The Barbados Water Authority is expected to quadruple its fleet of water tankers by next month, Minister of Transport, Works and Water Resources Ian Gooding- Edghill revealed Wednesday.
According to him, the 37 extra trucks are part of the Government’s strategic national water distribution plan to better serve water-starved communities.
Speaking on VOB’s Down to Brasstacks call-in radio programme, Gooding-Edghill said it was clear to the BWA’s board that its 12 tankers could not adequately serve the island and less than three months ago, it agreed to buy an additional nine.
“Six of the water tankers were sourced from grant funding from the Global Climate Fund and three were paid from the Barbados Water Authority.”
But amid worsening water woes that spiked after the high demand on the scarce resource during the islandwide clean up of ashfall from St Vincent’s La Soufriere volcano, Prime Minister Mia Mottley had ordered the BWA to expedite the search for second-hand trucks since the nine trucks on order would not arrive in the island until June.
Gooding-Edghill said the board subsequently agreed to purchase 28 potable water tankers.
He said: “We have done so, this will give us a total capacity in the vicinity of about 86, 000 US gallons. We anticipate we should spend upward about seven million, so in total let’s say by next month we should have a total of 37 new water tankers, inclusive of six non-potable water tankers and the non-potable should give you about 23,000 US gallons. This is part of the Government’s strategic national water distribution plan.”
The minister added that the plan is a roadmap to help the BWA effectively respond in the event of a disaster.
He also pointed out that there is a clear need for Barbados to have national strategic water reserves around the island.
“We have to look at that… we have to go there because we must ensure that we can provide water and with this recent challenge we are encountering we have to have a plan,” said Gooding-Edghill. (SD)