Water Rights Violated!
Submitted by Anthony Davis
Taps in some districts in Boscobel, St. Peter, have been dry since May this year, yet some residents continue to receive Barbados Water Authority bills as high as $238 in some cases. – Barbados Today
At the end of the Editorial in Barbados TODAY dated October 13, 2015, headlined “On tackling our growing water woes” it states: “We also look forward to the day when the BWA, like other utility companies on the Island, finally comes under the purview of the Fair Trading Commission.”
First let me say that the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) is trampling on the human rights of those persons who are not getting clean drinking water for months, because this is what it says in “The human right to water and sanitation” :
“On 28 July, 2010, through resolution 64/292, the UN General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation, and acknowledged that drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realization of all human rights.”
There is also the International Decade for Action “WATER FOR LIFE” 2005 – 2015.
I would suggest that the BWA gets its act together, before Barbados ends up at the bottom of the pile again for refusing the populace of this country access to clean drinking water on a daily basis as we have had for decades now. The BWA is also committing two crimes against those who have to go for months without clean drinking water, yet demanding horrendous sums for something they did not receive.
1) Blackmail, because if people do not pay these high bills for something that they did not receive, it then threatens the party in question with turning off his/her water. How can you be so high and mighty to threaten those people although they didn’t get the water? Your threat to turn off their water if they don’t pay for what they did not receive is tantamount to blackmail. A rose by any other name is still a rose.
2) Fraud, because you are demanding money from people for a commodity which they have not received. If I go to some store and purchase a fridge or such an item, and the assistants there tell me that I would receive it the next day, if I don’t get it by the next day, I would go to that store and ask for an explanation, and see how I should move on according to the answer I receive.
You have a commodity which is needed by all living things – especially humans – and you are fiddling while they have to run here and there to get that commodity when it is your bounden duty to make sure that the residents of this island get it – not only the hotels which can owe you hundreds of thousands of dollars and their water will not be turned off.
Also, is the water at Lamberts Pumping Station low or is there a pump problem, because you said it is low, and then someone else said that the water will be back to normal after some pump is fixed. I would like to know what NISE says about the behaviour of those in authority at the Authority!
Or, isn’t NISE allowed to make statements about Government quangos?
I would give them what Jose Mourinho, manager of Chelsea Football Club in the English Premier League gave his players after losing a match. Of the first half he said: “if I was to rate how they played in the first half from 0 to 10, I would give them a minus”, i.e. they didn’t turn up in the first half at all.
Every five minutes you raise the price of water, yet you cannot fix something which has been going on for eons, and we are to say yea and amen to all that you do!
How would you like to have to drive somewhere in order to get a “shower” under a standpipe, or have to waste your gasoline – although you would certainly be driving a vehicle for which we have to pay – and go to another district to fetch murky water which you cannot drink?
Will you be reimbursing those persons who have to drive to stand pipes to get water, or to relatives to shower?
The other problem is that there are too many hotels and condominiums on this little island.
Instead of doing as Sue Springer says “build more and bigger brand name hotels” – the majority of those on the island are not brand names according to the report, with Fairmont hotels coming in at 49 – we need to have a moratorium on the building of hotels here.
1) Hotels need a lot of water to build them
2) They need more to run them, because some of them have two or three restaurants, two or three bars, two or three swimming pools, golf course, and tennis court.
We can do without the all-inclusives altogether!
They are a bane of the stand-alone bars, restaurants, taxis, clothes and jewellery sellers.
I also have a big problem with the Pure Hotel and Spa which is supposed to be building nine 6-storey blocks on the promontory overlooking Foul Bay!
Those will be condominiums, and I therefore do not see why they should need a 17-acre beachfront.
Those who own condos do not all come at the same time like tourists do, so you are wasting our good beach by giving it to them.
Another thing is that they will not need as much personnel as a hotel, and all of the foreign exchange will be going out of the island.
Also, according to the Burnside Mangrove Pond Green Energy Complex & Beautification Programme
Environmental Impact Assessment Outline Review
TCDPO Ref: 1123/07/2013C, “waste generation is closely linked to population, though for Barbados, tourism contributes a disproportionate quantity of waste. A rule-of-thumb is that each tourist generates roughly three times the waste of a local person in the same period of time.”
The Minister of the Environment would have us believe that we are the only ones who produce waste in this country.
It is also important to note the following:
1. Barbados is the only/one of the few islands in the region with aquifers, i.e. natural underground storage areas of water like Harrison’s and Cole’s caves.
2. Before humans settled here flash floods had cut ravines and gullies to feed the aquifers over millennia.
3. The plantation system with canes took a couple of centuries to realize that digging of wells is useful to maintain water underground.
4. The majority of these wells have not been cleared in a long time, and some are no longer known. The overflow of water should be harnessed and guided to the aquifers.
5. The 40% of water which escapes from broken pipes goes back to the aquifers as they are underground.
6. The aquifer will not go dry as at the bottom is sea water. We know that we are low when we start getting brackish water, and that has never happened.
7. Use of water is a topic which will deal with recycling the water after it reaches the home, e.g. washing machine and kitchen water going to water the plants or used for flushing toilets.
Water which goes into the ground is not wasted as it will find its way to the aquifers.