With the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) now resorting to water rationing in order to combat the severe water outages in high elevation areas, residents of St Joseph say they are feeling little ease with any efforts.
Last week, Minister of Energy and Water Resources Wilfred Abrahams revealed that the shutoffs, which began on Friday, were designed to allow the Golden Ridge reservoirs time to refill and it would mean that areas that had steady water supply will now experience outages as a result of the rationing system.
When Barbados TODAY visited the Horse Hill community this morning residents complained that while last weekend was the first time that they were able to get water through their taps on a weekend, much more needed to be done to ease their hardship.
“This is the first weekend in a long time that we were able to get water, but it went back off on Sunday. We were hoping that it would be different because every Sunday water normally goes off and that is the day that you really need the water because you have so many things to do. You have to wash the children clothes, but you can’t get any water at all,” said long-time resident Samantha King.
“We have to get up at 5 a.m. when the tanks are getting filled up. One time we used to get water tanks coming to the houses but now they only filling up the community tanks. So, people that live higher up the hill have to come down to fill up and carry it back up. Some of the guys in the neighbourhood have to help the ones that are not able to fetch water, “she said, noting that the fact that they still receive water bills, remains a sore point for residents.
They lamented that community tanks, which augment the service, are of no use to them as it relates to their cooking and drinking needs, as they claim that the tanks have not been cleaned since they were installed by the BWA last year.
“It has only been about two months ago that the tanks get listed for cleaning. They have not cleaned those tanks since they put them down. Every now and then we see chlorine tablets drop in it,” said one resident, who referred to himself only as John.
Persons complained that when the tank water levels are low, black sediment could be seen floating in their buckets whenever they fetched water.
“Right now, nobody drinks water from those tanks. We buy bottled water to cook with, to make tea or to drink. The water from the tank, especially when the levels low, is not even fit to bathe with but normally we just don’t have a choice. When you get to the water at the bottom of the tank, you only seeing all kinds of black things floating around in your bucket,” said another resident, who did not want to be identified.
“I am convinced that St Joseph is not on the map of Barbados. The only time it is on the map is when you talking about Winston Hall or when election come around. These are the only times that I know about but other than that St Joseph is not rated in anything. Right now, we suffering more than the people that get the hurricane in Bahamas,” a lady, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, lamented.
Barbados TODAY made several attempts to reach the minister as well as General Manager of the BWA Keithroy Halliday but without success.
On visits to areas in St Thomas and St George residents revealed they were doing their best to adjust for the most part, acknowledging that Government had limited options as it relates to the country’s water scarcity. email@example.com