Water ‘Watch’

Submitted by Bentley Norville

The south coast sewage treatment plant was originally intended to be tertiary treatment.

Keithroy Halliday, General Manage, BWA

The major issue with water in Barbados is getting enough for irrigation. The requirements for water for domestic purposes can be met by the water produced by the Barbados Water Authority (BWA). There are several methods for producing additional water for irrigation. In 2014 I sent an article to Barbados Underground (BU) titled Agriculture and feeding our people.

Agriculture and Feeding Our People

Posted on by David

Submitted by Bentley Norville With all the recent and current talk on agriculture and our gargantuan food import bill a serious rethink on how we acquire our food is urgently required. With our food import bill around 800 to 900 … Continue reading →

This is one method. Also changing the antiquated methods we farm (for food crops) is another way to go. I’ve also submitted articles on this to BU.

As it relates to using water from sewage treatment plants this can also be done. There are 3 stages of sewage treatment, namely primary treatment, secondary treatment and tertiary treatment. The south coast sewage treatment plant was originally intended to be tertiary treatment (when I worked on the project back in 1983) but was later changed to primary treatment, so I’ve been informed. The final effluent from the tertiary treatment plant was supposed to have been pumped uphill near the Ministry of Agriculture compound to irrigate food crops not intended for consumption raw. This was meant as a pilot project. With the change in the plant system all this went out the window. We have adequate water in Barbados to supply our needs. The problem is not lack of water but management of our water resources. 

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FLOW, BL&P, Digicel, BWA not being properly regulated by government and FTC

Dr Marsha Atherley-Ikechi, CEO, Fair Trading Commission

In the early 2000s the Barbados government took the decision as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) mandate to liberalize our telecommunication sector. For many years Cable and Wireless was the single telecom player licensed to provide services in Barbados. Cable and Wireless was the classic monopoly and raked in millions if not billions in profits since its establishment in the 19th century.

With the liberalization of the sector there was high expectation from the public that with fair competition, supported by the creation of a regulator and relevant legislation there was a new dawn. The late Prime Minister Owen Arthur as lead HoG for CSME matters was quoted in 1998 as saying – “Mr. Speaker, one of the areas of gravest deficiencies in our economic affairs is the set of arrangements in place for regulating the affairs of public utilities, and monopolies and protecting the interest of consumers and producers who have to relate to such monopolies“. It is fair to opine that nearly twenty five years later, Barbados telecoms players have NOT been able to satisfactorily monitor service standards, respond to customer complaints or guarantee affordable rates among other promises.

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The following communication was widely distributed to BWA, Members of Parliament, Bankers, Law Firms and others – Blogmaster

Dear General Manager Keithroy Halliday,

Today Thursday July 8, 2021 a group (around 4 persons) of BWA staff led by supervisor Rueben Sealy came to my office at Lot 243, Flamboyant avenue, Sunset Crest  around 1.15pm with the intention of disconnecting my sole water supply. When I confronted your uninformed staff. with my original DEED of ownership, asking that they not engage in any activity or damage any of my property or trees I was totally ignored. Furthermore, Tina Landro-Parravicino (a UFO and squatter on my estate) held discussions with your BWA staff and even gave instructions about several water fittings on my estate, even though she has no title to my property (Sunset Crest/LimeGrove/Beach Club/Sunset Crest Propriety club).

As a last resort, I made a call to the Holetown Police station whereby several officers attended to the scene a few minutes later. It was only after the Intervention of the officers present that the BWA staff ceased their activities, but not after causing damage to my property.

It should be noted that this action by your BWA staff is not only illegal, but immoral as:

All BWA meters, pipes and or fittings run along ALL THOSE LANDS solely owned by myself, Joseph K Jordan lll (Golden Anchorage Limited). Rents for the use of my lands have not been paid and are due from/by Barbados Water Authority (BWA). On this estate, there is an existing covenant, which cannot be infringed by any ACT (including the BWA ACT).

