Government has heard the cries of residents living in those parishes that have experienced protracted water outages and is pleading with residents to be patient, as it works diligently to have their taps flowing with water again.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley made this plea on Saturday, as she addressed an appreciation ceremony hosted by the Barbados Association of Vendors and Retailers (BARVEN) Super Outdoor Market to thank the Government for making the new facility a reality.
Ms. Mottley told the gathering, which included Cabinet Ministers and other specially invited guests, that she receives weekly updates on the importation of the pipes from the Minister of Energy and Water Resources, pointing out that it was not as simple as “abracadabra, produce this”.
She added: “It takes time. You have to import the pipe…; you have to get the money and make sure that we are in a position to do so. We only finished our external debt restructuring in November last year. The domestic debt restructuring was in 2018, and as [soon as] we came out of the external debt restructuring in December, … we are back to the starting line.”
Even though Government had been spending money replacing pipes, the Prime Minster said those pipes were 100 and 120 years old. She also said that reservoirs would be built.
Ms. Mottley observed: “How do you think we felt last year at the beginning, just before the hurricane season, when we got a report telling us that a lot of the reservoirs would not withstand not even a Category 2 hurricane? We had to rush and replace about five reservoirs in this country over the course of the last summer. I give you the assurance that we shall not rest until we deal with the water issues in this country.”
She continued: “I am happy that the pipes are on the way such that we can move and put the things that we want to do from Vineyard to Stewart Hill to Bowmanston …. There is a million gallons a day that the country has been paying for, for the last five years or so, and we don’t access it, and that is why we are trying to get both the pumps and the pipes to be able to carry water up to the people in the north.”