A four-day water outage in Ebenezer and Sunbury Tenantry, St Philip and surrounding districts has left residents scratching their heads, and forced the closure of at least one school in the area.
Residents told Barbados TODAY they had been without water since Monday and without any recent communication from the Barbados Water Authority (BWA), they were in the dark as to when they would get water from their taps again.
The situation has had an especially disruptive impact on Legacy Preparatory, a private school located in Ebenezer.
Owner Kim Ashby told Barbados TODAY that the educational institution, which also caters to children with special needs, had been forced to close its doors from Monday due to the water outage.
She explained that while it had resulted in the school resorting to virtual classes, that was not always practical.
“We do intuitive education, as we have children that have special needs and dyslexia and ADHD, so we were hoping to start school because our numbers are small. But we’ve been out for the entire week, which has forced us to go back to online school which in some instances does not benefit those children that have difficulties,” Ashby explained.
She said she was in the dark as to when school would reopen as the BWA had not reached out.
“I contacted the customer service and what they did was to send out a water truck, but that doesn’t help me. We operate upstairs the old Ebenezer Primary School, so upstairs is very difficult to travel with water and we’d have to flush toilets and maintain COVID protocols, so that would be very difficult,” Ashby said.
“They [the BWA] just said at one point in time that there was a burst pipe in the Edgecumbe area, but I have not heard anything since then and I am assuming that has been fixed, so apparently there is another problem and we’re not being made aware of what that problem is.”
Ashby said she has had to call residents early in the morning to find out whether water service had been restored, so she could inform parents whether to bring their children to school.
One woman who has been living in Ebenezer for over 30 years, speaking to Barbados TODAY on condition of anonymity, said she was forced to miss work today because of the situation.
She said what was especially unnerving was that BWA customer service staff had been unpleasant when she called to enquire about the outage.
“I had to go at people’s houses to get water to bathe and such,” she said, adding that a BWA water tank visited the area today and yesterday.
“ You call down there [BWA} and they are telling me that I am now seeing what the people from down St Joseph going through. That is not nice. The people at the BWA want training.”
A resident of Sunbury Tenantry, who also chose not to give his name, said the least the BWA could do was inform them of what was happening.
He said while he understood the Authority had its challenges, its actions were unmerited.
“I know we aren’t the only people who are not getting water, but that does not mean that the BWA can’t make an announcement or visit us and tell us what is going on,” the frustrated man said.
Another resident said it had been a trying week having to deal with her two young children with no water.
She said she hoped the issue would be rectified soon, so life could return to a sense of normalcy.