Water is a Basic Human Right, No to Hike!

Submitted by Anthony Davis

It’s either privatization or an increase in water rates!” That was the warning issued last night by economist Jeremy Stephen during a University of the West Indies-sponsored panel discussion on The Future of Water in Barbados in the Henry Fraser Lecture Theatre…”People would have conserved a lot better,” he contended – page 7 of BARBADOS TODAY dated March 22, 2017

Pray tell me, Mr. Economist, how does it feel to be earning so much money, yet wanting to put the burden on the poor, the needy, and the vulnerable? Why must they be made to pay more and more for everything in this country?

Barbados is supposed to be a water scarce country, yet this Government is willing to allow a 15-storey monstrosity to be planted on Browne’s Beach right opposite Bethel Methodist church.

Where will they get their water from?

Are they being allowed to build their own water and waste facilities?

Will they have their own desalination plant?

Stop putting the blame on the populace of this country for the wasting of water, when the hotels use the most water, Mr. Stephen!

How many houses have 100 or more rooms?

How many houses have more than one swimming pool?

How many houses have more than one bar?

How about facilities like tennis courts, and golf greens?

How about the number of showers and jacuzzis?

Where does all of that water come from?

Many tourists will take a dip in the ocean about three times a day, and then go and stand under the shower for at least 15 minutes each time.

Water is a human right, Mr. Stephen, so any time you seek to put the poor, the needy and the vulnerable at a disadvantage where they cannot pay the high rates for that commodity, you may be looking at defending your case before an international court or the WHO.

I note that you said that there should be some way of tax relief for low income earners, but that legislation would take some time, because Government would have to determine who would be covered by such legislation.

As you know, elections are due next year and it’s not feasible for Government to carry out such an exercise which will determine who will need the necessary help in the time left.

The last time they wanted to hike the water rates Dennis Kellman came up with the ludicrous statement that the populace of this country were the ones who wasted the water, knowing full well that that was a terminological inexactitude.

Now you want to come with the same fairy tale.

Tourist liners take on thousands of gallons of water.

Freighters take on a great deal of water also.

So do the various aircraft.

Add that all together, and come again and tell me that we waste the most water.

We do no such thing, Mr. Stephen!

This goes not only for you, but everyone who comes with the same cock and bull story just because you think a rate hike for our water is the best thing to stop the populace of this country from wasting that precious and valuable commodity.

Now, on the same page and in the same issue under the headline “Govt Senator dismisses ‘untruth about tourist spend“, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Irene Sandiford-Garner today described as ‘fake news’ reports that visitor spend had declined, even as tourist arrivals had reached a record high in 2016.

“There was an estimated US $167.41 (last year) compared to US $164.40 (in 2015) which was spent by the average visitor.”

What are you bragging about Mrs. Sandiford-Garner?

That’s a mere US $3 more per visitor in 2016!

How much does that do for the forex of this country?

I think it’s high time for a hotel and condominium moratorium in Barbados!

To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay right or justice.” – Magna Carta


  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    Just as both governments do not allow taxpayer funded regulatory bodies ie insurance regulators and others to do their jobs on the island because of collusion, corruption and government interference with the business sector, these ministers and so called economists also violate and do not observe the basic human rights of the majority population……….

    ……the choir boys like Stephens sing for their supper to be petted and patted on the head by any government willing to waste taxpayer’s money on their illogical summations…golf courses, swimming pools, hotels, cruise liners, aircraft etc waste water, golf courses are not a necessity…….they exchange hands from one foreign owner to another for astronomical sums of money and are never owned by the majority population, just like the many hotels.

    These penny ante backward ministers like Sandiford-Garner and the other idiot savant Kellman should never be listened to or taken seriously….ya get tired of hearing their stupid statements.


  • The following exchanges took place on Facebook and is relevant to this topic -Jeremy Stephen is part of the conversation.

