Plans are being put in place to address the issues at the Barbados Water Authority (BWA).
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley made the announcement last night at a press briefing, following a Social Partnership meeting at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
She said Government had been listening to the people of Barbados with respect to access to water, and will be seeking to deal with these issues.
“We have to be able to address the water issue as a matter of emergency…. However, Government is constrained in the manner in which we can respond, given the difficulties that we face with respect to our circumstances,” she said.
Ms. Mottley revealed that even though the country, as a result of COVID-19, is not earning money, “the Director of Finance is working with the Barbados Water Authority in order to be able to ensure that they will be able to borrow somewhere between $50 to $55 million”.
She said this loan would help the BWA to carry out its capital works projects that were in place before the advent of COVID-19, including the Vineyard project, which would assist in relieving the water issues faced by residents of St. Joseph and St. John, and other projects which would assist with water access in St. Lucy and Christ Church.
Another capital works project that would be addressed is the laying of mains during an expanded road works programme, which will be executed under the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance.
She also mentioned that the BWA would be unfolding a programme to assist the public with accessing water tanks, as this was something the public had been encouraged to do.
The Prime Minister reminded the public that Barbados is facing a drought and a major groundwater crisis, as a result of climate change.
She cited an example of the impact of these factors by highlighting that the Barbados Water Authority’s Technical Advisor, Dr. John Mwansa, revealed two months ago that the well at Bowmanston, which usually had 17 feet of water at that time of the year, only had three to four feet.
Ms. Mottley gave the assurance that despite the country’s current circumstances, Government would do all it could to assist the BWA in providing water to residents.