East Coast folk on short supply
For several weeks residents of some areas in St Joseph and St Andrew have not had a full day’s water supply. However they are still being billed monthly and are expected to pay up.Last Wednesday the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) announced that they would be shutting off the water supply to a number of areas for a six-hour period starting last night from 10 p.m – 4 a.m. This measure is to allow water levels in reservoirs which service the area to build up. However, residents of some of the affected areas said the water supply remains unpredictable.One Braggs Hill Housing Area resident, Natasha Layne said: “On mornings for two weeks straight I have had to bathe out of a bucket. For three weeks we did not have water for a full day, yet the water bill has come for $104.00.”Layne added that her mother called the BWA and was told to write a letter to have the bill investigated, but was still encouraged to pay the bill.They also had a plumber check the plumbing system to ensure that they were no leaks.Layne added that the water trucks rarely came to the areas to distribute water. “By the time they get to the area where we live, the tanks are empty so we have to wait for them to come back out.” Layne added that she had been forced to collect salt meat buckets to catch water as keeping the house sanitary was important, especially with four children living in the household. “Luckily I have a vehicle and would go and catch water, bathe the children then come back home.”Llewelyn Nicholls, an Airy Hill resident, said residents were struggling with the situation for the past six to seven months. Nicholls lives with his 87-year-old mother and is responsible for catching water to cater to her needs. Nicholls complained that he was forced to wait for the rain to fall to catch water for his uses. “We have to wait for rain to get the place cleaned because we have to save the water we catch to use in the bathroom”, he said. One female resident who gave her name as Sandra complained: “You cannot get a good Sunday meal. Last Sunday I got up and the pipe was off. At 10 a.m it was still off. I went to work and came back home at 2 p.m and it was still off.”However, she received a water bill for $98 “and cannot get a steady supply of water on any given day”.