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Mottley’s ideas for tackling sewage crisis

GERCINE CARTER, [email protected]

Mottley’s ideas for tackling sewage crisis

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It is time the South Coast sewage problem be declared a national crisis, says Opposition Leader Mia Mottley.

Yesterday she made several suggestions to the Government for dealing with the problem, while outlining a Barbados Labour Party government’s action plan “if it were elected to office tomorrow”.

During a hastily called press conference at the Opposition Offices in Parliament Buildings,  Mottley vowed that “within one week” of taking office, a BLP administration would embark on _“a number of actions”_to resolve the crisis.

While she acknowledged the Government’s recent decision to start a “deep well injection” project as an initial option, Mottley asked whether there was _a backup plan if this failed.

Meanwhile, she outlined other suggestions, _including cordoning off the affected areas and instituting temporary _traffic diversions; temporary closure _of food establishments _in those areas and relocating visitors staying in the area to alternative accommodations if they _so desired.

“We need to close all food establishments in _the immediate catchment area for a period of one month and direct that _the full wages bill of these establishments be borne _by the Government.

“We will seek the direct assistance and intervention of the Canadian government to send a team of experts to utilise all available data and work with the local agencies in determining a short-, medium- and long-term solution to this problem.”

The Opposition Leader also suggested in the interim there ought to be a comprehensive sanitising of the affected areas as a collaborative effort between the Barbados Water Authority, _the Barbados Sanitation Services Authority and _the Chief Medical Officer.

With shadow minister of health, and engineer, St George MP Dwight Sutherland sitting beside her, Mottley suggested the Government should, as a matter of urgency, seek to purchase several modular membrane bioreactor units to mitigate the problem while planning was being done for a full tertiary treatment plant.

She also recommended the start of excavation _in the area of the suspected blockage in the sewage network to find the blockage and leaks.

Mottley insisted:  _“What we cannot have _is this continuous assault _to Barbados’ reputation and pride and to its _public health, of sewage _in the streets.” (GC)