on Haiti and other countries in Africa.

    And Kellman is telling us that the water advisory by the US is good news because it means that our water from the tap was once good to drink.

  2. Sue January 29, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    This is almost unbelievable. I live in the U.S. and am a tourist to Barbados each year. While there may be instances that arise where a community in the U.S. might have a sewage problem I can assure you you will find NOwhere in this country that would let sewage run in the streets for over 1 year. The public health issue alone would bring a quick solution to the problem AND the work would be done 24/7 until resolved.Twenty four hours a day and seven days a week, that’s what would be done. I am so sorry for Barbadians having to put up with this. At this stage I must say I do not hold your PM in a very good light. Sad,sad.

    • hcalndre January 30, 2018 at 8:25 am

      @Sue; If the cause were the fault of any one from the top to bottom would be fired. Stewart always making comparisons with the US., why don`t he ever say that the US jail politicians for taking bribes, dishonesty, stealing, misappropriating of funds, tax evasion etc. and keeps an eye on them and the shady characters that they`re associated with.

    • Spectre January 30, 2018 at 8:28 am

      100% agreed

  3. Alex Alleyne January 29, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    Dear PM, along with your brain and Kelly own too.

  4. Keen Observer January 29, 2018 at 11:54 pm

    Nonsense sue, do you ever go into the ghetto

    • hcalndre January 30, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      @Keen Observer; where is this ghetto you visited, were you in Europe? I`m not sure that you know to catch a train going uptown or downtown in NYC.

    • Buun January 30, 2018 at 4:20 pm

      So this justify having sewage on the streets of Barbados for two years?

      I can see they wasted free education on you as a Keen Observer.

  5. Mark Rosmar January 30, 2018 at 4:14 am

    Sewage crisis in London. Yes temporary and quickly fixed. Additionally tourists don’t come to London in order to swim in the Thames!

  6. Tony Webster January 30, 2018 at 6:10 am

    Yawn…”Sewage treatment plants will fail”….yes Sar…just like “Into every life some rain will fall”…Desperate Central Banks will ‘print money'”; and particularly “Political parties will fail”….YAWN…

    I much prefer the Good Book’s lesson on what happened on the Road to Damascus. Get a grip, Sar.

  7. harry turnover January 30, 2018 at 7:17 am

    Can’t believe that a PRIME Minister would get up and talk that roll,but see who he talking that SH8 to …PARTY SUPPORTERS …who no doubt got up and applaud that mess
    Rubbing SH8 in DEM faces and DEM skinning da teet and clapping…good fa wunna.

  8. Samuel Clemens January 30, 2018 at 7:36 am

    Too often we seek to pass on responsibility for our actions and failures by pointing fingers at others. I thank the PM for showing me this failure in myself so that I can attempt to do better.

  9. Peter Thompson January 30, 2018 at 8:11 am

    Yes Mr. Stuart, utter government incompetence is not unique to Barbados, but that does not mean you should brag about your abject failure.

  10. Bunn January 30, 2018 at 8:39 am

    Stuart told party faithful while many of the visitors to Barbados were no strangers to sewage problems in their own countries, Government critics here were trying to imply that Barbados ought not to experience similar issues.

    Remember this, this is our commander in chief in the year 2017 with words of wisdom to Barbadians when jobby is flowing on the street in Hasting and surrounding areas for the past two years.

    The Jobby Leader of wisdom!

  11. Bunn January 30, 2018 at 8:41 am

    Stuart told party faithful while many of the visitors to Barbados were no strangers to sewage problems in their own countries, Government critics here were trying to imply that Barbados ought not to experience similar issues.

    Remember this, this is our commander in chief in the year 2018 with words of wisdom to Barbadians when jobby is flowing on the street in Hasting and surrounding areas for the past two years.

    The Jobby Leader of wisdom!

  12. Clyde Thompson January 30, 2018 at 9:42 am

    Sure the “leakage” is not unique to Barbados but it’s not a bragging point.
    There was an untreated sewage “spill” into the Connecticut river (USA) killing fish in the river last October.
    You Mr. Prime Minister should point out the urgency to clean and rectify the “spillage” rather than boasting on how unique the spillage is or is not.
    Tell us how you are about to clean up the mess, it is said that the sewage system is in meltdown, do you know or realize what the consequences are of untreated sewage leaking into the ocean far more the community, this is catastrophic and should be cleaned up immediately.
    The first fix for the spillage correction is to decapitate the management of the BWA all of them must go, for reason of negligence and failure to maintain and/or implement a significant preventative maintenance program.
    This has been an ongoing problem for several years with no resolution in sight, this is not a matter for you Mr. Prime Minister to claim fame of how unique this situation is to Barbados, you need preach resolving the “BIG PROBLEM”.

  13. archy perch January 30, 2018 at 9:43 am
    Eat humble pie BLP yardfowls and ducks. You should be ashamed of yourselves by basking with glee at the move by the USA Embassy in Barbados, questioning our water.
    Go try drinking the water from a tap over in the land of Satan if you dare. I WILL NEVER PUT DOWN MY COUNTRY OF BIRTH, or let anyone else do it either……NOT ME.
    Shame on your heads, all of you.

    • Clyde Thompson January 30, 2018 at 10:46 am

      Sorry archy but if this report wasn’t made public, we Bajans would have been keep in the dark about the “true” circumstances of the sewage leakage, this is not a matter of putting down your country but a matter of treating a “sore” (lame foot) or cleaning a “s**t hole” to avoid becoming a s**t hole country.
      The US embassy has all rights to question the quality of water that they have to consume.

