LETTER: Sewage issue for 18 years



I am here as a last resort, appealing to the Minister responsible for Health because I have been back and forth making reports to CBH since the year 2003 since Mr. Michael was the head of the CBH department, complaining about the septic tank of my neighbor, which has been leaking and flowing into my yard.

The crack is not just located on one side, but completely around the septic tank, I have seen it myself. I have tried to dig a trench in efforts of turning the water flow back on them and this has failed. I have even had a backhoe operator dump soil trying to prevent the water from flowing in my direction and that has also failed.

My youngest son was 5 years old then when he knew he should not play in the backyard since I was unsure what bacteria may be floating around in the air and what harm can occur. Over the years I have made several reports, officers have come out and assessed the issue, written reports and when I go in to follow up after not hearing anything, reports are lost etc.

Fast forward, my son is now 23, my grandchildren 11 years, 8 years, 6 years and 5 months and my yard is unsanitary and fully saturated because it has now been 18 years. The sewage water settled in the yard continues to be a breeding ground for the dengue / zika carrying mosquitos they constantly speak of. The St. Mary’s School of Excellence is at the back of my property, give it a few more years how long will it take to start heading in their direction?

These reports have been made way before there was ever a COVID-19 pandemic.

Myself and my daughter have spoken with Ms. Martin and the officer in charge for this area (Bolans) in person and over the phone on numerous occasions. I was promised that the gentleman would have been served notice since last year February. Myself as well as my daughter have given the full name of the gentleman and his wife at least 4 times in the last year with promises of a notice being served. When I visited the office on the last occasion the notice was still on her desk. As a born citizen of this country, I cannot understand why the people who have made oath to serve we the people are failing us. This is sewage, not a leaking pipe or an unattended bucket of water.

CBH has been here twice, screwed off the cover and poured a red dye in the tank only to see it running out of the crack, clearly proving that the tank is leaking. What more proof do you need?

We have now abandoned our water tank because the tank is directly opposite the septic tank and we are not sure what particles or germs are in the air and we need safe drinking water. My clothes line is being held up by cement blocks because the post can no longer hold in the ground because the soil is too soft.

It is now 18 years and it needs to be resolved. I am quite sure no human being would want to live like this, especially on their own property.

Once again, I am appealing to the Minister of Health to please offer his assistance because I cannot continue to live like this.

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  1. My dear lady, get the services of a good attorney and take your neighbour to court. Sometimes, one has to act in one’s bast interest when the systems that should protect us fail.

  2. That is the problem we have in this country as paddy Simon always say it’s not was said but a who say Um . I heard and see this woman crying out for help for years and some people if it doesn’t affect them directly it falls on deaf ears . We have people who in authority that deal with different aspects of our daily living but yet still it’s like having an extraction . A really wonder how some people do it ? Those in authority on the dam high horses need to come down . Those in authority need to do their jobs better and stop dragging these issue on for so long but a guess some issues not important

  3. Does this minister have a doctor’s degree or a degree in medicine?

    Knighthood doesn’t mean shit here in Antigua.

  4. Wow how awful, and amazing the CBH has not taken this issue seriously.
    Hard to believe your neighbor can live like this,, shameful

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