St John residents hit by frequent outages since the start of the year
Residents of Foster Hall, St John say they have been faced with dry taps for several months now and are appealing to the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) to urgently address their plight.
When a team from Barbados TODAY visited the area yesterday, some openly voiced their concerns, including Shauna Mayers, who did not hide her disgust over the quality of service provided by the BWA.
“This is very ridiculous. Water outages have been going on for many months now. When you return from work there is no water and even on weekends when most housewives do their washing there is no water,” Mayers said.
“What makes it so frustrating is that when you try to call the BWA you cannot get through to anyone,” she added.
Her sentiments were echoed by Veronica Springer, who also highlighted the fact that her monthly bills were high, despite the frequent water outages.
Springer, who has problems with her back and legs, told Barbados TODAY the situation was proving to be physically challenging for her, as she was now forced to drive her car to Belleplaine, St Andrew to fetch water in buckets for use at her home.
“Mostly on mornings the water is off. Around 9 a.m. it comes back on and it is just a mere trickle. By 10 a.m. the water supply goes of for the remainder of the day,” she explained.
The St John resident, who said she had been told by her doctor not to do any heavy lifting, also reported that she was presently on sick leave because of the water situation, which she said has been ongoing since last year.
“I am appealing to the BWA to do something about it,” said Springer, who is a nurse by profession.
“What is also frustrating is that the bills come in . . . the range of $365 for water I did not use,” she added.
Elsa Walrond also reported that the water problems have been a daily occurrence for most of the year, making it difficult for residents to carry out basic household chores.
“If I do not bathe by 5:30 a.m., I have to bathe out of a bucket,” said Walrond, who explained that “initially it used to be a weekend issue” but now the problem has intensified.
“When people in the district are sleeping around one and two a.m., I have to be doing my washing,” she explained.
While most residents were unsure about what was the source of the problem, Walrond reported, “there has been a burst pipe in the area with potable water being wasted for the past three months and no one has come to fix it”.
Asenath Hope also expressed concern that when water finally came through the dry taps, it was always filled with debris while Malinda Greene complained that due to the constant water outages she had to break up her sleep pattern to ensure that she was up in time to meet the water truck whenever it was in the district.
Small farmer Marcia Inniss was forced to invest in water tanks, but she would still like to have access to running water through her taps so too would Archibald McClean, who assists his daughter and grand daughter in operating a small shop and in chicken rearing.
Like others in his district, McClean complained that in spite of the non-delivery of the service, the monthly water bills generally remained unchanged and in some cases were even higher than normal.
When contacted, the BWA’s Corporate Communications Specialist Joy-Ann Haigh promised to get back to us but until publication time we had not heard from her.