Hot and dry in St Thomas
BWA WORKER Anthony Callender assisting Angela Birch in taking the water to her home.
(Pictures by Sandy Pitt.)
by DAVANDRA BABB
THE SUN IS BLISTERING, the taps are dry and residents in some St Thomas communities are hot and bothered.
For just about three weeks now, residents in Bagatelle and Redman’s Village have been without water and it may be due to a low reservoir in Shop Hill.
This situation, however, is not new to those residents. They recalled that last year around this same time they were facing similar problems.
“One time down here never used to be out of water but now with this water situation, out here never has water. Sometimes you’re out of water for two or three days back to back,” said Redman’s Village resident Linda Henry.
“There’s a lady who sells food up here, she had to close yesterday.”
Henry added that as recent as Sunday she had to cook with tank water, which was not ideal.
“It’s on now but you can bet by this evening it will be gone. And no-one is telling us anything about it,” she said.
“They put some tanks out here. The tanks have water, yes, but there isn’t enough for the people out here.”
Another resident, Angela Birch, extra summer worsen. aren’t described the situation as terrible.
“From the time I was small we always had a problem with water but this is the worst I’ve ever seen it. What I don’t understand is why we aren’t getting any water but the bills are still coming out for the regular thing,” she said.
Birch added that she was still thankful for two workers from the Barbados Water Authority who worked the tankers.
“They come and give us water and those who have tanks, they fill them up for them. They come everyday. [They] . . . are two of the nicest men to ever come. They make sure everyone gets, they don’t quarrel or fret. If they come and don’t see you, they come and knock on the door and ask you if you want water,” she said.
Her neighbour, Basil Bryan, agreed this was the worst water situation they have experienced.
Bryan, who operates a shop attached to his house, said his family often had to get out of bed at “crazy” hours to catch water.
“Water would be scarce before but I don’t know how it get so bad . . . . It goes and it comes. My wife sometimes has to wake up at 1 a.m. to get a little drop of water.
calls. “It’s affecting the businesses down here [and] have you working extra hard,” Bryan said.
Residents now fear that as summer approaches, the situation will worsen.
“Outside hot, hot, hot. We aren’t getting any rain or anything like so we are in a little drought also. I don’t know what else to do. But whenever the pipe comes on I would full up everything,” a resident who requested anonymity said.
BWA worker Anthony Callender said although overtime was rough sometimes, he tried his best to ensure that everyone got water.
“A tank comes through here every day. This is my route; I make sure people get their water.
“Last night [Monday night] I was up the hill filling up one of those black tanks but I don’t mind doing People were out at that time looking for water. It’s a real struggle. It’s something you have to do; it’s tiring but the people need the water to live,” he added.
In Bagatelle, some residents had a slightly different story.
“The water goes off almost every week in Bagatelle Terrace. Water tankers hardly come to the neighbourhood despite repeated calls. It’s rough up here and no way for people to live. We haven’t had water the
since Sunday,” a resident said.
A visitor from New York, staying in Bagatelle, said he was shocked to encounter the dry taps.
“Two days straight the water was off. I’m from New York, it was kind of crazy but I dealt with it. I had to go down to Brandons to get water and bring back . . . . I called and asked if they just turned off the water just like that. They told me the reservoir was low,” he said.
Some businesses are also having a hard time.
Manager of Lucky Horseshoe in Bagatelle Gale Knight told the DAILY NATION they often had to rely on their storage tanks, noting that when there was no more water in them, they would be forced to close the kitchen.
“For the past couple of weeks it was low . . . now it’s been off for a couple days but we are trying to deal with it. The restaurant doesn’t open at night, just the bar and slots, so it’s not a really big issue,” she said.
Knight said they experienced the same issue last year.
“BWA have been really good. They try their best to help out,” she added.
REDMAN’S VILLAGE: residents said the tanks are not enough to service the area, which is experiencing the worst water shortages they have seen.
LINDA HENRY: No-one is telling us anything.
NEIGHBOURS getting water from the tanker.
SHOP OWNER Basil Bryan said a lack of running water made it difficult to operate his business.
down that, resident Callender rough ensure every sure the was doing it. looking tiring live,” water