No bill/invoice for payment has been produced to myself  Joseph K Jordan lll for use of residential water. As such, how can BWA disconnect with no proof of a liability?

Being private property (inclusive of the roadways, sidewalks, easements and pathways) comprising condominiums, villas and hotels, BWA has no legal right nor authority to trespass on my private estate without my permission and a valid warrant. This includes removing any items, trees or fittings from any of these 104 acres approximately of land.

Barbados (like every country in the world) is still battling a pandemic where personal hygiene and sanitation is preached  daily as a requirement to avoid an explosion of COVID infection among both locals and tourists (The lifeblood of our economy and Sunset Crest). How can you in good conscience disconnect a person’s water supply during these times?

In conclusion, I hereby notify you, the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) and the Government of Barbados that no BWA staff nor contractors shall trespass on my estate as of today, July 8th, 2021 without my prior written consent. Furthermore, as a gesture of goodwill, I am willing to meet with yourself to discuss an amicable resolution to this situation providing the original deeds/conveyances and release deeds that are not only registered at the Lands Registry but also at the High Court Registry.

I thank you in advance for your cooperation and expect your reply within 5 days of this communication.

Joseph K Jordan lll


Difficult Conversations – Paid in Ash

Last week, I described nine decisions that I would take during my first hour, if I was Prime Minister for one day. This week, I will share seven decisions that I would take within my second hour at the helm.


I would instruct Minister Edghill to provide continuous water to those who have been without water for years, within 2 weeks. This is too long overdue. Approximately 90% of the cost, effort and time to get water to the reservoir in question, is in the trenching to get the pipes in the ground. That is why it is taking years to get this done. Quick relief can be provided by running water lines temporarily on the surface, and trenching at road crossings that do not have drainage culverts.

The BWA can contract several private sector construction companies to trench across all the required intersecting roads, install pipe sleeves, and then backfill the trench. A construction crew can complete at least one intersecting road in one night – hence the need for several contractors. Once people have relief, the BWA can then resume their slow-trenching to put the mains underground.


Every household should be able to afford water for their basic needs, and have an incentive to conserve water. Therefore, I would instruct Minister Straughn to remove the Sewerage and Garbage taxes from the Basic Needs category of water use, on BWA water bills.


Barbadians should be encouraged to innovate. Therefore, I would instruct Minister Bradshaw to re-establish the national innovation competition this year – which was stopped in 2015. The prize budget for marketable prototypes, should be at least as much as that for calypsonians during the normal Crop Over competition.
I would also instruct Minister Sutherland to have the BIDC venture-partner with willing producers of marketable products from the competition, to commercialise them. This is also long overdue.


Our artists should commercialise their work. The problem is that commercialising products is both an art and a science. Business success is measured by making money from products. If you are not making money from your products, then you are not operating a business, but a charity.

I would instruct Minister King to set up a business department in the National Cultural Foundation, within one month. The business department is to be self-funded within one year. Success is to be measured by the amount of revenue generated for artists.

It is critical that this business department is not managed by politically partisan persons, with no evidence of business success. Otherwise, the department’s mission will likely be frustrated, and failure is foreseen to be certain.


It is extremely inefficient, and unnecessarily dangerous, to have persons sweeping ash and dirt from our highways. There are road vacuum trucks that are designed for that purpose.

I would instruct Minister Edghill to find where our road vacuum truck is parked, and get it into service immediately. If it cannot be found, then order another one – which may also be used to clean ash from the airport if we get another ash-fall.


Volcanic ash is sold on the Internet for around BD$5 per kg. Therefore, the ash has value. But it seems that Barbadians are being tricked into giving it away for free.

The volume of ash that can be collected from our roads and roofs is approximately 50,000 cubic metres. Assuming a bulk density of 1,000 kg/cubic metres, and a cost of $5/kg, results in a value of $250 million. Collecting only 80% of the ash results in a value of $200M.

