Endless woes

White Hill still pleading for water and a road

Nearly two years after their main road collapsed and with water shortages now part of their daily lives, residents of White Hill, St Andrew believe they have been abandoned by the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) and the Ministry of Transport and Works.

The district has become infamous for “no road, no water”, remarked resident Carlitha Andrews. Not only have their taps been consistently dry throughout the drought, but the main road in the district has been condemned and deserted since 2014.

White Hill St Andrew resident Carlitha Andrews.
White Hill St Andrew resident Carlitha Andrews.

Residents have resorted to travelling via tracks in the ravine to make their way to and from their homes.

“The road break down, the minister abandon the road and everybody abandon we. That’s how we feel right now,” Andrews asserted.

The track residents of White Hill St Andrew travel through daily.
The track residents of White Hill St Andrew travel through daily.

Heavy rains in November 2014 caused extensive land slippage, rendering the main road impassable.

So far, efforts by Government to repair the damage have been unsuccessful, as sections of a temporary roadway again collapsed.

Andrews told Barbados TODAY that with few transportation options, residents were being forced to endure a lengthy uphill trek to their homes. In addition, she said, they were being hurt economically.

“People don’t come up in here anymore. The people up in here ain’t getting no work; they have tradesmen up in here who don’t get no work because the people say they ain’t coming all around,” she lamented.

It was in early June that Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley promised that Government had not abandoned the residents of White Hill, even though it had yet to come up with a “doable and sustainable” solution to their road crisis.

However, the people of the district are seeing things differently, with Andrews claiming they had heard nothing about the road or the water outrages that plague the community.

“Nobody don’t come and tell you, ‘well this is what we are going to do, this is the stage we are at’. Nothing,” she said.

The difficult road condition notwithstanding, Andrews said it was the least of her worries as she had been without water for the past four days.

This, she said, had forced her to take drastic measures to maintain a degree on sanitation.

“Now you got to go back and dig up the outside toilet because you ain’t got no water to flush the inside one. You gone to the old time days in here. That is how water authority got we.” Andrews contended.

Noting that it took a protest action by residents of St Joseph for there to be change, Andrews wondered if the residents of White Hill needed to follow suit.

Despite the BWA’s announcement that there would be a detailed water tank schedule to serve affected areas, Andrews said the water trucks did not visit her community.

“I want them to stop saying that they are sending a tanker to White Hill and none don’t come. They called up the number of the tank, I want them to ask the driver where part he does go because certainly he don’t come to White Hill because I does be home every day,” she insisted, stressing that the trucks stopped in Hillaby, St Andrew to where White Hill residents walked to fill buckets of water.

Consequently, she welcomed Tropical Storm Matthew on Wednesday because they were able to harvest rain water.   

“I thank God for the little rain the other day because right now the little rain we get Wednesday is the water we’re using in the house. People all in the rain bathing because we glad to see a little water.”

Another resident, Margaret Hill, said since the road became impassable, her daughter and grandchildren had decided to move out of the area.

With the only accessibility to the other side through a track, she often ventured through the slopes, sustaining injuries in the process.

“It is ridiculous,” Hill told Barbados TODAY, adding, “the fellas does got to come and make little tracks when the rain does fall, you sliding all between here”.


3 Responses to Endless woes

  1. Jan Hold
    Jan Hold September 30, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Hmmmm do these ppl care really for these ppl , don’t look so Father above plzzz help them , and want you to celebrate 50yrs of Independence love my country not taking part of nothing we have to many ppl suffering , more $$ but not for the right cause smmh

  2. MIIB October 1, 2016 at 3:39 am

    Out of sight out of mind

  3. Phil October 1, 2016 at 10:03 am

    I have seen similar conditions and sometimes even worse conditions to this in many Central and South American countries. and I am thinking there must be something the Ministry could do to help the residents of this area. The steep walkways are not as long and treacherous as in those other territories. Here’s my suggestion. we dig down about 3 to 4 feet into these current walkways, Pile drive a series of either Green heart or metal poles, in this case green heart because they would not be undermined nor destroyed by sub-terrain insects such as termites, then construct a 4 to 6 feet wide concrete stairway with protective barriers on either side. I have seen in Costa Rica where they use an electrically operated pulley system much like an elevator on tracks that can facilitate 6 people with some cargo. and these stairways are lit by solar powered lights or from the grid. 2 three feet by 20 inch concrete gutters, covered of course, on either to drain water away if rains. In this case I would recommend two large collection tanks be placed at the foot of the gutters to collect water which will then be pumped to the reservoirs or aquifers for recycling to potable water for regular consumption and general use. All this need is a little innovative skills. I am positive we have persons with the necessary skills on hand here in Barbados


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