The seemingly endless water shortages that have plagued several parishes here have become a headache for residents in some St Peter communities.
Speaking on the sidelines of a presentation at the Roland Edwards Primary School Monday morning, Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate for St Peter Colin Jordan told Barbados TODAY residents in the northern parish had been “living in flux” since May last year, and it was taking a toll on individuals and families alike.
Jordan said while there had been a slight improvement lately, most of the residents continued to face major problems.
“The water has not been off for the extended periods that it was in the past, but there’re still significant issues, especially in the Gay’s, Mount, Upper Castle [and] Collins areas. Most of the issues surround the community tanks,” he said.
Jordan explained that residents would sometimes go three of four days without running water and have to depend on the community tankers, which often proved inadequate.
He said the situation was taking both a psychical and mental toll on the affected residents.
“One of the things that came to me very vividly while interacting with the residents in St Peter is that you can have six or seven buckets of water in your house, but if you have three or four little children in the house, that water will not last very long. So there is a physical impact in terms of having to move with the water, but there is also a serious emotional and psychological impact in terms of not having water and having a serious demand for the water,” he stressed.
Even when water is available through the community tanks, the distance of these tanks from many of the homes made accessing the water difficult, the BLP candidate complained.
Jordan said those who owned vehicles could easily drive to the tanks to fetch buckets of water.
However, he said, most people did not have this luxury and had to walk long distances for the precious commodity.
“We have a situation, for example, where in Upper Castle to the end of the area there are no tanks, so the residents have to trek quite a way to get water. The same thing is happening in Gay’s, the part of the district that is furthest away from the tank, which is next to the school. Some residents have a really long trek to get water,” Jordan explained.
Despite these problems, the fledgling politician said most residents recognized that the country was facing a water shortage.
However, he said they would like the courtesy of being told when their supply would be shut off.
“. . . the overarching issue is that when the water is going to be turned off we are not notified. I listen to the radio and I hear other parishes being notified, and my question still is, why can’t the people in St Peter be told when the water is going to be turned off? Why not let us know so that we can make our arrangements and preparations? I think it is a courtesy that we should be afforded when you are going to turn the pumps off or turn the pressure right down. Let us know, do a public service announcement as you do for other parishes and I think it will allow residents to plan their lives,” he insisted.
Manager of Engineering at the Barbados Water Authority Charles Marville told Barbados TODAY the BWA was working to improve the situation for the residents in the north.
“In some cases the situation is better, but we are still working on it, trying to make it more stable and more reliable. But it’s a little bit better right now,” Marville said.