Wednesday 11 December, 2019

BWA workers feeling emotional stress from sewage

General Manager of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA), Keithroy Halliday speaking to the media on the sidelines of the Quarterly Review Meeting of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA).

General Manager of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA), Keithroy Halliday speaking to the media on the sidelines of the Quarterly Review Meeting of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA).

Hoteliers, businesses and road users are not the only ones who have been feeling the strain of the sewage issue affecting the south coast of the island.  

Workers of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) in the Wastewater Division are reportedly feeling emotional and mental sress of trying to tackle the overflow of sewage in addition to dealing with complaints from the public.  

BWA General Manager, Keith Halliday told the media the organization is presently finalizing counselling through the Ministry of Health for employees to help them handle the emotional stress of the job.  

Halliday said these ones are under pressure daily trying to resolve the sewage overflows and they are oftentimes overwhelmed as the resources are scarce.  

"We are trying to make sure from a health and safety standpoint that they are properly equipped as well. You can appreciate that it has been an arduously long period so they will feel the effects of it." 

He said the response from the public, though it has improved significantly in recent weeks, was a source of affliction for the staff. He also said staff has had to endure long hours in dangerous conditions.  

"It is just a matter of making sure we extend the support system outside that of the internal colleagues to let them know that there are times when you need to sit down and vent and we want to make sure that is done is a structured way." 

Halliday said to address the health concerns, BWA has made a decision to increase the health checks for workers in the Wastewater Division from the usual six months up to three months.  

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In his address to the attendees of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism (BHTA) Quarterly Review meeting, Halliday explained the BWA was working to address a three- prong problem which included blockages in the sanitary line, a breach in the affluent line as well as water intrusion in the sewage system.  

He said they have begun to do repairs on the system and are using four deep injection wells to as a medium term solution. He said the BWA is close to finishing the second well after which tests will be conducted to determine the effectiveness of the wells.  

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