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DE MARKET VENDOR: Non-revenue water galore but can’t get a break

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

DE MARKET VENDOR: Non-revenue water galore but can’t get a break

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Last week I learnt a new term, compliments Bubbadus Water Authority, to add to my knowledge bank: “non-revenue water”, translated, water de BWA losing from de mains through leakage or tiefing. In other words, water them wasting, not you nor I, ’cause iffing we had a leak pun we side of de meter, dem don’t give a fella a break even if it run into thousands of dollars!
My poor aunt Martina, who pass away couple years ago at 96 years, had a leak dat she didn’t know ’bout till de bill come. De poor woman was blind, living alone, not depending pun Government fuh a dollar, eking out a living renting out a couple chattel houses she husband and she work hard to acquire. Yet, despite de begging and pleading, duh mek she pay thousands of dollars in water bill. De poor woman was so frighten dat even though I tell she I gine fight it, she send and pay it! But de BWA could allow 48 per cent (dem words, not mine) of water dat getting pump to leak and not a fella get call to account? Not de management, not de minister in neither Government? One time I had a underground leak at a li’l’ house we own. When de bill come, de tenant say dem bill does be ’bout $40 per month and dem not paying a cent more.
De bill was over $3 000 dollars and as anybody who own a li’l’ house know, dat bill does be in de landlord name. Ah pay fuh dem to check and change de meter. Duh insist it was a leak and threaten me wid court. Ah had to pay. Two years later, I get a letter admitting dat de meter was faulty – no apology. Imagine offering credit fuh future usage! I did even call de minister; he tell me: “Market, you could afford to pay dah bill.” And I did done wid he and celebrate when he backside get rinse out in de next election!
How come den you and I don’t get a break but dem know dat nearly half de water dat getting pump gine be “non-revenue water” and nobody call to account fuh dat? Instead of building a $40 million  palace, shouldn’t we fix de water mains first?
Las’ week, I read ’bout a Rasta family dat squatting fuh nearly 30 years pun 8.38 acres of prime real estate land owned by Sagicor and refusing to move, even though dem get offer $600 000 fuh land, $420 000 housing, $356 000 cash and two $225 000 annuities, a total of $1.6 million. Apparently, de family was squatting in de woods and went undetected fuh years, in the meantime acquiring rights! A Sagicor official say dat Sagicor bought de plantation and inherit de family! I vex like hell ’cause I own a piece of Sagicor, a small piece but a piece nonetheless, and I didn’t know dat de people who should be minding de store didn’t check de woods! Years ago, Sagicor was selling land in de prestigious Fort George Heights at a good price and de Vendor did want, like Jeffersons, to be “moving on up”, so I went and sleep nearly de whole night in a line of people waiting to get a piece. Muh bladder bursting but ah couldn’t even go and wee wee! If I did know dem wha’ I know now, I woulda squat years ago in de woods. All now Sagicor would be offering to mek de Vendor a millionaire widout me driving a stroke!
I, Market Vendor, gone fuh now. You have a blessed and a wonderful day, yuh hear?