The Barbados Water Authority’s (BWA) ability to carry out its mandate of providing water to the population of Barbados has been impacted by the drought situation, financial constraints, as well as the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking on the call-in programme Down to Brasstacks on Tuesday, on the operations of the BWA, Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Wilfred Abrahams, made the disclosure that “the water authority is at this point in time, very heavily under resourced”.
He revealed that as a result of the financial challenges impacting the Authority’s operations, and the inability due to the COVID-19 pandemic to continue dialogue with international organizations, such as the Green Climate Fund to acquire grant funding, all projects to assist with relieving Barbados’ water challenges, including the Vineyard project, installation of temporary desalination plants, tenders for additional water tankers and the $2.5 billion mains replacement programme, have “come to a grinding halt”.
Minister Abrahams stated that the BWA’s revenue collection had been affected by about 25 per cent as a result of people currently not paying their bills.
He pleaded with persons to pay their bills, if they are in a position to do so, since not doing so will “starve” the Authority of funds, which enables it to carry out its daily operations.
He reminded persons that “the fact that we (BWA) are not going to disconnect you for health reasons, does not absolve you of paying your water bill because at the end of the day, it’s just going to continue racking up arrears against you”.