By Anesta Henry
Some residents from St James and St Peter are calling for a better deal from the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) after water outages put a damper on their Christmas celebrations over the last two days.
When Barbados TODAY visited several districts in the two parishes today, water had been restored but householders called for a permanent fix to the vexing problem.
In Mount Brevitor, St Peter where residents have been experiencing water issues for several days, some told Barbados TODAY the situation was untenable.
One woman, who did not wish to disclose her name, said she was forced to use a bottle of stored water to shower to go to work yesterday,
An elderly woman also complained that while she had bought her ham and other foods to prepare, she was unable to do so because the tap was dry.
“To leave home, I had to bathe with some water I had in a pan. And you know you don’t feel like you had a good shower unless that water running on your skin,” the elderly resident said.
Householder Karen Wood disclosed she was only able to prepare a dish of macaroni pie before the water went off. Wood, who had to work on Christmas Day, said she had to shower using water stored in a bottle.
“When I came back home from work it was still off. But it came back on about 12:30 this morning and I got a proper shower. But this is a real turn off especially knowing that school starting back next week and you got to wash clothes and make the children’s breakfast on mornings. I mean you don’t mind if the pressure low sometimes but this going off without warning thing is a turn off. The other morning when I wake up the pipe did off. Saturday morning we didn’t have any water, and it didn’t come back on until Sunday morning,” Wood said.
Another Mount Brevitor resident, who declined to give her name, said she had to cancel a luncheon at her home because she was unable to cook.
“That is ridiculous. I ain’t get to bathe until evening when them send a water tank. You mean a day like Christmas you get up and no water there to shower and handle your business,” the resident lamented.
Over in Horse Hill, St Joseph residents reported that water returned to their taps on Tuesday evening.
In Lammings, water had also been restored, but a concerned resident there said that while he was happy that water was flowing from the tap, it was unfair to residents given the recent introduction of new taxes attached to the water bill.
“Every day the water off out here”, he said while declining to give his name.
“This is unreasonable. If you doing all of these things, give me water. I don’t understand why it got to go off so often. Why the only parish that suffering so bad is St Joseph. I drive all about the place and I seeing other people water flowing, but you getting a problem in St Joseph all the time. You cannot got people paying more for water and not giving them a better service. Every day the pipe does go off. Every day it affecting me, not just yesterday,” the concerned resident said.
“I would not lie to you, before Christmas Eve them [BWA] did sending the tanks often, I like to be truthful. So all last week we were getting water from the tanks. But, I just want them to solve the problem so that we could get water from the tanks everyday, all day,” the resident continued.
Barbados TODAY understands that parts of St Thomas and St Andrew were also affected by outages.
Member of Parliament for St Thomas Cynthia Forde disclosed that it had been four days since the taps in Vault Road had running water.
She warned that she would be seeking to address the matter, saying that it has been difficult to get in touch with Barbados Water Authority (BWA) officials
Barbados TODAY was unable to reach management at the BWA for comment.
However, in a statement issued on Tuesday, the BWA’s Marketing Officer Yvette Harris-Griffith explained that the outages in St Joseph and St Thomas were triggered “because of low reservoir levels at the Castle Grant facility. Castle Grant receives water from Apes Hill and Golden Ridge Reservoirs where the water levels are now too low to pump. BWA Engineers are working to adjust the feed into Golden Ridge by pumping some extra water from Sweet Vale.”
With respect to St Peter, Harris-Griffith said a power outage between last Friday night and early Saturday morning affected four stations along the West Coast up to St Peter. These included Lodge Hill and Haymans. A pump was also damaged at Ashton Hall.