The proposed improvements to the water supply in St Joseph can’t come soon enough for residents of Airy Hill, who complain that the temporary measures are unsatisfactory.
Acting General Manager of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) Dr John Mwansa announced today that the authority had begun work on a system which would bring an end to the frequent water outages in the district.
He also admitted that water tanks placed in affected districts were for temporary relief, telling journalists that the best way to solve the perennial problem was to have water running through the mains.
However, residents have said they were worried that they could become ill from using water from those tanks, which they contended were surrounded by filth.
“It is filled with mud, it’s filled with debris, grass; it looks like somewhere that animals could go, not human beings,” complained Renee Springer-Maynard, who has lived in Airy Hill for 20 years.
Springer-Maynard said she was shocked that residents were expected to use water from these tanks.
“We are expected to go there to collect water to bring back to our homes to drink, to cook with, to bathe with and to deal with our children.”
Even when water flows through the pipes it is unhygienic, claimed a furious Springer-Maynard, who described what happened when her husband turned on the tap on Christmas Eve.
“Christmas Eve. . . when my husband caught the water in a container, the water was as brown . . . it looked like water that came from sewage. It didn’t look like water that comes from a reservoir and it had a smell, a pungent odour,” she told Barbados TODAY.
“You got to run it off because you can’t drink it, you can’t trust it . . . . We don’t know if the water is safe to drink, we do not know if some person from the [BWA] or health comes and tests the water to make sure and ensure that it is of good quality.”
Another resident who identified herself only as Mrs Maynard complained about the scheduling of water trucks, adding, “this is the 21st century and we’re going backwards”.