Barbadians in water-starved communities, mainly in St Andrew, St Peter, St Joseph, St Lucy and St Thomas, are being warned to take care in order to prevent an outbreak of cholera or other water-borne diseases.
The Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) said this evening that those experiencing water outages might be tempted to source water from ponds without treating it properly before use.
BAMP President Dr Abdon DaSilva told Barbados TODAY while he was not aware of any one contracting water-borne diseases at this stage, he remained concerned.
“As president of BAMP my concern could be [that] in an acute water shortage, there is perhaps need to be proactive, in that people should start advising the population at large who have a shortage of water and may be tempted to use alternate sources of water like rain water or from a pond . . . and if that is what they are going to choose to do, it is time that they be educated on how to go about making sure they boil the water,” Dr DaSilva said.
The head of the umbrella organization for medical professionals advised that people should go all out to ensure the safety of the water they drink, even by adding such things as bleach.
While stating that the quality of the water in Barbados was good, he however explained that Government could draw on public health legislation to protect the country against any threats to its water supply.
“Government has the right under public health protection to legislate and actually enforce legislation for the greater good of the people,” he stressed.
On the heels of the BAMP president’s comments, a leading medical practitioner, who requested anonymity, was even more forceful in his stance regarding any possible threat to the water supply.
The doctor told Barbados TODAY that in a water sensitive zone such as The Belle, St Michael where there have been concerns over possible contamination by squatters, public health laws should be enforced to remove them.
“So in places like The Belle, where there are problems with the water supply, people should really be removed forcibly from there,” he said.