Both tourists and prospective visitors to Barbados have expressed concern about the ongoing sewage leaks on the South Coast. (Picture by Ricardo Leacock.)
The United Kingdom has joined Canada and the United States in warning citizens who may be travelling to Barbados about the potential health hazards of the leaking South Coast sewage system.
The British government's official website Gov.uk today updated the health summary on its Travel Advice section for Barbados, noting:
“Certain areas of the South Coast are experiencing breakdowns of sewage pipes. Leakages are occurring. You should avoid coming into direct contact with raw sewage and normal hygiene precautions should be followed.”
This is the third advisory regarding the South Coast sewage crisis in as many days.
On Tuesday, the Canadian government cautioned citizens travelling to Barbados that "the South Coast of Barbados, between Hastings and St Lawrence areas is experiencing an overflow of raw sewage due to a mechanical breakdown." It advised Canadians to avoid the affected areas and follow the instructions of local authorities.
This was followed by an advisory on Wednesday from the U.S which warned about the water quality on South Coast beaches in the vicinity of the sewage leaks in a release which stated:
"There is an overflow of raw sewage due to mechanical failure on the island's South Coast that is affecting the water quality at certain beaches between the Hastings and St Lawrence Gap areas."
However while Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George described the Canadians' advisory as "responsible", he said that the Ministry of Health had no information to support the claims made by the Americans about water quality at the beaches.
The U.S. release also went on to state that:
"Sewage has periodically bubbled up onto the streets ad there are reports that the overflow is reaching beach areas."