Sewage crisis in Barbados

Sewage outfall. Image credit: Steve Spring | Marine Photobank
Water and sanitation

Coverage from Global Voices of ongoing sewage problems in Barbados:

The unthinkable has happened to one of the Caribbean’s most popular destinations — and it has struck at the height of tourist season. 2018 began with a sewage leak — which the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) called a “crisis” — seeping across parts of the island’s popular south coast.

The incident has already caused a slew of problems in the country: Residents have had to move to more hospitable areas, many south coast-based businesses have closed, visitors to the island have complained about contracting gastroenteritis, and the tourist-friendly destination has endured unfavourable reviews on travel websites.

The whole mess has been made worse by the fact that some experts saw it coming. In January 2017, anonymous BWA officials told Barbados Today that the country’s waste system was on the verge of collapse. These same BWA officials also confirmed allegations by Mia Mottley, the country’s opposition leader, that the government had turned down offers to finance the rehabilitation of faulty diffusers and the construction of a proper sewage system for the west coast.

With regard to the south coast, which is the location of the current effluent leak, the source said, “How can you be building hotels on the south coast and in Bridgetown [the capital] when the entire Bridgetown and south coast sewage plants are outdated and dilapidated? These plants need urgent attention.”

Check out the full Global Voices article for more information, including more links and information about citizens’ responses to the issue.


[Image credit: Steve Spring | Marine Photobank]

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