Don’t close the south coast, business owners say

Businesses on the sewage plagued south coast have rejected a call for the area to be shut down in order to fix the problem.

Those operating from Lanterns Mall in Hastings, Christ Church, one of the worst affected by the constant flow of sewage, admitted the spill was problematic.

However, many of them, including Tabari St Ville, a sales representative at Play game store, said a shutdown would be catastrophic.

“For us to shut down that would not be a very good solution,” St Ville told Barbados TODAY.

“It would be inconveniencing a lot of people. Not only the people whose livelihood is in this mall and around this area, people who come and get their items from us. That is not the correct solution,” he said.

“This is how we get work on the table. Not everyone has a Plan B, not everyone has a second job. You are taking away our only job and telling us to hold on until you fix something you claimed to have fixed already. It will hit a lot of people really hard, especially those who depend on us to get their products. That is a huge problem,” the sales representative added.

It was on Tuesday that Senior Lecturer in Management Science at the University of the West Indies Dr Dwayne Devonish quoted unnamed senior officials of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) as expressing the view that “you would have to shut down the south coast” in order to end the sewage crisis.

And in making a case for people who work in the affected area, Devonish appeared to support this conclusion.

“That would mean hotels, restaurants, what we call the most active parts of the south coast. But here is the thing, a politician might not like that . . . a business owner might not like that because that is money out of pocket and there is no guarantee that I am going to be compensated afterwards,” he told participants attending the second day of the 2018 Week of Productivity seminar at Solidarity House.

“But you are not hearing the discussion or narrative about the workers. What about the workers? Yes, to be fair, if you have to shut down for a few months it would mean clearly that you as a worker you wouldn’t have employment and we know the seasonality of tourism. But at the same time what about the health risks? I am not hearing that. What about things like cholera, what about gastro? So environmental health becomes a central priority . . . . This is a critical point that we cannot ignore,” the UWI lecturer added.

Lisa Harris, the owner of The Party Club accessory shop is one of the business leaders who do not like the idea.

Lisa Harris and Tabari St Ville

Harris said despite the overpowering stench, customers were still patronizing her store.

“So far I only had a complaint from one customer who was asking for delivery because of where we are located, but my customers aren’t badly affected. People are still coming to the mall,” she stressed.

“I do not believe that it is in the country’s best interest to close down the businesses on the south coast. At the end of the day businesses still have to make money and operate. If we have to shut down I will be directly affected.”

The impact of the ongoing spill was explained by one merchant who requested anonymity.

He told Barbados TODAY with sewage “literally right in front of the entrance of the mall” motorists were avoiding the area altogether “so where we would have an influx of people coming the scent is putting a damper on sales tremendously.

“I hope I won’t have to close down. I would prefer that Government moves hastily to rectify the problem. I think that would be better for everyone.”

Extremely hard hit by the sewage flow are food establishments, as locals and visitors alike become increasing apprehensive about patronizing those businesses.

Supervisor at Urban Kitchen Carissa King told Barbados TODAY her business has taken a financial hit because of a major decline in the number of patrons.

“The sewage has been affecting us tremendously. When you looking in terms of finances, we are losing in a major way and it is worse on weekends. If the businesses have to close down our employees will be out of work. We won’t want anyone to go home,” she said.

However, not everyone is opposed to the idea of a shutdown.

Over at Terodo’s Bajan Cuisine employee Monica Bovell said she was willing to take a temporary financial hit if this meant the problem would be resolved.

“The sewage is ridiculous. Right now it is lunchtime and we aren’t getting enough traffic as is the custom. I don’t know what will happen, but soon we will have to shut shop. If we were to stop work and they could fix the problem, it may be a good thing. If it would benefit me and I had to go home so it can be fix, I would,” Bovell said.

This afternoon, Opposition Leader Mia Mottley announced that a Barbados Labour Party administration would close food businesses operating in the area to try to get to the bottom of the sewage spill.

However, she said workers would be compensated, although she did not say where the money would come from.

24 Responses to Don’t close the south coast, business owners say

  1. Nick March 1, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    Money is not more important than health. Stop being so selfish.

  2. Saga Boy March 2, 2018 at 12:39 am

    Nick, who is getting sick? The MOH has been monitoring the situation and training has been conducted.

    • harry turnover March 2, 2018 at 7:49 am

      Why you doan go up dey and camp out to prove it.The MOH can stop anybody from getting sick..ya FIDIOT ?

    • hcalndre March 2, 2018 at 1:11 pm

      @Saga Boy; only you and some like you would believe that its no problem to work and do business in s—-t. Only in third world countries that this area would not be shut down and lawyers would be knocking on the owners` doors to have them compensated but bajans are so docile that what they can take with a smile others would be blue vex.

  3. Ralph W Talma March 2, 2018 at 2:53 am

    Are we waiting for the QEH to become full of very sick people before we take the appropriate action? A stich in time saves nine.

    • kk March 2, 2018 at 10:24 am

      Is all i saying!!! Q.E.H done got a million incompetent workers flowing thru um too so i won’t even be passing in the south of the island.

