Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Wilfred Abrahams has given the assurance that relief is on its way for the residents of the water-scarce parish of St Joseph.
On Saturday, Abrahams and officials from the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) toured the districts affected by water outages to listen to the complaints and suggestions of residents.
He promised that the BWA will be communicating with the residents, giving them updates on water truck distribution and also maintenance of the community water tanks.
“One of the most common complaints from the residents is the time that the water tankers come through the area so we are looking into regulating the schedule of the water tankers to make it more practical for the residents of the most seriously affected areas,” Abrahams told the media gathered.
Aside from the haphazard distribution of water by BWA water trucks, residents also expressed concerns about the health and safety of the community water tanks, especially one tank in the Lammings, St Joseph district that was surrounded by bush and debris. In response, the Minister said that going forward, each water tank would be labeled with dates of inspection.
“On each tank, there will be a post of the last inspection and the date of next water inspection so people will have some comfort as to when last the tank and the contents were inspected and when the next one is due because it makes no sense to drop tanks in an area that people don’t use and then only use the water trucks because it puts the water trucks under increasing pressure when they do come through the area,” Abrahams said.
“We can’t just drop tanks in an area, don’t service them, let them be overgrown and then expect people to use them.”
The Minister indicated that the recent injection of $27.6 million from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and an additional $17.6 million for the Water Sector Resilience Nexus for Sustainability in Barbados (WSRN S-Barbados) project would help to eliminate the water shortages in St Joseph.
The WSRN S-Barbados project will facilitate the replacement of aged main pipelines in the island’s water network.
“A lot of these mains are over 150 years old and a lot of them are deep. People associate burst mains with water coming into the road . . . but the problem is that not all the bursts are visible so we have a number of areas in Barbados where the water is leaking like nothing, serious bursts but we don’t know where they are,” the Minister said.
“It is not just that we are water scarce but it is that a lot of water is being wasted and we don’t know where it is being wasted from and the only practical solution to that is to replace as many of the mains in the areas affected as possible,” he added. (KK)