Published on Friday, January 12, 2018

Sewage overflow in Barbados sparks travel warning

Tourists are being urged to avoid parts of the Barbados coast due to an overflow of raw sewage, which some are linking to a recent outbreak of round 35 suspected cases of the stomach bug gastroenteritis.

Local news outlet Barbados Today reported that five British tourists had fallen ill after eating at a restaurant in the affected area.

The Foreign Office updated its advice for the Caribbean island this morning, saying: "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."

It followed yesterday's warning by the Canadian government, which advised its citizens to avoid the area between Hastings and St Lawrence. The US has issued a similar warning, saying: "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.

"Sewage has periodically bubbled up onto the streets, and there are reports that the overflow is reaching the beach areas."

The island's south coast has been plagued by sewage problems for more than a year, according to local reports, but the leaks, which began sporadically, have reached crisis levels, according to the Barbados Water Authority.

The Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association demanded in mid-December that the authority rectified the problem.

The BWA has announced on several occasions that the problem has been fixed, only for it to re-emerge even worse than before.

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