Opposition Leader Mia Mottley has lambasted Prime Minister Freundel Stuart for his silence as residents in the north and east of the island continue to experience serious water shortages.
In a press release issued by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) leader today, Mottley said it was unacceptable for Stuart to remain mum while Barbadians in St Lucy, St Joseph, St Thomas, St Peter and St Andrew have been forced to live in dire circumstances.
“It is now offensive that our Prime Minister has yet to speak to his people at a time of great crisis for them. Simply to tell Barbadians to be contented when thousands of them cannot plan out their lives because they cannot get something as basic and as vital to their survival as water is not good enough,” she argued.
“How does a Prime Minister muster the will to talk to us about climate change in Paris but does not speak to the people of St Joseph and St Thomas about their water woes. The PM spends the time to speak about the need for Barbadians to celebrate how far we have come in the last 50 years but does not address those Barbadians in St. Lucy, St. Peter and St. Andrew who find nothing to celebrate and reflect on whether they have been taken back 50 years with no running water coming to their houses on a regular and predictable basis. How must families cope?” the statement contended.
Insisting that the issue was not a political one, Mottley said persons needed to hear the voice of the Prime Minister on this serious matter.
“The Attorney General told us in October that the Prime Minister would be speaking more to Barbadians. However, the people of the north of this island have not heard one word from him. They have not heard him explain why the water pressure can be so high in some parts of the south of the island and others cannot get a drop for weeks.
“We do not believe this to be a political issue, but the people who are being affected want to know that somebody cares. School starts back next week and there will be even more pressure on households. What is the specific plan for these students across the many primary and secondary schools in these parishes. How will mothers manage?” she questioned.
“However, let me repeat that in situations such as this, nothing replaces the voice and the action of the Prime Minister to bring calm assurance and swift action to these residents. Barbados has one Prime Minister. We are accustomed to hearing our leaders guide us and protect us through difficult challenges. We need Prime Minister Stuart to visit these Barbadians and urgently address their water woes, especially as we move into the start of the new school term.”
Just a few days ago, Mottley, along with several other BLP members, took a tour through some of the water-starved northern and central communities which have been experiencing outages in recent weeks and months.
Mottley revealed that as part of efforts to provide a platform for residents to share their challenges over the past few weeks and months, the BLP would be hosting a community meeting at St Bernard’s Primary School in Lammings at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 5, for the residents of St. Joseph and St. Thomas.
There will also be another community meeting on Thursday, January 7, at 7 p.m. where residents of St. Lucy, St. Peter and St. Andrew are being encouraged to attend.