    Kammie Holder

    23 March at 19:44 · Four Roads, Barbados ·

    Dear Jeremy Stephen I note with interest the suggestion pronounced by you on Water in Barbados. However, if the 37% non revenue leakeakage of water is fixed and the 8WA Solar Farm is built there will be no need for a water rate increase. Corey A Lane Eric Ron Smith Maria Bradshaw David King James Paul Dale Marshall Patrick Tannis Its seems that more and more recently mainstream media seems unable or unwilling to move beyond note taking. The BWA needs to undergo a Forensic Audit on the heels of the recent rate increase. Quote me on that. Is GOB running scared of the Barbados Light & Power rumored threat of a rate increase if they cut BWA high dependency on Light & Power?

    LikeShow More Reactions


    7 Vincent Haynes, Salena Spice and 5 others


    Jeremy Stephen

    Jeremy Stephen Thanks but the context was with respect to the BWA. And the leakeage is the problem….the project costs alone in trying to fix that quickly they cannot afford.

    Like · Reply · 3 · 23 March at 19:57

    Sam Taylor

    Sam Taylor at least they have a shiny new, climate controlled building to kick the proverbial can down the road.

    Like · Reply · 3 · 23 March at 20:21 · Edited

    Tony Chase

    Tony Chase All these learned people who can pay and are seeking a rate increase should be allowed to pay the increase..and all others by a vote…

    Like · Reply · 23 March at 20:38

    David King

    David King It is an easy fix to passthru cost to the consumer. What about the BWA implementing a cost management strategy. Have a look at Audit General Special Audit to see the poor decisions made over the years. By now thw BWA should have rollouts our alternative power generations given their significant electricity bill. This is where their focus should be and not always seek to take the easy decisions.

    Like · Reply · 3 · 23 March at 21:11

    Hide 16 Replies

    Jeremy Stephen

    Jeremy Stephen I’ve seen them. But I hope you know I was speaking about the affirmative rather than endorsing an action. In fact I endorsed a mix of conservation and technology over anything else. What I also endorsed was the BWA "not" becoming a private entity.

    Like · Reply · 3 · 23 March at 22:20

    Kammie Holder

    Kammie Holder The sad thing is that very few of the decision makers understand the word sustainability. Until we have governance reform we will have these shitty grafted decisions being made.

    Like · Reply · 1 · 23 March at 23:40 · Edited

    Colin Daniel

    Colin Daniel To fix the leaks you have to fix the distribution network. This was to be done since the 1980’s. It is a significant capital cost for the replacement network, trenching and rebuilding roads after the trenching has been completed. Ultimately this has to be paid for.

    Like · Reply · 2 · 24 March at 18:36

    David King

    David King Our governance system is suspect. This is where our problems can be found. Decision making is not informed by strategy and planning. It is mostly about political expediency. Sadly a people get the representation it deserves.

    Like · Reply · 2 · 24 March at 18:43

    Jeremy Stephen

    Jeremy Stephen And even so there’s still a financial cost that we all can’t get around. Not unless we go cap in hand.

    Like · Reply · 1 · 24 March at 18:56

    Colin Daniel

    Colin Daniel Governance comes from us the electorate. When we go to the polls and elect people who are not interested in our opinion is the first mistake we make.

    Like · Reply · 1 · 25 March at 01:00

    Kammie Holder

    Kammie Holder My house is leaking and it’s more important to build a new house with the same plumbing or buy a water tank

    Like · Reply · 1 · 25 March at 13:38

    Kammie Holder

    Kammie Holder Between 37 to 40% of the non revenue water is loss to leakage

    Like · Reply · 1 · 25 March at 13:38

    David King

    David King Jeremy Stephen then we need to design a comprehensive plan and the leaders must sell it to the population as elected to do. A piece meal approach to decision making to satisfy political expediency will ensure more of the same. The water problem was knoSee more

    Like · Reply · 3 · 25 March at 14:40

    Jeremy Stephen

    Jeremy Stephen I agree. But we are here now and we should really use these elections wisely.

    Like · Reply · 2 · 25 March at 15:17

    David King

    David King Yes but context is important to inform current plans. More of the same will not do it. We need to bust the thing wide open. A current example is hiring a man who has no experience managing a big business as GM of the BWA. A good place to start.