The Government receives approximately $175M in land taxes each year. The Government instructed Barbadians to collect the ash, and give it to the Government without compensation. Therefore, I would instruct Minister Straughn not to demand land taxes in 2021 – since it has already been paid in ash.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

Water NOT Running

This is a follow up on an earlier blog Water Running.

The blogmaster is pleased update the BU family that the authorities fixed the pipes at the location. On behalf of the BU household we thank the civic minded BU family member for taking the time to highlight the matter AND the relevant authorities for responding.

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Good to Go


Submitted by Grenville Phillips II, Leader of Solutions Barbados

The Barbados National Trust has the lawful responsibility of identifying Barbados’ historical treasures, for their preservation.  They examined the underground building at Fort George, and found nothing of historical significance to deserve being listed.  Their sorry excuse was that they were given a choice of either its complete demolition, or providing water to Barbadians.

It took a special type of blind trust, for the National Trust to believe that those were our only two options.  The BWA could have placed their new water tank at a lower elevation west of the underground building.  If the BWA claimed that they needed the additional height, then they could have built a tank with a smaller diameter and greater height, or they could have used an elevated tank.

Even if the BWA insisted on constructing their new 1.5 million-gallon water tank over the priceless international treasure, they could have done so.  How?  Because the building was so exceptionally designed and built, that it could have easily supported the weight of 1.5 million gallons of water plus the tank.

A comfortable factor of safety used when designing foundations is 3.  Which means that the foundation can support 3 times the maximum expected load.  The underground building could have supported over 4 times the entire weight of the full water tank.  Therefore, not only did the building not have to be demolished, but the marvel of having the building supporting 1.5 million gallons of water would have proved its exceptional design.

After the BWA stopped all demolition, the Barbados National Trust’s sole responsibility was to get the building listed and have their plaque installed – nothing else.  Had the National Trust performed their basic duty, then the BWA would have been forced to justify the lunacy of demolishing one of the most important international heritage buildings on this planet, to the Town and Country Development Planning Office.

If the BWA demolished a listed building without Planning permission, then the recently passed Planning and Development Bill makes the person at the BWA who ordered the demolition, and the Contractor, liable to a fine of $500,000, or imprisonment for 10 years, or both.  By colluding with the BWA to destroy this exceptional building, the National Trust denied the Planning office their critical role of representing our interests.

The Barbados National Trust failed Barbados, and the international community of nations, by choosing not to have the building listed.  The National Trust had no business negotiating with the BWA in secret, to completely demolish this building.  The demolition contractor noted that they would never have demolished the building had it been listed.  The only conceivable reason to consider demolishing such a building was if it was structurally unstable.

The demolition contractor explained that the building was so stable and well-constructed, that it resisted all of their normal attempts to demolish it.  This was an engineering marvel, where even impact demolition loads were efficiently distributed throughout the building to its foundations.

This was likely one of the last buildings to be designed by one person who was both an Architect and an Engineer, where the structure was the art.  Around the time of its design, the disciplines were separated, and the architect concentrated on the art while the Engineer concentrated on calculating the safe strength.

The building demonstrated the quality of work our fore-parents could achieve away from the slave master.  The workmanship was exquisite.  There was so much that we were supposed to learn about our past from this building.  Thanks Barbados National Trust.

Since it would not be demolished like any normal building, the contractor resorted to construction methods used when excavating through hard rock.  He used the heavy hammer.  Still the building resisted.  This wonderful building had survived generations of: colonial rule, major hurricanes, earthquakes, and misuse.

Even after its betrayal by the Barbados National Trust, it still went down fighting.  There was so much redundancy in the redistribution of loads, that it simply would not collapse.  It was designed to protect its occupants regardless of the amount of expected damage to individual blocks.  But purposeful demolition was not foreseen.

