Opposition Leader Mia Mottley plans to write to Minister of Water Resource Management Dr David Estwick to request a meeting to discuss the water shortages facing residents of the northern parishes.
Mottley announced her intention last night at a town hall meeting organized by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) at the Boscobel Community Centre, where residents vented their frustration at the frequent water outages.
The BLP leader said a select number of residents from each affected parish would be invited to join her at the meeting, her tone suggesting it would be a final effort before a march by disgruntled water-starved Barbadians.
“I am going to write one last letter – not to the [Barbados] Water Authority, I will copy them. I am writing the Minister . . . and I will ask the minister for a meeting, not just with the political class, the MPs and the Cabinet.
“I will ask some of you to join us. Some of the people from Tuesday, and last Thursday [town hall meetings] will join us,” she stated.
She also revealed plans to seek meetings on the issue with other agencies and organizations, including the trade unions and civil society.
“This is not a political issue. This is an issue that affects thousands of workers who live in the north of Barbados. It affects their ability to get to work on time, to plan, but above all else, it affects their health.”
A BLP official told Barbados TODAY the letter would likely be delivered to Dr Estwick as early as Monday.
“The time for talking and promises is over. There must be an agreed plan with the Government, the Opposition, civil society, the unions and the residents,” she stressed.
The Opposition Leader did not say what the next steps would be if the minister turned down her request or if the meeting produced no tangible results.
However, her announcement came against the backdrop of Tuesday’s disclosure by Member of Parliament for St Joseph Dale Marshall of plans for a march outside the BWA’s headquarters.
“We have to have careful and lawful protest,” he said at St Bernard’s Primary School in Lammings, where residents from his parish and neighbouring districts gathered for a similar town hall meeting.
“We have to ramp up. No point in us doing a march by ourselves because St Andrew has the problem, St Thomas, St Peter, and St Lucy. It is important for us that whenever we take that step that we make sure we mobilize as many people as possible.
“It is going to come, but we just want to make sure that we get everybody on board so that we can have an impactful march. And this time we will be marching to the Pine [BWA headquarters],” Marshall said.