Like their Member of Parliament Dale Marshall, residents of Lammings, St Joseph said they did not believe measures announced by Minister of Water Resource Management Dr David Estwick will solve their long-running water problems.
Dr Eswick today announced the establishment of a rapid response unit within the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) and a five-year hire purchase scheme to facilitate the purchase of water tanks by residents in water-starved areas, as part of emergency short-term strategy to ease the water crisis facing the country.
The Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP)’s Marshall quickly shrugged off the plan, saying he had no confidence the it would work.
Members of his constituency have since told Barbados TODAY they would rather have water flowing through their taps, not stored in tanks.
Harbour View Terrace resident Royan Alleyne acknowledged the response unit would ease the burden of his aging mother who had to trek to a community tank to access water.
However, he flatly dismissed the hire purchase system for water tanks, asking, “that make sense?”
“I’m not going to tell my mother to take that opportunity to pay that. I’m going to tell her straight I’m not helping her pay it,” Alleyne said.
Fellow Harbour View resident Daniel Leacock was no different, shrugging off the hire purchase plan as unnecessary.
“You could do the same thing [hire purchase] for yourself,” he pointed out, while arguing that a tankful of water would not last the “four to five days” which Dr Estwick said they it was expected to.
“The families up in here so big, I could guarantee got in more than five people . . . that includes cooking, washing, the bathroom, because not everybody got a pit toilet either. So all these things that people got to look at . . .
“How long the water going last? No water can’t last you four days.”
In any event, Leacock said his immediate concern was not the schedule of the response unit or the tank system, but “why water can come through the tap when the meter got to get read and after that the water going off?”
Leacock contended the authorities were not aware of the severity of the situation and they needed to experience it themselves.
He held little faith that the measures announced today would work, saying, “these people only talking”.
Perhaps the most skeptical was the outspoken Yvette Belgrave, owner of Hobbie Boobie Canteen, who described Dr Estwick’s announcement as a “gaff”.
The owner of the Lammings-based cafeteria said she failed to see the connection between water tanks and water from her pipes.
“Getting a tank and you got to pay for it the next five years, that ain’t got nothing to do with the next five years because you still want water to put in it and you’re not going to get water to put in it,” Belgrave said.
“You getting this tank here but you still ain’t getting no water to put in the tank, so why you buying the tank for? . . . The point is trying to get water,” she added.