THE Institute of Marine Affairs has confirmed that most popular local beaches are swimming in sewage.
The “State of the Marine Environment 2016” for Trinidad and Tobago was launched on Wednesday and disclosed that poor coastal development is largely responsible for concerning levels of sewage, particularly on the northwest coast.
The report urged Government to act immediately to mitigate the negative impacts of pollution and ad hoc coastal development on T&T’s marine resources.
The report revealed that the contamination included seepage from pit latrines along the coast, agricultural run-off and improperly constructed septic tanks.
It also disclosed that swimming in polluted water may cause illness, including gastroenteritis, hepatitis, respiratory illnesses and ear, nose and throat problems.
Microbial sicknesses may also ensue, including amoebic dysentry, skin rashes and pink eye.
While most of the possible illnesses are generally not life-threatening, it could be fatal in the elderly, babies and those whose health has been otherwise compromised.