    Like · Reply · 2 · 25 March at 15:20

    Kammie Holder

    Kammie Holder We can never expect any better governance from either the DLP or BLP when the capitalist are the ones financing the campaigns and largesse for party supporters.

    Like · Reply · 2 · 25 March at 17:54 · Edited

    Kammie Holder

    Kammie Holder Why must BWA continue to bank roll the Barbados Light & Power as its major customer. The blasted 8 Mega Watt Solar Plant must be built.

    Like · Reply · 2 · 25 March at 15:25

    Kammie Holder

    Kammie Holder The GOB officials who are not supporting the 8MW Solar Power Pllant as PEPs must be subjected to financial scrutiny and so must their families as well as associates. James Paul

    Like · Reply · 1 · 25 March at 15:27

    Kammie Holder

    Kammie Holder James Paul your government as well as the BLP has concentrated the wealth in the hands of a few the same very thing you guys accused the BILP of doing.

    Like · Reply · 1 · 25 March at 17:55 · Edited

    Kammie Holder

    Kammie Holder Who is building the two Ill conceived Desal plants and how much did they contribute to political campaigns?

    Like · Reply · 2 · 25 March at 15:30

    David King

    Write a reply…

    David King

    David King By the way -what recommends Halliday to be GM of the BWA?

    Like · Reply · 2 · 23 March at 21:12

    Chulang Searles

    Chulang Searles I agree with you

    Like · Reply · 1 · 24 March at 11:24

    James Paul

    James Paul Kammie you are in charge or connected to an organization that can be a catalyst for change in our beloved country. Water use patterns have to change and it is non governmental organizations like yours which have to promote those changes in the communitSee more

    Like · Reply · 3 · 24 March at 19:12

    Kammie Holder

    Kammie Holder James Paul wrong is wrong if it’s DLP or BLP making bad decisions or making questionable transactions. It’s time enough politicians stop beat around we bush

    Like · Reply · 2 · 24 March at 19:38

    James Paul

    James Paul Kammie I am not debating that. I merely suggested that we need to find a way to change water usage habits. Further, because of the projections it is becoming apparent that water harvesting is even becoming more an imperative today and all Barbadians need to understand that they have a role to play.

    Like · Reply · 24 March at 21:13

    David King

    David King All Barbadians need to understand many things. What is the status of the illegal importation of chicken wings and relabeling? We love to cherry-pick the issues. Bottomline, our government must lead, help to infuse confidence in the population it has responsibility for. The word tonight for you to repeat 100 times is INTEGRITY!

    Like · Reply · 24 March at 23:29

    James Paul

    James Paul You do not talk integrity you live it.

    Like · Reply · 1 · 24 March at 23:36

    David King

    David King Exactly! We will wait for you to ask Michael Carrington to resign because he has betrayed every moral minimum there is. This is what anyone living with integrity would have done from day 1. -moral NOT legal because the value of INTEGRITY is laced with a large strand of morality.

    Like · Reply · 2 · 24 March at 23:45 · Edited

    David King

    Write a reply…

    David King

    David King Do you see this response from a member of the government? A BWA responsible for a system reportedly leaking 40+% water. A BWA with a repair response unit that never reponds in a timely manner to reports of leaks. A BWA with a customer service that has See more

    Like · Reply · 1 · 24 March at 20:48

    Michael A Clarke

    Michael A Clarke I have been waiting to get a water line flushed in St Thomas for six years months and four calls

    Like · Reply · 1 · 24 March at 23:27

    Michael A Clarke

    Michael A Clarke Sorry that should be six months not years 😕😕

    Like · Reply · 24 March at 23:28

    David King

    Write a reply…

    Michael A Clarke

    Michael A Clarke The Bible says you are either for the Lord or against Him

    Like · Reply · 1 · 24 March at 23:45

    Ann Gittens

    Ann Gittens They should also collect the arrears owed to them by big profitable businesses!

