Relief could soon be on the way for residents in water-starved parishes.
Acting General Manager John Mwanza reported today that an additional half a million gallons of water would soon become available to ease the plight of affected households.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY on the sidelines of a Pray Warriors session at the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) headquarters in the Pine, St Michael, Mwansa also disclosed that six new tankers were currently being prepared for deployment.
“The tankers are here. We are currently disinfecting them so that when we put them into use they will be sanitary, so we should be completing the sanitization by this weekend and then we will be ready to deploy them. They are six additional tanks that have come and are ready to serve the public,” he said.
His statement comes exactly two weeks after Minister of Water Resource Dr David Estwick told reporters that eight new tankers had landed at the Bridgetown Port and would be immediately pressed into service, increasing the BWA’s fleet of tankers to 14.
Today, Mwanza did not give any explanation for the late commissioning of the new fleet or the apparent discrepancy in terms of the number of tankers that have been announced. However, he said the BWA was feverishly pursuing initiatives with a view to easing the plight of affected households.
“We are also working on commissioning the second bore hole at Sweet Vale, [Christ Church] and once that comes into play that should help us substantially because that will an additional half a million gallons into supply,” the BWA general manager said.
As for the Pray Warriors’ initiative, Mwansa said: “We welcome any support in addressing the issues of those suffering from the water outages, and if the Pray Warriors will help we welcome them and are very thankful for the initiative.”
The group, led by pastor Courtney Selman, assembled this morning at the BWA headquarters for prayer before heading out into some of the affected communities to distribute bottled water.
Selman said his group was earnestly praying for the island’s water problems to be speedily resolved and he called on all Barbadians to be good Samaritans in this time of need.
“It has to be a country effort going forward. It can no longer just be a community effort. We must put our efforts together because where there is unity there is strength,” Selman said before he and other members of his group moved off from the BWA just after 10 a.m. to distribute water to residents in St Thomas, St Andrew, St James and in St Peter.
In Vault Road, St Thomas, residents were grateful for the drinking water. In fact, one woman, who identified herself only as Jan, called it was “a God-send”.
“We haven’t had water in weeks. We see a tank every now and again but not often enough. They are focusing on St Joseph a lot, but like them forget about us up here in St Thomas, but this situation affecting we real bad too,” she complained.