Residents in St John experiencing water woes are waiting on a proposed desalination plant to help ease their pain.
This was the word of Vice President of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), Andre Worrell, who is accusing Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Wilfred Abrahams, of fiddling with plans the DLP left in place for a desalination plant.
“Yet, he is happy to go down into a reservoir to show Barbados that the reservoir low, but he is not doing anything to make sure that you can put water into the taps for people.
“We can’t make the rain fall in Barbados, none of us can. But the only way that we can guarantee that householders in St John get water the same way that those in Sandy Lane get water, is by putting a second desalination plant in Barbados,” he said.
Worrell, also a St John resident, joined a team from the party to distribute bottled water to assist residents of that parish who were also encouraged to sign a petition to put pressure on the Barbados Water Authority (BWA).
Meanwhile, DLP President Verla DePeiza stressed that while the halt on the desalination plant may be as a result of controversy surrounding the contracts connected to the proposed project; it is a matter that must be fixed as soon as possible.
“The persons who would know the truth of it are those who have the sight of the contract. No one standing here is in a position to be able to argue for, or argue against. But what I will say is that we have heard this conversation about contracts for two years now and other contracts were renegotiated. So if that were an issue, and if this were a priority, then that contract would have been renegotiated by now for the benefit of the people of St John. That is just a worn out excuse now. If it is that there is a problem with the contract, fix it. If the contract was for too much money, renegotiate it, but get water to the people of St John and that is what is the critical issue here,” DePeiza said.
Meanwhile, Worrell argued that “because this is not Sandy Lane”, St John people seem to be paying the price for the existing drought on the island, while people in other parts of the country, have access to water.
The party’s spokesperson on Agriculture and the Environment, also argued that according to the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) standards, the BWA has a right to compensate persons one full month’s bill “for all the months that they have not been supplying water”.
He also questioned whether the FTC has been monitoring the actions of the BWA. Worrell stressed that it is unacceptable to inform residents that they are suffering in agony for months because of limited access to water that it is because of a drought. (AH)
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