    Like · Reply · 3 · 25 March at 02:39

    Kammie Holder

    Kammie Holder James Paul under any government I am part of the SBRC, Ionics, Gems, Sandals and Coverley project must be reviewed and and improprietary found must be punished. Lynette Eastmond

    Like · Reply · 2 · 26 March at 23:09

    Kammie Holder

    Kammie Holder The BLP and DLP should be ashamedn of how the country has been robbed thru graft and invoicing over the last 50 years under their watch. The masses always pay for corruption through a higher cost of living and poor social services.

    Like · Reply · 2 · 26 March at 23:12

    Kammie Holder

    Kammie Holder Neil Holder Lynette Eastmond Wendell Callender Grenville Phillips you guys need to put your egos aside and come together. The aim is to win a seat and more so your individual seats.

    Like · Reply · 26 March at 23:15

    Lynette Eastmond

    Lynette Eastmond I have no ego.

    Like · Reply · 1 · 26 March at 23:15

    Lynette Eastmond

    Lynette Eastmond But I am a mere woman.

    Like · Reply · 1 · 26 March at 23:15

    Kammie Holder

    Kammie Holder Lol, you are a woman of power and influence.

    Like · Reply · 26 March at 23:16

    David King

    David King What are the philosophies of the ‘third parties’? Is there a median line that can be drawn between the third parties?

    Like · Reply · 1 · 26 March at 23:18

    Wendell Callender

    Wendell Callender They can be bound by agreed core values. Kammie we do not blow trumpets about everything. However something is in progress.

    Like · Reply · 27 March at 02:49

    Kammie Holder

    Kammie Holder Wendell Callender tired of all the rhetoric from political parties. Disclose assets and speak to ITAL

    Like · Reply · 27 March at 02:54

    Neil Holder

    Neil Holder Kammie, precision and timing is everything!

    Like · Reply · 27 March at 03:40

    Grenville Phillips

      Grenville Phillips Hi Kammie: No egos here either. BTW, the aim is to provide Barbados with a competent alternative. Our Solutions have been published for over 18 months – and improved through discussion. If the public chooses wither the BLP or DLP or some version of them, then we will be truly sunk. Best regards, Grenville.

      Like · Reply · 27 March at 03:43



    1. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

      It is worth mentioning that Stephens did not see it necessary to mention the theft of water by BWA employee or employees who took a bribe or bribes to give bill free water to a community in Holetown, St. James for 10 years, which deprived the treasury of millions of dollars and disenfranchised taxpayers and those who pay for water, it was 10 years worth of unbilled water while that BWA employee ran off to the UK wealthy and neither the BWA board or attorney general or any minister of either government called for his extradition to answer for that crime or complained about 10 years of water wastage.

      Does Cow have access to free water in Apes Hill which is wasted on golf courses and empty villas.

      I would take Stephens more seriously if he addressed the real water wasters and water thieves on the island..


    2. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

      As for that neutered jackass James Paul, he should just stay silent…….

      ..,,.,you practice integrity, ya cant live it unless you practice it….damn dummy.


    3. WE GET OLD

      If you really live faithful and true
      And your family care about you
      Luckily for you its nothing new
      And maybe you will get old too
      I can’t unburden my mind at all
      Its nothing to fear
      Don’t shed a tear
      Just get in gear
      Just another year
      The sky wails in distress
      Praise Him you’re see it
      And be simple just stay fit
      Take your veggies and vit
      Time ran out ‘hmm oh shit’
      That’s why in awe I am singing
      But the goodness you’ve shown
      Some things you still trying to hone
      Lucky if you see your kids grown
      And all your crops reap and sown
      With that my mind wants to soar
      Life was good now and then
      Remember the bad times when
      When you try to catch a fat hen
      Can you now at 3 score and ten
      Tidal waves of tune flood my being
      So what, you had a darn good life
      There were times sometime strife
      Sometime sticking you like a knife
      By your side there was a good wife
      I want only the words that hide behind
      My dreams and in the shadow of my mind


    4. Gosh damn WW&C, reiterate my feelings and views nearly all the time.Chapeau M’am.Let those who have all those swimming pools pay a higher rate.The funding of replacement pipes should come from the Consol Fund after a CDB loan with no high lawyers fees attached.There are too many damn crooks in Barbados.Integrity is certainly the watchword and Paul too ugly and too simple to understand that word.Fools abound in the DLP.


