Days after Government declared that Barbados has community spread of the COVID-19 virus, some residents at Boscobelle, St Peter are wondering how they are to effectively sanitize with a poor water service.
The residents who claimed that the water is being deliberately turned off by the Barbados Water Authority (BWA), is appealing to that agency to resolve the issue which is making it difficult for them to thoroughly sanitize themselves and their homes in a COVID-19 environment.
The residents explained that for several years, they have been relying on the service of a BWA water tanker because sometimes days go by without water coming from their taps.
They said there is a community tank available, but when it is empty they have to wait, at times for long periods, for it to be refilled.
The residents said they are fed up and tired of complaining of the ongoing situation which appears to have no end in sight.
“I am just tired of this now. This is years that we are going through this and nobody helping us,” lamented one affected resident. “Imagine this is a time we supposed to be having water pouring on our hands so that we could wash them properly to protect ourselves from this coronavirus, but we got to be using water sparingly because it scarce down here.”
Coleene Badal said the problem started five years ago. She said residents then got a reliable water supply and then since March last year, it became an issue again. She indicated that throughout the last few weeks in 2020, residents were unable to access water from their taps at night, but were able to do so in the morning.
“We had water on Sunday evening and it went off yesterday day time. We barely getting little water but you can’t drink it. It can’t wash white clothes. And when you go in the reservoir it like red mud water. I had some just now and I had to flush the toilet with it. It looks clear, but when you put it in the bottle it got the bottle so orange, that you can’t even tell it is a white bottle.
“All we hearing is we don’t know where the water going. We calling on everybody but it is like we just get ignored. COVID come in and them ain’t say another word about it,” Badal said.
Speaking on behalf of the other affected residents, she said though they have limited access to water, they are still required to pay their water bills. She said residents’ monthly water bills can be as much as $120.
“But I want the water back in the house because COVID in, it’s community spread and I am afraid. We want water back in our house that is clean and tangible to drink. Every day I got my two sons bringing water for me and if I didn’t have them I don’t know what I would do because I cannot lift water. I have been bathing out of a pan.
“We living in modern-day houses, but we living in stone times. You calling on everybody in Government and everybody just turning a blind eye. We hollering, we shouting.
“I would like all 30 of them [Members of Parliament] to come at least one day and live in Boscobelle and see what we go through and how we got to bathe and see if them could manage it,” Badal lamented.
Badal’s neighbour Eulenna Lewis openly expressed her disgust with the situation. The retiree lamented that she often has to ask someone to carry water from the community tank or water tanker for her, since she is unable to do it herself, due to a medical condition.
“You got to bathe, you got to cook, you got the COVID on you. I more worried now with the COVID. You can’t come outside and clean your yard and do things as you like because when you go in you don’t have any water to wash your hand,” Lewis complained.
The residents said that their Member of Parliament Colin Jordan, whom they said has sought to address the matter, was in the process of organizing a community meeting with residents to discuss the pressing issue.
Today, during a visit to Jordan’s Constituency Office, an official there indicated that the Member of Parliament would be unable to publicly comment on the issue.
Meanwhile, Barbados TODAY is awaiting an official response from the BWA on the matter.
However, in a public service announcement issued last Saturday, the BWA advised that it was conducting emergency investigative work in St Peter in the Lamberts section of its distribution network.
“The work which is being carried out is an effort to improve the water service to the area.”