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