Tuesday 7 April, 2020

BHTA troubled by sewage plant operations, South Coast issues

The Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) is deeply concerned by reports of sewage on the south coast as well as the operation of the South Coast Sewage Treatment Plant. 

This matter concerns us not only from the perspective of the impact on the tourism industry but also as it relates to the welfare and well-being of Barbadians and visitors. There is a need for an immediate short-term remedy and a plan to ensure that this situation is not exacerbated.

This came from CEO Rudy Grant.

In a press statement issued today, he added:
"Equally as important is a remedial plan to clean the streets as soon as possible after these spills and the communication of this information to residents and businesses. There is also a need for a medium to long term-plan to effectively deal with any reoccurrence."

Shedding light on the situation which has many South Coast business owners crying 'foul', he said that the BHTA has not been neglecting the issue.

He said that the BHTA has held discussions with the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) "and we are prepared to work with them to assist in a resolution to this unacceptable situation. This problem has the potential to negatively impact `Brand Barbados` and cost millions of dollars in visitor receipts if it becomes a subject of concern in our source markets. While this is not the situation today, if this issue is not effectively dealt with as a matter of urgency the potential to negatively impact tourism exists.

"While the BWA continues to dialogue with us and reply to concerns from our members, the problem continues to persist."

Loop visited the coast road and saw firsthand the complaints and pains.

From a BHTA member he said they have learnt that this untenable situation is causing customers at his business to stay away. He has further stated that if this situation continues, he may be forced to close his operations as his customers are concerned about the awful stench and possible health implications.

Grant noted that now, the issue which has been ongoing according to businesses for more than a year, is occurring "on the eve of the very busy winter season".

Echoing the sentiment of one political candidate for the constituency he stressed that what is occurring on the south coast "is not the image we wish to present of Barbados."

Therefore he reiteratedid, "the BHTA is prepared to work with the BWA but it is imperative that immediate short-term action be taken to mitigate the possible negativity in our source markets but more importantly, to safeguard the health and well-being of Barbadians, while ensuring the continuation of business operations and jobs in that locale."

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