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Okay to sue the BWA

HEATHER-LYNN EVANSON, [email protected]

Okay to sue the BWA

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Go ahead and sue the Barbados Water Authority (BWA). There is precedent, says social activist David Comissiong.

But he won’t be the one fighting the case this time.

Comissiong said businesses along the stretch of the South Coast affected by the sewage spilling into the streets should take their matter to the High Court.

“It is scandalous. This neglect on the part of the Water Authority and the Minister responsible for Water Authority is scandalous and the householders and businesses affected should definitely be seeking legal representation,” he declared.

“If you examine the Barbados Water Authority Act you would see the duty of the Barbados Water Authority to construct, run and maintain a public sewage system is spelt out. And all of the evidence we have thus far suggests the Barbados Water Authority either failed to carry out those stipulated functions or carried them out in a negligent manner,” he said.

“So I think there is a clear prima facie case against the Barbados Water Authority,” he added.

The social activist called it “amazing” that the BWA and the minister responsible for the authority had spent millions of dollars on a new office, while “something as critical to the public health of the Barbadian people and the country’s all important tourism industry” was being placed at risk.

Comissiong further said it was “mind-boggling” that those responsible for making those decisions “could be so irresponsible and so callous about the critical health and economic interest of the country”.

He also said that fellow attorney Robert “Bobby” Clarke had successfully sued the BWA on behalf of residents of Emmerton Lane and Chapman Lane for the disruption brought about in their lives by the Bridgetown Sewage Treatment Plant.

“It may not be exactly on all fours, but there is a precedent of a community taking the Government to court and being vindicated in relation to interference with their property rights by a Government sewage facility.” (HLE)