Water and Sea Near Sandy Lane, Holetown, Speightstown Being Contaminated By Poisonous Leachate

Barbados West Coast is being contaminated by leachate from the Mangrove Pond/Vaucluse garbage dump

Leachate is that poisonous liquid that drains from garbage and is destructive to life: human, animal and marine life.

In 2006 Solid Waste Management of the Ministry of Health said 1,000 tons of solid waste was received at the Vauclus/Mangrove Pond Landfill daily. It was 650 tons in 1995.

Garbage has been dumped at Mangrove Pond, St Thomas from about 1982. In 1992 it caught fire and burnt for about 1 year. The residents of Arch Hall, Bennetts and the expensive houses of Sandy Lane Estate, including the 7 star hotel, were affected by smell and smoke.

Greenland Dump Fiasco

The construction of the Greenland garbage dump site, 1996, and its failure before 1 lb. of garbage was received, has cost us over $30 million. A retro-fit is being carried out at a cost of over $50 million, and will end up costing over $100 million including the transfer station at Vaucluse, new trucks, and flat beds to transport, and the composting.


No contract has been signed for leachate at the new retro-fitted Greenland garbage dump site. No engineer would risk his professional integrity and possibly a civil and criminal suit in designing the footage to hold the leachate tank, because the area has a long history of landslips and storm washouts.

Until Greenland is ready to receive garbage and treat leachate, new cells at Vaucluse have been dug and correctly lined to prevent leachate leaking into the underground water table. However, no leachate treatment has been provided, so the leachate liquid, which is collected at the impervious seal layer, is then pumped into the old Mangrove Pond landfill (Mt. Stinkeroo), which is NOT lined. This then leaks into the underground and flows by gravity to the west coast, where it enters the sea at the Hole in Holetown, plus other natural underground springs. The sea is contaminated with untreated leachate from Sandy Lane north, where luxury hotels are located.

At Lonesome Hill, blood and grease dumpsite, St Peter (near Indian Ground) has been used since 1990. Blood and grease, including engine oil, is dumped by tankers into open ponds which are not lined. Again above and below ground seepage puts the contents into the watercourse, 50 yds. away, which drains through the Whim gully to the sandpit in Speightstown, and then into the sea.

Since 1982 Barbados has had a series of problems in the disposal of solid waste, which at that time was 350 tons daily. A solid waste study by Landis paid for by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), recommended incineration as Barbados was too small for a landfill, with a dense population and a tourist industry.

Contaminated Water Will Kill Tourism, And Eventually Our Entire Economy

Tourism is the main employer on the island and brings in needed foreign exchange.

Barbados international financial institutions (a politically correct name for money laundering) provide 62% of government revenue and are lucrative for local lawyers and accountants. There are over 20,000 registered companies and it is impossible to police the millions of dollars that flow through these accounts on a daily basis.

Millions of dollars have been wasted by government in recent years on several white elephant projects. Hotels and resorts (GEMS) – $150 million, Kensington Crickel Oval – $150 million and road widenings and flyovers – $360 million and rising, but our government never seems to have enough money to correctly deal with the basics that ensure a healthy society, environment and economy.*

The only growth industry in Barbados is corruption.

Richard Goddard

(* with BFP editor’s comment in italics. Also some paragraphs were moved around.)


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Environment, Offshore Investments

21 responses to “Water and Sea Near Sandy Lane, Holetown, Speightstown Being Contaminated By Poisonous Leachate

  1. John

    When you fail to plan you plan to fail.

    No Physical Development Plan + Arbitrary Town Planning Decisions = Chaos

    … and if those decisions are being influenced by bribery or made by persons who don’t understand what they are doing, but are motivated by personal gain, destruction will surely follow.

    The old people would say ….”Monkey handling gun”!!

  2. Wishing in Vain

    Mr Goddard you as so correct in your reading of the situation, it really is a sad day when those that we pay to see after the wellbeing of our country become so corrupt that they no longer care about this rock while all they really care about is how much they can steal on each project that they award.
    Talking about mount Stinkeroo has anyone ventured along that piece of road Bucks, Wraysbury it is in the worst state that it could be it is in dire need of attention very much like our hospital but like the hospital it is not getting a cent spent on it but we have a multi million Oval complex that has attracted the largest crown since CWC for of all things a funeral yesterday, what does this say to us the taxpayers of this land?