  4. Betty charles March 2, 2018 at 4:28 am

    Saga boy the 36 people that contracted gastroenteritis in December, the almighty dollar is not everything

  5. Saga Boy March 2, 2018 at 7:22 am

    Ralph and Betty the gastroenteritis was a localized situation. According to press reports the epidemiological investigation conducted by the Ministry of Health into the gastroenteritis outbreak on the south coast concluded that the outbreak was “a localised food-borne disease outbreak at a specific food business house. Stop being an alarmist. The QEH is not full of sick people as a result of the situation on the south coast. It s an awful situation but this is not time to politicize this issue.

    • kk March 2, 2018 at 10:26 am

      wait boh!!! D press become judge, jury and executioner. WOW my fellow bajans, y’all have a lot of confidence in these “I want everything for myself entities that stirring in BULLBADOS!!! HUH!!! get thru!!!

  6. Greengiant March 2, 2018 at 7:49 am

    The gastroenteritis in December was not related to the sewage problem, and this was made clear. If that was the case we would have an epidemic on our hands.

    The business community doesn’t want to close, the government doesn’t want to close, the opposition never mentioned closing either. Two persons, Adrian ‘do nothing’ Donovan and the U W I’s Dwayne Devonish. Now we know ‘Do nothing’ is an operative, but what about Devonish? The young people who have their life investments on the south coast are prepared to ride it out, only our generation with our ‘ all pride, little productivity and no industry’ are talking about closing. Once people take the precautions they should, everyone will be safe until the problem is fixed.

  7. Angela March 2, 2018 at 7:52 am

    Betty since those 36 who else got sick and it was proven that the spill was the cause?

    • kk March 2, 2018 at 10:31 am

      i would like y’all to know just how Harrison College and Combermere is only the names of the buildings, water authority and q.e.h is buildings tho, buildings don’t have good names nor can they do anything to help a human. And ….. the homosapiens that operating in them is (majority) vanity-whores.

      and before any intelligent homosapien comment that harrisons and combermere is schools yes idiots and the schools are buildings.

  8. harry turnover March 2, 2018 at 8:02 am

    As though the BARBADOS MINISTRY OF HEALTH were ever going to say that it was as a result of the SEWAGE STINK.
    Did it ever occur to yard fowls like the two a wunna that it could also have been possible that that outbreak was ALWAYS going to be deem ‘ LOCALIZED ‘
    Looks as though persons may have been INDEED trying their UTMOST best to COVER UP THOSE OVER FLOWING SEWAGE MANHOLES problems and their effects

  9. kathy-Ann Clarke March 2, 2018 at 8:28 am

    If I had my business up there, I wouldn’t want to close either, because of the way this economy is, who would want to be “Unemployed” at this time.
    But in another breath, business has declined, patrons are not coming out as before, so, to be quite honest, I still think I would prefer for the road to be closed and the problem fixed in a timely manner.
    I sympathized with those businesses up there
    I avoid that area at all cost.
    Too stink.

  10. kk March 2, 2018 at 10:04 am

    Lisa Harris, you did always backward from school days.

  11. jrsmith March 2, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    Since the sewage problem in the southern area , this matter should have been fixed , anything can be fixed if they are people clever enough to do so………
    Look at the real concern shown by the Barbados politicians , none what so ever……
    My take the government has done nothing to help the bajan black masses and if they are thinking the people is not going to vote for them , in the coming elections , why do anything they are a bunch of wankers anyway, take they bat and ball and go home that’s the attitude……….

  12. Alex Alleyne March 2, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    If the powers that be had took the sewage mess seriously from day one, I do believe that the problem would have been under control by now. If any business is closed Government should pay the Owners for ever day of closure.
    Health & Tourism Ministers should be put out of office by the voters for not doing what they are being paid to do.

  13. Reg March 2, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    In order to fix a sewage system it has to be shut down and the water turned off. There is no way to get around that fact.
    Before it is shut down a bypass line is installed or septic tanks are provided until the problem is fixed.

  14. David Brathwaite March 2, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Anyone wanting to know what transpired should listen to the press briefing for themselves.

    Here is the link:

    Why is Barbados Today saying that the suggestion was to shut down the south coast? They put up a straw man and the beat it to death.

  15. Belfast March 2, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    So long as these business people in the south can scoop money into their pockets they could not give a damn about the health hazard posed to their customers and others. Wealth takes precedence over Health. Bloody vultures.

  16. Joe March 2, 2018 at 10:36 pm

    The implications of that mess the country haven’t face it yet let’s look at it, we all drove in it then walk in it take it into our cars and then to our homes ,and when we do it long enough then we will feel the results

  17. nanci March 3, 2018 at 7:01 am

    where is the restaurants and hotels using their water from, the water up there is not good for drinking or cooking. How come this problem is so big, that means the problem was there for a long time but no one ever addressed it.

  18. archy perch March 3, 2018 at 9:07 am

    As was stated yesterday in Parliament by Dr. David Estwick the facts will be disclosed in due course about the sewage problem.
    The crooked Barbados Labour Party PR Committee is way out front with their propaganda. But their party is the one that built the flawed project. That fact will never change and the lies will be buried. The bell will soon ring. Heart specialists are on standby as well as the ambulances. I don’t expect any BLP yardfowls/ducks to show up at he QEH for treatment, because they say the service there is so bad, Barbados is like Haiti.

  19. ks March 5, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Yeah….. we are saved!!! Barbados has been saved….. read article on BBC website: ” The straw that let’s you drink sewage”!!! ….


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