    • The Truth January 30, 2018 at 11:57 am

      you so full of GOAT.. it’s amusing

    • Buun January 30, 2018 at 4:11 pm

      It is not about our country Archy, it about solving a problem that has been around for two year and to hear these excuses from the PM. Why should we not voice our concerns because we are educated?.

    • Ralph Greene January 30, 2018 at 6:24 pm

      I WILL NEVER PUT DOWN MY COUNTRY OF BIRTH………………Archy Perch. You already did for supporting a bunch of incompetents parliamentary idlers. That leading our country down the drain by the second.

  14. John Walmark January 30, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Plain and simple Mr Prime Minister….
    Identify the problem,,,,,,
    Tell everyone how it will be corrected..
    And finally ,,, tell us when it will be fixed…..
    There has been sewage flowing into sea and the streets for over a year….. I know because we were there last dec when the Worthing Beach was closed after the swim photo opportunity by two of your ministers ….
    As ians ,,,,, we have spent 20 years visiting B’dos and love the people ,,, the food, over the 20 years ,,, we’ve probably spent over 200,000 on the island ,,, we’ve always stayed on south coast,,, we were invited to meet with former prime minister….
    we were told and were proud to be Ambassadors for this wonderful island …
    Sadly to say ,,,,, not anymore ..and I know we are not alone … until you fix this crisis to health ….
    The ball is in your court so to speak
    I sent you a letter last Dec 2016…. never got a reply …
    Would like to hear from you .

  15. Donild Trimp January 30, 2018 at 10:35 am

    Wait a minute Mr. Prime Minister, your statement about Toronto is not accurate.

    The Toronto incident was an intentional dump of partially treated sewage into Lake Ontario to alleviate the workload on the sewage plants due to the run off of water from heavy rainfall.

    Please read the report about Toronto from the link below.

    • Clyde Thompson January 30, 2018 at 11:00 am

      Please also let the PM know that this was partially treated water unlike the untreated leakage that Barbados is experiencing.

  16. Roverp January 30, 2018 at 10:37 am

    The PM loves excuses as well as blaming others and not taking RESPONSIBILITY. Parties also fail and this DLP party FAILED big over the past ten years.

  17. Richard Johnston January 30, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Lots of third-world countries have the same problem, all right.

  18. hcalndre January 30, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Can one imagine swimming in that Worthing beach area and s—– floating all in your face, the idea of emptying the s—- in the sea is not something I like.

  19. luther thorne January 30, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    January 30, 2018 at 10:37 am
    The PM loves excuses as well as blaming others and not taking RESPONSIBILITY. Parties also fail and this DLP party FAILED big over the past ten years.

    THE DLP HAS FAIILED eversince 1971
    1971 -76 = FAIL
    1986- 1991= FAil
    1991 – 1994 – Epic FAIL

    2008 -2013 – FAIL
    2013- 2018 – Monstrous FAIL

    2018 – DISBAND and Disappear

  20. Ossie Moore January 30, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    “Buh John where did you dig dah name Fumbles from? Dah was from back in de 70’s when de fellas give e dah one at de domino table.”

  21. M.D.M. January 30, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    Mr. P.M. is this for real? Stop the nonsense and give us a timetable of when this will be fixed. All we have got are excuses, reasons of failure and little or poor communication.

    Having lived in London, yes – sewage is a problem. However, as someone above said, people don’t go London to swim in the river. Nor is it on the continual scale as is happening here. You should see the problems they overcome.

    This sewage issue spans over both political parties – built with issues under the BLP and it was a serious failure of maintenance under the DLP. We need a cultural shift to get this right. It is beyond unacceptable for this over-spill to have continued this long.

  22. josh January 30, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    Wow, wow, wow. I cannot imagine any other country in the world with a sensible government who would seek to downplay the public health crisis that has been occurring on the South Coast of Barbados for the past two years. Any sensible PM would be apologising to the tourists (who are for all intents and purposes the country’s bread and butter) and the citizens rather than patronising them with foolish, non-comparable arguments.

    The PM needs to realise that given the 20 plus downgrades and the state of the economy, Barbados needs tourists and their money more than the tourists need Barbados. Sewage on the streets of Barbados’ most popular tourist area is not a matter for flippancy and dismissal but a real health concern for tourists and locals alike. The problem is real and a health disaster waiting to happen. The South Coast road stinks, how people can eat there is beyond me. The PM and his ministers need to stop treating people like idiots and address the problem, as its real and the government are making Trump look honest and statesman like which is really concerning.

  23. Dave January 30, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    You folks in Barbados deserve a PM who will solve the problem, and not make a mockery of this disaster. We will be visiting you in 2 weeks, however if we had known of this issue sooner we would have gone elsewhere.

    Word is spreading quickly in the US about this problem, and tourists are going to other islands.

    Time for a new PM!

    Dave in New Hampshire

  24. Carmeta January 31, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Barbados is a small island ,NYC has trains ,buses a whole lot of transportation up and down the streets 24/7 Barbadians deserves this problem to be fix ASAP no excuses and stop comparing us to nyc and Canada ,what are we going to do when the tourists stop coming to barbados because the PM is behaving like this problem can’t be fix , yes this sewage problem can be fix so fix it Mr PM.

  25. Chris L February 1, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    It occurs to me that if the “spillage” had been in the Holetown area, and there was effluent on the greens at Sandy Lane golf course, this problem would have been fixed years ago. Seems the government of Barbados holds residents and visitors to the South Coast in contempt.


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