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DLP: Answer water pleas

Antoinette Connell

DLP: Answer water pleas
Andre Worrell, the DLP vice president and spokesperson on agriculture and the environment. (FILE)

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Answer the cries for mercy and provide water to the hundreds of residents in need, the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has told the Barbados Water Authority (BWA).

“We heard these cries during the prolonged drought. We heard these cries for water at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown, now the same cries are being heard as the ash descended from the La Soufriere volcano on Barbados.

“How much longer must access to potable water be the bottleneck restraining the development of this country?” asked Andre Worrell, the DLP vice president and spokesperson on agriculture and the environment.

In a media release, Worrell said while the DLP supported the BWA’s appeal to people not to waste water cleaning up the ash, the party recognised that residents in St Lucy, St Peter, St Thomas, St Andrew, St Joseph and St John were facing severe water outages.

“They do not have the luxury at this time of throwing a bucket of water on the ash, as they have none. We are appealing to the BWA to continue to do what they can to assist residents in these areas by sending out the tankers and filling community tanks.

“Government should immediately look at subsidising the cost of water tanks and pumps to make them more affordable to households, especially as many are struggling financially,” he suggested.

Worrell said the country was tapped out on its groundwater supply and while the St Philip water augmentation project will bring temporary relief to the southern parishes and the desal plants in the north will do the same for residents in St Lucy, St Peter, and other areas, those in St Joseph and St Andrew will continue to have water issues, as the measures do not adequately address their situation.

He said while Minister Wilfred Abrahams had ruled out the possibility of more desalination plants since it cost $4 a unit to source directly from the sea, leading to an annual water supply expense increase by over $100 million, the DLP disagreed.

“The Government simply needs to look at the desalinated water cost globally. These costs vary within a range of US$0.50 to US$1.20 per cubic metre. In any case, the lack of access to potable water is costing this country more than $100 million in revenue annually when we consider its constraints on housing development, productivity, and the impact on the well-being of those affected . . . .,” Worrell said. (PR/AC)