As Isaac prepares to brush past Barbados as a tropical storm, the Barbados Water Authority has joined the preparedness act by topping up water supplies with a revived community tank programme.
The state-owned water utility joined Barbados Defence Force soldiers and Coast Guard sailors to clean and fill 64 tanks in water-scarce rural communities on Wednesday afternoon.
The programme will continue throughout the hurricane season, said the head of the BWA’s Rapid Response Unit, Joyann Haigh.
“We reactivated the community tanks in preparation for the passing of tropical storm Isaac. Currently there are no warnings or watches for this island but this exercise will continue so that in the event there is the threat of another storm this season, we will be ready,” said Haigh, who was present at one site in St Joseph where the tank was being filled after being chlorinated the day before.
She told reporters that members of the communities are encouraged to use the water in the tank as the BWA will be conducting weekly maintenance and refilling of the containers.
“We will not be refilling the tanks everyday and residents will be encouraged to use the water in the tanks even without an outage. The BWA will then come and refill the tanks once per week so that there is a constant flow,” Haigh said, adding that the programme will continue during the dry season when reservoir levels begin to fall.
“This will not just be for the hurricane season because we do have outages and the tanks will be reactivated if there is a drought again or prolonged outage. So we have to ensure that people are not without water for prolonged periods especially when we have advance knowledge of an outage. This is why these tanks are here,” she stressed.