Government has given the assurance that everything is being done to assist Barbadians in accessing water, and also to address matters relating to other utilities and persons who are renting.
Acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw gave this assurance during a press conference at Ilaro Court this morning.
She indicated that before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was clear that the Barbados Water Authority had some “cons”, in terms of being able to deliver water to all households across Barbados, and those issues were compounded with the advent of the coronavirus.
Acknowledging the plight of those in rural districts affected by low water pressure and water outages, the acting Prime Minister stated: “The Barbados Water Authority is working tirelessly to get into the various communities to be able to resolve the issues that residents are having. I could only urge that patience is given to them as they try to be able to access water.”
Ms. Bradshaw noted that no one was taking any pride in Barbadians not being able to access water, especially during this period when persons are being asked to stay in their homes.
She explained that nothing had changed in terms of Barbados being affected by drought conditions or not having the adequate water supply in the reservoirs.
The acting Prime Minister reiterated: “We’re trying our best to get the supplies to those who basically need it at this point and time … so, I crave the indulgence of Barbadians. We do recognize the inconvenience that they’re facing, and I know that Water Authority is working tirelessly … [and] whatever we can do to ensure that we can get the water to them, that is what the Government of Barbados will continue to do at this time.”
When asked about leniency being provided by utilities to Barbadians during this time, Ms. Bradshaw stated that Government was addressing public concerns as it relates to utility companies and had intervened in a number of instances.
She stressed that Government was appealing to the good sense of companies to assist by not creating panic and alarm regarding disconnections, particularly now that many people are at home and need the services of utility companies now more than ever.
She also appealed to landlords to avoid evicting tenants at this time. “I would appeal to the good judgment of persons that this is not the time to be heavy handed. This is the time to be a bit compassionate and to appreciate that we are all in this together. We can’t be putting out persons with small children on the streets; it is going to obviously put a strain on the Welfare Department, which is grappling right now with the number of requests that are coming before it and trying to get a lot of the necessary supplies to the elderly.
“Now is simply not the time to be heavy handed with your tenants. There will be a time when the situation will resume and obviously the necessary arrangements can be put in place to recover outstanding rent, but this is not the time to be heavy handed. Government will continue to review the situation … so that we can take the necessary legislative measures to be able to address it,” Ms. Bradshaw stated.
The Acting prime Minister called on persons to draw to the attention of Government any cases of tenants being removed from rental properties.