Mother of two Latisha Eversley has had to wake up at 2 a.m. every day to try to catch some water.
With a ten-month-old and a ten-year-old, and with a full-time job, Eversley needs water badly to keep the boys clean and to take a bath so she can go to work.
But like the remaining members of the Mount Brevitor, St Peter community, she is finding it difficult to cope.
The small, close-knit neighborhood has been without portable water for over a week and residents are now at their wits end.
“It’s unbearable. Imagine having a ten-month-old baby and having to deal with this? I have to make sure I have water for my boys to bathe. We saw a tanker for the first time on Saturday afternoon and the guy told us that the problem would go on for about four more weeks,” Eversley told Barbados TODAY when a team visited the area today.
“Every morning for the last week I have been getting up at 2 a.m. to catch water. At that time obviously people are asleep. The only reason you know if the water is on is if you happen to get up to go to the bathroom. When it is on it’s barely running. By the time you go back to sleep and get up in the morning it’s gone again. It’s not even clean when it comes on. For the last few nights I’ve had to let it run off for at least two to three minutes before I get clean water to store,” she said, her frustration palpable.
So bad was the situation today that the young mother said she was forced to choose between going to work and sending her older son to school. She chose the latter.
In any event, she said, having to lift buckets of water repeatedly has begun to take a physical toll on her.
“I couldn’t even go to work this morning because I had no water to bathe. I called my boss this morning and told him I couldn’t make it to work today. My back is killing me from lifting buckets all the time and I didn’t have enough water for me and the children, so I let my son go to school. I have a full-time job and two children and it’s ridiculous to have to get up at those early hours to catch water everyday.
“Last Friday we were hoping for some, got up and the tanks were dry. Everyone is complaining and we hope it will be rectified soon but the guy says there is a problem with the tank so we really don’t know. This morning when I came out at two, my neighbour was outside trying to get a bath and wash dishes. That’s ridiculous,” she said.
Eversley told Barbados TODAY although she had not budgeted for a water tank, she was forced to purchase one in an attempt to get some relief.
However, another resident, Carlos Baptiste, who would like a similar tank, said he could not afford one. Therefore, he said, he was left at the mercy of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA). And the service, he added, was nothing short of “awful”.
Like Eversley, Baptiste has two young children and getting them ready for school has been a challenge, he said.
“The water has been off for about seven days. It has been fairly awful really. I have two small children that I have to send to school every morning and sometimes it’s really difficult. Sometimes my wife and I have to get up and get their things together and she leaves here and goes by a family member somewhere else to have a shower and get them ready for school. It is really an inconvenience,” he stressed.
“We have plans on buying a tank; unfortunately at this moment in time I am unemployed so getting a tank is a bit of an issue. But it is still something we are planning on doing as soon as we can,” he added.
The frustration notwithstanding, the father of two was still able to see the funny side of the outage, saying he was convinced the BWA was trying to present the country with a bit of nostalgia.
“. . . they are showing how it used to be 50 years ago. So we are having these bucket bath and treks to standpipes. It’s really an inconvenience and it’s quite bothersome,” Baptiste said.