Hoteliers want south coast sewerage problem declared “national crisis”

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Feb 28, CMC – The Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Wednesday called on the government to declare the sewerage problem along the island’s south coast as a “national crisis”.
“We truly believe the situation has deteriorated to the point where it is imperative for government to view this as a national crisis as it is affecting residence, schools, businesses and visitors to the island,” BHTA chief executive officer, Rudy Grant, told the state-owned CBC radio here.
“In this context we also believe the time has come for a senior government official to take the lead in terms of the day to day management of this crisis. It is also important for the BHTA to be in a position to be able to respond to the concerns being expressed almost on a daily basis by our trade partners,” he added.
The government has said it is dealing with the situation that has plagued the tourism belt on the south coast with experts being brought from Trinidad and Tobago to assist the Barbados Water Authority (BWA).
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has already given an assurance that the sewage problem is receiving the attention of his administration on a daily basis government.
He told the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s 2018 Business Luncheon that the “matter cannot be allowed to continue as a problem that is a source of irritation to people from day-to-day.
“When you tackle it, you have to tackle it in such a way that a final solution is secured…[However], the one thing we are not going to do is to wildly throw money at it and it lasts for six months and then six months down the road we are dealing with the same problem again. We are going for a solution that can make everybody happy and make them happy for a long time,” he said, noting that the government has been receiving technical assistance from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB),
Grant said while the BHTA appreciates the fact that the BWA is making every effort to deal with the problem, there are a number of additional factors that are preventing the utility from successfully implementing identified solutions.
“The BHTA fears that if these challenges are not remedied soon the end result could prove disastrous for the future of the industry as well as Barbados as an attractive and desired destination.
“The BHTA re-affirms its willingness to continue working with the relevant authorities in order to find solutions for this crisis and to provide appropriate support where possible,” he added.

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