Despite a recent increase in rainfall, officials tasked with managing the country’s water remain concerned about an insufficiency of the precious resource.
So great is the concern, experts are considering extending the recently implemented water prohibition, Minister in the Ministry of Energy and Water Resource Management Wilfred Abrahams has revealed.
The water prohibition currently extends to the end of August, but barring a drastic increase in rainfall, Abrahams believes it will have to be extended.
“Unless we get a significant amount of rainfall and quickly, then there’s every chance that the prohibition may be extended.
“It is going to get worse before it gets better, so I am glad we put the prohibitions in place when we did, because the water situation is not really getting any better yet,” said Abrahams.
Moments before entering Tuesday’s parliamentary sitting, Abrahams told Barbados TODAY the prohibition, which currently affects numerous households and businesses is not in place to “unfair people” or “because we like prohibitions”.
“The latest information we have suggests the drought will continue until sometime in October. If it becomes necessary to extend the prohibition, then we will do so. We don’t have a choice. If the water is not there, then the prohibition has to remain,” he said.
At the start of June, the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) launched its drought mitigation plan, which included bans on the watering of gardens, filling tanks, baths, and swimming pools with potable water. The notice also placed restrictions on car washing or washing roadways and pavements.
So far, Abrahams is pleased with public support for the initiative and says he is not aware of any citizens facing the $500 fine or one-month imprisonment, for breaching the ban.
“Everybody seems to understand what we are going through. We are in a drought. We got a bit of rain recently but the rain isn’t falling like it usually would have fallen this far into the season.
“Barbadians are very aware of what is going on. Sometimes we complain about a lot of things but when it’s time to step up to the plate and do what is required, Barbadians will step up and do what is right,” the Minister remarked.
“Normally the biggest issue is washing cars, plants and irrigating lawns. From the time the prohibition went into effect, a lot of activity ceased and it has not required any prosecutions on our part but we are not unwilling to prosecute if it comes to that,” he reminded.
Nevertheless, Abrahams said he would be contented if Barbadians continue to “be their brother’s keeper” and urged citizens to remind their friends and neighbours of the country’s water shortages.
“Sometimes pointing out to someone with a quiet word, without being insensitive to tell him or her what he or she is doing is… hurting others, will normally get that person to do what is right,” he said.