(BARBADOS TODAY) – Government could be forced into a catch-22 situation with the recurring sewage problem on the south coast.
Even as the authorities attempt to quell any possible panic, tourist are beginning to demand that signs be planted in affected areas warning unsuspecting pedestrians of the effluent flowing onto the streets.
United Kingdom visitor Steven Greene was among those today who complained that he had no clue that the water flowing near Lantern Mall in Hastings, Christ Church contained raw sewage.
The visibly upset Greene, who has been here for nine days, told Barbados TODAY tourists should have prior knowledge about the problem.
“We should get alerted . . . because I did not know that. But then I would not stand in it, I would try not to. That lady just crossed the road and it was that deep,” he said.
Greene was referring to a woman who had rolled up her trousers in order to navigate across from the mall to the bus stop opposite KFC in Hastings.
Like the woman, he too had walked through the water only to be alerted that it was a health hazard.
Another visitor, Natasha Townsend, who has been in Barbados for one day, was surprised to find out that it was not rain water running along the street.
“I am actually surprised to hear that this is sewage water. Being so close to the beach I would think that it was just rain water as it was recently raining. I am very concerned now as I easily could have come off the beach and cross the road. If I hadn’t been alerted it was sewage water I would not have known,” she said.
“If I hadn’t known I could have been affected and could have gone back home sick . . . . And I think there should be some signs. It is such a beautiful place and I would not have expected to come across sewage water,” Townsend said.
If this recurring sewage problem were to affect tourism, it would deal a severe blow to the already struggling economy, which is counting on the sector to help drag it back from the brink.
However, the authorities would likely be concerned about the possible negative impact such signs could have.
Meanwhile, Richie Quintyne and Stuart Davis, the owners of Issa Lime and Express Bikini have called on Government to do more to assist local businesses that are being affected by the ongoing sewage problem, which they said was discouraging costumers from patronizing their business.
“Every time the rain falls this area is flooded, so it stops people from walking along the street. It clearly stinks so obviously people are going to seem less likely to come to our business, especially on days that it has rained a lot there are people who try to tip across the street and stuff. So, it is [not] doing well for business, especially ours,” Quintyne said.
Still, the local business owner said he continued to promote his company despite the stench.
“We still will maintain our marketing but at the same time the Government needs to step their game up a bit because it is still unhealthy as you can see. So, if you have tourists walking along this road, locals and different people who may have a cut or something underneath their foot then they may have to go to the hospital because the Government is not doing their part,” Quintyne stressed.