  3. No Name

    I never ever intended to subscribe to this blog again, but Richard Goddard and his family is known to me from childhood days and the same is true when it comes to Lowdown Hoad and I will support them whenever the opportunity presents itself. Because what they are saying is correct and truthful and it is easy to defend the truth!

    Richard you are absolutely correct even allowing for some partisan but valid concerns of your own.

    Barbados cannot continue down the “Development” path it is going without catastrophic “Environmental” consequences. The very geographics and make up of the island should tell us this. The island is already densely populated with few options to get rid of garbage its local population generate. Far less the additional garbage generated by tourism!

    But what boggles the mind is this. Barbados and the Caribbean region want to play the world stage about their concern of “Global” warming and environmental “degradation” of the Universe while they themselves are as big a polluter and destroyer of their environment as any other Nation in the world and they have a much smaller land mass and no credible technolgy to deal with the problem. It is nothing short of hypocrisy!

    Look at Costa Rico as one example. INDEPENDENT WORLD SCIENTISTS have found that their best and most popular reef is 80% covered by a leafy green algae that has been caused unmistakably by poorly treated sewage and run off fertilizer from Golf Courses. This was carried in the Toronto Star Newspaper a very credible media source.

    I suggest and with the greatest of respect that were Barbados to allow an Independent Scientific study of their Coastlines by credible World Scientists the situation of their reefs would be found to be equally or even more so impacted by pollution than the reef of Costa Rico.

    This BLP Government has been a Government that has encouraged for all of the wrong reasons the rape and destruction of our Native home and land.

    And what makes this destruction of Barbados even harder to take is, that is mainly fuelled by greed, corruption and a foreign element that has nothing but money to make! Their imprint of destruction has been left on most third world Nations that they prey on and exploit!

  4. reality check

    Barbados politicians were never toilet trained!

    What do you expect from a country and leadership that does not respect the environment?

  5. Anonymous

    No Name Allamby, you said you never intended to subscribe to this blog again. PLEASE STAND BY YOUR WORD. Do not come back on here and pollute this blog. You have been insulting enough people over on BU and getting plenty licks too. I would suggest you stay there.

  6. cynty

    Its not only the West Coast that has ‘contaminated’ waters, when the results are back from Labs, no doubt you’ll hear about another popular area in trouble.

  7. Sundowner

    No Name,
    well done, I like and agree with what you say, environmental issues are bottom of most lists here, a friend who has worked as a Marine Biologist here says much the same thing.
    Anonymous, if you can’t stand the heat stay out of the kitchen………….

  8. Bajan Observer

    This gentleman says something right about the Financial institutions “allowed” to do dirty millionaire transactions…and then the idiot with $1,000 cash got arrested at the airport for “money laundering”..absolutely ridiculous and deceiving.

  9. Paradox

    One wonders if this is the cause of dead fish found off the coast from time to time.
    Some one in the ministry must know. If you do, are you afraid to inform the Bajan public?

  10. Belairs McGill water quality study

    I recall rumours a number of years ago from young students that water studies of tap water along the west coast had suprising amounts of coliform. Does anyone have those studies?

  11. jinx

    Pigs dear people pigs!!!
    Ever wonder where all their effluent goes?
    The relevant authorities, (if they are even interested) need to make a health check of pig farms along our coastline….. 1 or 2 pigs in the backyard may not cause much of a fuss BUT what about 50 , 80 or more? Add a heavy rainfall to that and go figure!

  12. Anonymous

    not to mention hi colliform counts near the old ocean view hotel, no doubt from hotel caribbee as well. believe me, you have nooo idea what you’re swimming in. the island’s a cesspool waiting to happen!

  13. Hants

    BFP…..David Ellis is sharing licks on Brasstacks.

    He is hammering Reginald Farley’s assistant about the man who put an ad in the paper to get help with a flooding problem.

    Lynch made a big mistake. Now Ellis is careful but far more effective.

    Watch the ride.

  14. If you think thats fun, wait till our precious tourists start getting poisoned (they believe the hype about cleanest water and all that jazz). Let’s see how they will sell those hotel suites and villas, with news of contaminated drinking water and corrosive beaches.
    From paradise to apocalypse in just a few generations.

  15. Bimsha Boy

    With all that has been going on in other countries regarding the environment, it is evident that the powers that be in Barbados has learned nothing except how to be greedy politicians.
    When, and what is it going to take for Bajans to become proactive?

