Update on La Soufrière volcano by Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams and Director of the Seismic Research Centre, Professor Richard Robertson – April 12, 2021. (PMO)

Householders wanting to rid their homes of the build-up of ash caused by the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano last weekend have placed an enormous strain on the island’s water supply, on the first day of the national cleanup exercise.

Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams, stated this tonight during an update on the impact of the volcano on Barbados, and appealed to householders to use non-potable water.

Minister Abrahams told viewers that although the island’s water supply had not been contaminated by the ash fall, using hoses and power washers to clean up around homes and washing cars many times during the day had placed a serious strain on the resources of the Barbados Water Authority and the reservoirs.

He lamented that Barbadians had not heeded the advice of Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley on Sunday to use “muscle and not water” when cleaning up.

“We are asking you please to use as little water as possible.  Avoid using water for the cleaning process. If you have to use water, please use non-potable water…water that you cannot drink.  If you have rainwater that you have collected, then please use that before you use water from the Barbados Water Authority system,” he urged.

Minister Abrahams also encouraged Barbadians to pay attention to the gutters in their yards and the build-up of ash.  He explained that ash on the roof when wet “falls in very heavy slush” and this build-up of ash was responsible for collapsed roofs in St. Vincent.

Barbadians are being encouraged to not use hoses or power washers when cleaning the build-up of ash. (Stock Photo)

“So, please be aware that your clean-up endeavours must also involve your roof space,” he advised.  

The Home Affairs Minister also urged householders to be considerate when cleaning their surroundings, in light of complaints from some residents in high rise units that water has been seeping into their living quarters from residents occupying the floors above them, as they cleaned their balconies.

Minister Abrahams stressed the importance of residents looking out for the vulnerable in their communities and to lend a helping hand, especially at this time. 

“There are some older persons who cannot assist themselves in this regard, and we are asking you to be your brother’s keeper. The Government can only do so much, but if you know your next door is suffering, please pop next door and help him or her,” he encouraged.


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