The Barbados National Trust not only ensured that there will be no consequences for this atrocity, but they set a dangerous precedent for other developers.  Namely, if anyone wants to demolish a historically important building in Barbados, just call the Barbados National Trust, bamboozle them with any nonsense, and you are good to go.

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Fort George Horror

No words can describe the horror of learning this week that ‘intelligent’ Barbados Water Authority (BWA) workers proceeded to destroy 50% of a historical site while doing excavation work at Fort George Heights. The callousness of thinking and ignorance appeared to know no bounds.

The following was extracted from Grenville Phillips II Facebook page – BU, Blogmaster

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Approximately one week ago, I learnt of a magnificent coral-stone structure found at Fort George Heights. It reportedly had 26 beautiful arches, and a series of coral-stone masonry arched roofs approximately 12 ft high.

This seemed to be a rare find. These were not the typical decorative archways. Rather, these were structural unreinforced arches out of coral-stone masonry. I could not believe Barbados’ good fortune.

We have lost the art of stone masonry. But here we had an almost perfect example of highly complex coral-stone masonry. It is more complex than our Parliament buildings, which are simple walls.

I am unaware of a similar series of coral-stone arched roofs on any structure on this planet. It is a unique and priceless international historical treasure.

Last week, the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) destroyed approximately half of this wonderful structure, before the Barbados National Trust got them to realise the horrific blunder they were making. To their credit, the BWA stopped the demolition.

The next obvious steps were to: prepare as-built drawings of the structure, do a structural condition survey, and manage this priceless treasure on behalf of all humanity.

The structure had survived gravity and lateral loads, so I planned to visit the site today to check whether there were any cracks in the blocks or mortar joints. There are so many scientific papers that could be published on this most important find – perhaps the ninth wonder of the world.

I had heard a rumour that the Government demanded that the remaining structure be demolished. I dismissed it as fake news, because no one could be that stupid.

As I made my way up Fort George hill, I was overcome with excitement at the anticipation of examining the beautiful unreinforced stone arches – the only such arches on this Earth (to my knowledge). However, when I approached the site, all I saw was rubble. The Contractor had completely demolished every single arch. I was overcome with a different emotion – anger.

How could we. How could we be so stupid. We have demonstrated that of all of the people who came from Adam, that we are the most … stupid. It is not thought possible that such stupidity could reside in humans, but we proved otherwise.

The BWA Board and CEO should resign immediately. All 30 MPs and all senators should resign in shame and disgrace – tonight. Everyone who knew about the lunatic decision to demolish this priceless international treasure, should be taken to Jenkins for a psychiatric examination. How could they?

This is no low order idiocy. This is idiocy of the highest order. They are worse than ISIS. ISIS uses Islam to justify destroying world treasures. We have no such excuse. If we cannot be trusted with this priceless treasure, the only one left on this planet, then what can we be trusted with? How could we be so blasted stupid? Good grief!


Barbados Water Authority Unable to QUICKLY Fix Leaks

The following note was received by the blogmaster today from a BU family member around 10AM. It is self explanatory.

The thought which comes to mind – we have our priorities wrong. The BWA built a headquarters for how many million? Yet we are unable to respond to the most basic customer request i.e. fix a leak!

Hi David

My neighbour discovered this water leak on the supply side of their line and notified BWA on Saturday of last week (Feb 11th). They were informed that it would be attended to on Monday of the following week. They called again on Tuesday as no one came by on Monday. On Wednesday, a crew finally visited for a short while and left without resolving the situation.

BWA was called again on Thursday asking for an update. I am told that the response given was “We are under pressure with a lot of leaks so we will get back to you when we can”.

Today is Saturday 16, February and the situation remains unchanged.

Keeping in mind that the average flow rate of a kitchen faucet is 2.2 gallons per minute, is it any wonder that the people of St Joseph, St John and St Andrew are suffering from low water pressure and/or denial of service?


Chairman of BWA Leodean Worrell Exposed by Innotech

The following document was received from a trusty source and needs no explanation except to say – even in disagreement human being should exercise a basic human quality of mutual respect to ensure the outcomes.