    “Every day a bucket goes into a well, it may not come up full”

  16. Kathy

    I once took an American tourist to the doctor. He went in the sea near town with a few insect bites. Every bite got infected, and he had to take antibiotics. While he was snorkelling, he had noticed an underwater pipe near the shore with something coming out of it. He said he reported this to some health official, I’m not sure who it was, and they ignored him. He returned to Barbados several times after this, but would not go to any beach except the Crane and Sam Lord’s.

  17. New on the Blog

    As someone new on this blog, I am not sure what to say about this issue, but I will give it a try.

    I love Barbados, and I love to swim in the sea. Now after reading this article, I would like to know why this is happening here. I would also like to know about any of the health risks if I continue to go swimming in the sea. Rashes, flu like symptoms, skin infections, or anything life threatening? My goodness! This is unacceptable that tankers have the right of way to dump waste all about the place!

    Actually it seems that the general public thinks it’s just fine to dump garbage anywhere they like too… I guess as World Cup Cricket is long gone…so has the effort to keep Barbados a clean healthy place to live. People still throwing garbage from cars, vans and busses…Why? Where is the thrill? Does the general public through garbage all around their house too? Then why keep doing it outside?

    With all the elected officials in the government at all levels, is there not one of them able to do something about this horrific tragedy?

    The people elect the government and the government is accountable to the people.

    There has to be someone to get Barbados back on the road to being a clean place again. I say that because I am sure that Barbados was at one time a very clean lovely place to live, work and swim in. Doesn’t anyone care?

    This is an Island not North America or Europe or South America where the damages have been easier to hide! This nation is going to sink and as another writer stated, the economy is going to disappear too if the officials don’t get off their elected chairs and take action to get this place going the way it should. Two cars in a garage? Most people are lucky to have a roof over their heads. Now this pollution issue that is worse than ever! Wake up and make this country a safe healthy place to live before it’s too late!

    We pray and pray and pray then go out and carry on as if we didn’t pray at all! A very sad situation isn’t it.

  18. Green Monkey

    It becoming evident that wasting increasingly scarce and precious clean, potable water to flush away our poop is not a sustainable approach.

    IIRC, Lowdown Hoad has boasted in his Nation column of the efficiency with which the biogas generator on his St. Andrew farm generates methane for use as cooking fuel from farm animal manure, but as far as I know Lowdown’s bio-gas generator only runs on animal waste, not human. Maybe it’s time to take the next step.

    Human waste can help save planet: Indian expert

    NEW DELHI (AFP) – A cheap system to recycle human waste into biogas and fertiliser may allow 2.6 billion people in the world access to toilets and reduce global warming, an Indian environmental expert said Tuesday.

    Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of the Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, said his group plans to push the system at the seventh annual World Toilet Summit, to be held in New Delhi at the end of October.

    The organisation is dedicated to providing toilets to nearly 730 million people in India who lack them.


    He said India’s contribution would be a toilet system that organically breaks down faeces into trapped biogas that can be burned to provide cooking fuel and electricity, and convert urine into fertiliser.

    “Now we want others to know about this technology which was recently installed at Kabul, Afghanistan, because it can help meet the Millennium Development Goals and reduce global warming.”


    From http://wikipedia.org :

    “Humanure” is a neologism designating human excrement (feces and urine) that is recycled via composting for agricultural or other purposes. The term was popularized by The Humanure Handbook, a 1994 book by Joseph Jenkins that advocates the use of this organic soil amendment.

    Humanure is not traditional sewage that has been processed by waste-treatment facilities, which may include waste from industrial and other sources; rather, it is the combination of feces and urine with paper and additional carbon material (such as sawdust). By not disposing of feces and urine through the typical use of a flush toilet, nutrients can be returned to the soil instead of polluting the water table.

    Humanure is deemed safe for humans to use on crops as long as it has been composted properly. This means that thermophilic decomposition of the humanure must heat it sufficiently to remove or destroy harmful pathogens, or enough time must have elapsed since fresh manure was added that biological activity has killed most pathogens. To be safe for crops, a curing stage is often needed to allow a second mesophilic phase to reduce phytotoxins.

    Humanure is different from night soil, which is raw human refuse spread on crops.


  19. Avatar Gurl

    Amazing…simply amazing.

    The depths that politicians go to to get their share of the pie…

    By the way, do you think that once the tourists get all the land, us locals will be able to get out and get land somewhere else? Not likely.

    So, what is one to do?

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