Nature Foundation sounds alarm about wastewater, garbage at Kim Sha Beach

KIM SHA BEACH–St. Maarten Nature Foundation has expressed grave concerns regarding the unrestricted flow of wastewater entering an area of Kim Sha Beach.

During inspections carried out at various times at the area, waste- and possibly sewage water was “clearly seen” being pumped from the wall of the Atrium Hotel parking area directly onto a section of Kim Sha Beach, close to the ruins of the Old Simpson Bay Bridge. Building construction material was also found to be illegally dumped at the site, Nature Foundation reported.

The organisation inspected the location in response to several complaints that raw sewage was being pumped into the area behind Atrium Hotel.
“Unfortunately, upon arriving at the location, we could see wastewater and possibly sewage being pumped through the wall belonging to Atrium Hotel onto Kim Sha Beach,” the Foundation said.

According to Nature Foundation, there is also a large amount of construction rubble and material dumped at the site.
Aside from the environmental effects, all this wastewater and dumped material and garbage is situated near the Old Simpson Bay Bridge, which is listed as an historical monument.

“What is also unfortunate is that while we are recovering from Hurricane Irma and trying to market Kim Sha Beach as a location for cruise-ship passengers as an area to enjoy in order to make our economy strong again, these types of environmental damages hurt the island financially. No tourist or resident, if they are aware of the true state of Kim Sha Beach, would want to visit there.

“Additionally, the area is also a health hazard with stagnant waste water and garbage posing a threat to the health of the population in terms of exposure to the Zika virus and other health issues,” Nature Foundation manager Tadzio Bervoets said.
The environmental organisation said it had tried contacting the Atrium Hotel, but has received no response to date.

Correspondence was also sent to the Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure VROMI Inspection Department informing them of the situation.
A video of the wastewater and garbage at the location has been uploaded to Nature Foundation’s Facebook page.

Source: The Daily Herald