Prime Minister Mia Mottley is assuring Barbadians that her Government will not rest until the water woes in the country are addressed.
While delivering remarks at the opening of the Barbados Association of Retailers, Vendors and Entrepreneurs (BARVEN) super outdoor market on the Mighty Gryner Highway this morning, Mottley announced that she was happy that new pipes are on the way to the island to allow infrastructural work to be carried out, in order to rectify some of the water issues, Barbadians, particularly in rural areas, are facing.
“It is a million gallons a day that the country has been paying for, for the last five years or so and we don’t access it. And that is why we are trying to get both the pumps and the pipes to be able to carry that water up to the people in the north.
“That is why we are also renegotiating desalination contracts, because as much as the country needs water we will not pay the prices that the last government agreed to, because they are out of order,” Mottley said.
The Prime Minister indicated that she has been hearing, and listening to complaints from Barbadians who are tired of experiencing water issues, and the difficulties they face due to limited access to the commodity.
She said that is why at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, she instructed the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) to turn back on the water for residents who had their taps disconnected because their bills were in arrears.
“Water is going to come in spite of the drought. Members of Cabinet would tell you that every week without fail; I speak to the Minister to find out where we are with the pipes. But just as this, I can’t say abracadabra produce this. It takes time; we have to import the pipe. We have to get the money and ensure that we are in a position to do so. We only finished our external debt restructuring in November last year. The domestic debt restructuring was in 2018 and as we finish and come out of the external debt restructuring in December, back to the starting line,” she said.
“And even though the Government has been spending money replacing pipes, you are replacing pipes that are 100 and 120 years old and we are going and having to put in and build reservoirs. How do you think we felt last year just before the hurricane season when we got a report, telling us that a lot of the reservoirs would not withstand even a category two hurricane and we had to rush and replace about five reservoirs in this country over the course of last summer?” she added. (AH)
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