The blogmastser invites Chairlady Leodean Worrell to respond to the document attached and promises that her response will be given equal prominence on the blog.


Sabotage What!

Before the crap hit the fan on the South Coast the blogmaster was haunted by a pronouncement of Dr. John Mwanza almost three years go. It was at the height of the embarrassing period the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) was unable to supply water to rural parts of the island. Mwanza reminded Barbadians that besides Barbados being a water scare country, an old mains network had continued to undermine the quality of BWA’s water distribution network.

Wise heads in this forum have often cautioned about successive governments failing to make quality decisions be it the management of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), Public Transportation, Waste Management, Judicial System, Enforcing the Financial Rules to name a few. A reminder that all members of parliament should have to complete a mandatory training the Pros and Cons of Good Decision Making?

What some of us cannot process is the decision by the BWA to construct a 50 million dollar headquarters in St. Barnabas. Key decision makers would have been aware that the BWA distribution network has been compromised by a 100 year old mains network in some parts of the island.  Some commentators estimate the mains are leaking greater than 50%. The blogmaster would add that until recently all the pumping stations- many in a bad state of repair- were totally dependent on fossil power.  Despite the 60% hike in the water rate. The inability of the BWA to honour its financial committent to Innotech under a lease purchase agreement comes as no surprise to sensible observers.

While arguments can be made for housing the operations of the BWA in a modern structure – one does not need the benefit of hindsight to judge that it was a poor decision to commit millions of taxpayers dollars to construct a state of the art building while at the same time 104 water tanks needed to be installed in parts of the island- standpipe style.  We should be embarrassed.

On a related note the SSA built a modern building at Vaucluse to house the operations at a time the authority was unable to maintain a fleet of garbage trucks. Bare in mind the authority has also been unable to oversee a comprehensive waste disposal system. Up to the time of posting this blog the new SSA building estimated to have costed taxpayers 30 million dollars remains unoccupied.

The preamble is to sound a warning to the Mia Mottley government.

As a people – represented by our elected government – we cannot afford to continue making poor decisions. In this instant the supply of potable water. With the exception of a very few government and parastatal agencies the consensus is that they are poorly managed. Minister in the ministry of finance Ryan Straughn recently pronounced:-

…that Government will be taking a closer look at the process by which people are appointment to boards…Minister Straughn says a key provision of the draft law will be the introduction of the fiscal responsibility principles, which will hold government accountable for fiscal policies it implements. Sanctions will also be introduced against public entities, which rack up excessive debt, or fail to supply financial statements. An audit committee is also to be established.

As a people we have to hold elected AND public officials accountable. Whether it is Dr. John Mwanza or Prime Minister Mia Mottley crying SABOTAGE without being pressed by civil society to support with credible evidence. Whether it is civil servants not adhering to the financial rules of government. People must be held accountable.

Big up the Auditor General Office!

A Grenville Phillips Column – Lunacy

Jo-Ann Haigh

She was the most visible demonstration of rare competence during the last DLP administration. Despite everything falling around her (low water pressure, water outages, water leaks, sewage in the streets, etc), she made us feel that the BWA truly cared and were trying their best.

She appeared to single-handedly manage two national crises that were not improving, but getting worse. Yet she performed to a level of excellence that is not normal in the public or private sector of any country on this planet. As Communications Manager, she seemed to be on call 24/7/365 and consistently on point – an impressive level of commitment.

Most persons appear to receive national honours for doing work for which they were already paid to do. If there was ever an exemplar of a person who went far beyond the call of duty in putting Barbados first, and the needs of Barbadians over her own, it was Joy-Ann Haigh. For her demonstrated consistent level of excellence, she was deservedly given Combermere School’s alumni’s Flame Award, normally reserved for persons after a career of exemplary service.

