Post Hurricane Elsa media update with Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams – July 6, 2021. (PMO)

General Manager of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA), Keithroy Halliday, is reporting good progress in improving its production levels and restoring water supply to districts impacted by the passage of Hurricane Elsa.

Speaking during a press briefing on restoration efforts after the tropical system, he disclosed that most of BWA’s systems were online and eight running on generators.

Of equal importance, Mr. Halliday said, is to ensure that the distribution of water at the ends of the distribution systems in the parishes of St. Lucy, St. Peter, St. Joseph, St John, to some extent, St. George and St. Thomas – the traditional water-challenged areas – are receiving special attention.

“Some of the challenges we have had relate to the fact that we have had difficulty with access to some of those remote line stations. We’ve cleared most of those; we are dealing now with just one or two.  For instance, in White Hill, that is a particular area right now that is blocked by a number of pallets. We don’t have full access to; we’re getting that done and cleared hopefully within the hour. And we should be able to start delivering water to some of those areas, including White Hill.”

Members of the public are asked to call 434-4292 to report any burst water mains, or WhatsApp any videos or pictures to 836-4655 or 836-4683, for immediate action.

The BWA General Manager continued: “So, our focus right now is basically how can we alleviate the situation for a number of these areas that have not had water, in some instances for several days, and making sure that we can bring restitution or resolve the problem for some of these customers.   

“As the days progress, and particularly overnight, we’re seeing that the system is becoming that much more replenished, that much more charged, and therefore, by evening or tomorrow, we know that we will have less incidents of water outages in some of these areas.”

Mr. Halliday cautioned that as the system is replenished, there will be a number of bursts occurring – a situation that has impeded some of the progress, so far. 

He explained that due to the ageing infrastructure, as the water surged through the mains again, we “typically find ourselves seeing more burst mains”.

(Stock Photo)

He urged the public to call 434-4292 to report any burst mains, or WhatsApp any videos or pictures to 836-4655 or 836-4683, for immediate action.

Mr. Halliday thanked the public for its patience, especially during the early days after the passage of the hurricane while acknowledging that there are still “some pockets” of areas awaiting water delivery.

“We know that your patience is being sorely tested, but I want to thank you for understanding where we are at, and I want to thank you for working with us. The final point I would make is really in terms of our generation capacity or backups.  We have found that, that has worked well. We’ve had some negative complaints, that notwithstanding.”

He continued: “But appreciate that two years ago, we had half of the generation capacity that we have, and certainly going through the year and into the next year we should resolve the remaining generation backup capacity, but through the assistance of the various ministries involved in government, and through the patience of all residents and customers, we were able to make the progress that we have made over the last several days.”

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