Member of Parliament for St Joseph Dale Marshall wants the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) to cancel its bills to residents in water-scarce parishes for a few months, to ease consumers’ suffering.
He contended that the gesture would help change the people’s perception of the state-owned water company, which has been the subject of their wrath due to the long running water outages.
Marshall made the suggestion this week at a town hall meeting at St Bernard’s Primary School in Lammings, St Joseph where residents of the parish and neighbouring districts had gathered to vent to a Barbados Labour Party team, their frustration at the water shortages.
“In parts of Barbados people are being allowed to waste what we need and what we can’t get,” he said, a reference to cases where water was allowed to run from broken mains for lengthy periods in some parishes.
“The Water Authority not only owes all of you an apology, I believe they also owe you some money.
“When you apply for water, you enter into a contract with the Water Authority . . . If you contract to provide me with water and you do not provide me with water, then you should compensate me for that,” the former Attorney General argued.
Marshall claimed that some people attending the meeting had showed him current water bills for over $100, “and they swore to me that they cannot tell you that they get three buckets of water” for the period for which they were billed.
“The Barbados Water Authority . . . should be telling the people in this constituency who are affected, ‘we understand your suffering and as a gesture of how seriously we take our responsibility as a Water Authority, we’re going to waive two or three months water bill’.
“That’s a start. That’s not going to solve the problem, but if you felt that the Water Authority was showing some sympathy [and] empathy, at least it would soften your heart against them, and I feel they have an obligation to do these things for the people,” the St Joseph MP said. (GA)