    5. I have always understood that loans/grants from the int’l agencies were always easier ,cheaper and quicker to get for dealing with ones infra-structure i.e. road repairs,setting down new water pipes, etc,etc…..

      The 50M for the City that was allowed to be withdrawn by this govt was one such example.

      What is so difficult about going out there and seeking such funds,why is it that no of the aspirants to lead are talking about these simple bread and butter issues that are doable…..whats even more to the point is that a plan exists for it already….so no need for anymore studies.


    6. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger


      Those charged with keeping a structured, functioning judicial system cannot agree on simple matters DPP Leacock says one thing, the recent head of the useless Bar Association says another, without offering up any solution, as is typical, she is doing so just to contradict the DPP and keep the system nonfunctional without saying how to cut down the backlog. …as is the norm, dont look for any positive changes anytime soon, just additional problems in the court system. So many stupid people heading one tiny system is cause for concern.

      “Bar association rejects judge-only trials
      Added by Emmanuel Joseph on April 4, 2017.
      Saved under Judicial, Local News
      The legal fraternity is rejecting a recommendation by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Charles Leacock, QC, to abandon trials by jury as a means of reducing the backlog of cases in the law courts.

      Leacock had told participants at a Regional Security System (RSS) course on prosecuting drug offences last Friday that there were over 10,000 cases awaiting trial in the Magistrates Courts here and another 800 in the High Court, with 200 being added every year.

      He suggested that the backlog could be reduced if trial by jury were abandoned and judge-only trials introduced instead.

      However, President of the Bar Association of Barbados Liesel Weekes sees it differently, telling Barbados TODAY this afternoon that scrapping jury trials would not necessarily cut down the “mountain” of cases clogging the judicial system.”


    7. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger


      About time something is done about these bus drivers whose reckless and negligent driving injure and kill people, while insurance companies companies clog up the court system with personal injury cases for years in a bid not to pay compensation to their victims…

      …….this senior citizen lost her life and normally CGI Insurance and the bus drivers always try to pin the blame on the injured or dead victims, although they are not the ones driving the transport board bus…..hopefully her relatives have a claim going to make CGI pay now that the bus driver has been found guilty.

      I dont know what the driver’s diabetes and hypertention have to do with his driving dangerously, if they are ill, they should not be allowed to drive public service vehicles anyway.

      “IN SENTENCING a bus driver for dangerous driving, a judge has pointed out that drivers of Transport Board buses and public service vehicles (PSVs) have significant duties of care, especially within terminals.

      Justice Jacqueline Cornelius was speaking last Thursday as she fined suspended Transport Board driver Clare Ramon Nevero Hinds $8 500 for dangerous driving in an accident that claimed the life of an 89-year-old woman.
      On September 21, 2015, Hinds, 52, of Perfection Road, Bush Hall, St Michael, pleaded not guilty to causing Edna Sandiford’s death by dangerous driving on March 3, 2012, but admitted to dangerous driving on the same date.

      Defence attorney Arthur Holder said his client, who suffered with diabetes and hypertension, was now doing taxi service, having been on suspension.”


    8. I urge Mr Stephen to be very careful and be wary of whom he allows to pull his strings in furthering their narrow foolish agenda(s).

      There is no water shortage in Barbados.Its a myth.
      The persons most responsible for the wastage do not pay for that wastage.
      BWA is a monopoly and should be the sole beneficiary of all revenue generated by water distribution meaning they should have the monies required to pump and maintain their operations.
      A water hike has nothing to do with covering operating costs but a recovery measure for the extensive theft at the BWA.

      A hike , or tax will solve nothing.Stop “teefing”.


    9. “There is no water shortage in Barbados.”

      Maybe you look at the ministers´s pools and at the many golf courses on this island for the water. There it is.


    10. The problem is not availability.The problem is procurement and management.They manufactured the talk of a myth to justify theft and mismanagement of the BWA.


    11. Speaking of Human Rights what happened to Hillary Beckles cases
      Maybe DofBU could put on some internet pressure to file case


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