After years of battling with an inadequate, or a non-existent water supply, Prime Minister Mia Mottley has promised residents of the Scotland District that relief is on its way.
Speaking during the second annual Ermie Bourne lecture put on by the St Andrew constituency branch of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) at the Alleyne School over the weekend, the Prime Minister stated, “Over the past week, we have worked with local and outside engineers [along] with the Barbados Water Authority and have the makings of what we believe to be a plan, which will be executed over the next 12 months, that we hope will bring relief to the people from the north.”
Noting that this plan will initially cost the
Government some $15 million, Mottley said one of the major dilemmas with Barbados’ water supply network was that too many of the pumping stations were burdened with supplying water to both higher and lower elevations on the island.
“There has been a failure to review how we manage the hydraulics of a water system over a century old, and continue to believe the infrastructure we have inherited is good enough to do the things necessary to allow access to water. Simply put, you cannot continue to use reservoirs and pumping stations in highly elevated areas to supply water to both high and low elevations.”
“We have agreed to fund a capital works programme dedicated to deliver water to the lower elevations in St. Joseph, St John, St Andrew, and St Lucy, such that that water being delivered from the Golden Ridge, Bowmanston and Hampden pumping stations can be used purely for the higher elevations. We will put in a new pumping house at Vineyard, St Philip so we will have to build a new reservoir at Stewart Hill, [St John] run pipe from Stewart Hill to the east coast, and we will have to equally address problems from north as well. Now, if we can supply water properly to the east coast, we can guarantee we can preserve the water at Golden Ridge, Hampden and Bowmanston for the northern elevations,” she told the audience.
The Prime Minister also told constituents and many of her Cabinet colleagues that relief was coming to the residents of White Hill and others in the Scotland District, who had suffered the adverse effects of land slippage.
“This Government is working assiduously not only to solve White Hill’s problems, but to work with international partners to see the restoration of roads and stabilisation of land in the Scotland District, and part of this involves you, the people in the community, planting trees wherever you can to help stabilise the land,” she added.
Mottley also expressed her disappointment that people from St Andrew had to go to Speightstown, the Glebe, Six Roads or even Bridgetown to access postal services and other “civic services”, and promised long-serving Member of Parliament, George Payne, that this issue would be addressed once Government took care of more pressing matters.