by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
Last Friday, NOW Grenada was contacted by vendors at Annandale Falls — one of Grenada’s popular tourist sites — who are plagued by the stench of sewage from a recently condemned septic tank.
Vendors said the construction work was not done properly by the Ministry of Tourism, resulting in a pungent odour emanating from the old septic tank. NOW Grenada was on scene last Friday to witness first-hand how this situation affects them as well as visitors to the site.
Agatha Murrell has been selling spices at Annandale Falls for over 50 years. The senior citizen complained the stench is so unbearable she resorts to covering her nose whenever she has to sell to tourists. “Every day the same scent you keep getting over and over and I cannot bear to smell it anymore. … whenever I inhale it is like I keep getting a bad feeling, so I always have to inhale mentholated splash lotion in order to feel better.”
Marlenda Lawrance demanded that the ministry come and address this problem immediately. “Is like they come to fix the problem is like it gets even worse it smells really, really bad because when tourist going up they keep holding their nose…the septic tank smells terrible…and we have to pay money to sell here. What is the point of us paying the money to sell here and the environment is not healthy?”
The situation has been going on for over a month, and still continues even though the ministry sought to rectify the situation by building a new septic tank.
Alister Hagley alias ‘Jah Angel’ believes as the falls is one of the island’s premier tourist destinations, the ministry has failed to live up to the standards portrayed in media. He said the stench of the old septic tank has been plaguing vendors and tourist for years but attempts by the Ministry of Tourism to address the problem have only made things worse.
“Now the authority brought some people here to build a new septic tank, but what they did they connected the new septic tank to old one that was giving trouble all the time. If a contractor does a job on site, they are not supposed to leave it like that; they [are] supposed to see that everything goes right.”
Vendors have also complained of the lack of maintenance of the Annandale site, with many steps and signs deteriorating which can be potential hazards to visitors. NOW Grenada relayed the vendors’ concerns to GTA’s Chief Executive Officer Patricia Maher, who indicated that an investigation will be launched with a view to rectifying the problem.
Acting Chief Environmental Officer in the Ministry of Health, Carvel Frederick said the division is not aware of receiving such reports, but would look into addressing the situation.