Joy-Ann Haigh was the BWA’s most valuable resource, without doubt. Therefore, it took a special level of lunatic management to place her name on a lay-off list, and incompetence of the highest order to actually send her home.

If such a critically important post is being made redundant as reported, then we have the rare misfortune of witnessing, within the BWA, a demonstration of the next psychological state after madness, whatever that happens to be. We were told to simply elect and watch, well, watch on with dismay.

Illegal Company (IFL Pipeline Inc) Invoiced BWA 3.4 Million Dollars

[Barbados Underground] On the 16 August, 2018 Barbados Underground (BU) published the blog – Was Michael Carrington VAT Registered When he Invoiced the BIDC 706 thousand dollars?. The article also included a concern by the blogmaster about a 1.5 million dollar invoice submitted by Hal Gollop to the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) for services rendered. If we wanted to hammer home the point of abuse of taxpayers funds, flouting of government financial rules, graft and malfeasance practised by government officials AND private players,  $766,855 paid to Richard Byer for vetting a simple agreement for The Caves of Barbados under Denis Lowe’s watch should have been included –Make Legal (Professional) Fees Paid by Former DLP Government Public.

The Auditor General needs to be given some teeth to pursue individuals and companies that abuse the financial rules of government and receive taxpayers monies under questionable procurement practices.

A few simple questions based on the documents attached.

Is IFL Pipelines Inc a legally constituted company under the laws of Barbados?


Local Media Dithered as Sewage Plants Entered Failure Mode

The Minister of the Environment Wilfred Abrahams toured the location last week where two tanks designed to support the treatment of sewage by the Bridgetown Sewage Plant have been allowed to deteriorate because of lack of maintenance. What he revealed to the public is that one well has been out of operation for almost two years and the other is operating at 20% capacity. God forbid the single operating well fails, the potential for another south coast event of greater magnitude is predicted to be the result.

The 2018 general election is behind us and ALL the ministers and members of parliament paid a price for their inept management of the affairs of Barbados. The final tally of the votes revealed that 70% of the voters placed their X next to Barbados Labour Party candidates. However, there are two questions Barbadians must ask and demand answers:

  1. How were South Coast and Bridgetown sewage plants allowed to deteriorate to the current state and the local media not made aware either via investigative effort or from ‘sources’ and information shared with the public?
  2. There is a management team in place at the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) charged with the responsibility for the management of waste water and all that it entails. Should senior managers at the BWA be held accountable for the sewage disaster as well?

Call out the prayer warriors as a nation holds its collective breath for the next 28 days.

Barbadians Suffering from Fatigue with a Capital F


Fruendel Stuart (l) Denis Lowe (r) – the buck stops with Prime Minister Stuart.


And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land King James Bible

For 7 years plus the Barbados economy has been contracting. The country has been running a deficit on current account. We have had to significantly reduce capex. And this is despite raking in unprecedented levels of revenue if the reporting from the relevant government agencies are accepted. There is a resignation by Barbadians to the fact those charged with managing the economy seem are unable to do so. The discussions everywhere is whether this is due to incompetence or other reasons.

If we are to buyin to the government’s mantra that we should strive to build a society not an economy, ‘recent’ developments in the country have served to challenge this objective.  As if carrying the weight of an nonperforming economy on their backs like the proverbial albatross has not been the greatest burden- there is the evidence daily of the country’s infrastructure crumbling before our eyes. The sick South Coast Sewage Plant has occupied the newsfeeds on the domestic and international front in recent months. The prime minister FINALLY addressed the issue frontally by informing the country this week a request has been submitted to the IADB and experts to assist Barbados in addressing the problem. Bear in mind the leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley had informed the prime minister this was a problem waiting to happen two years ago. Like how most issues are dealt with in Barbados the politically expedient decision was taken, she was ignored.

Can you imagine this is the government that was this close to foisting a gasification plant on an island nation the size of which had never been built anywhere on planet earth?

After 7 years plus of economic famine, 2 plus years of a leaky sewage plant on the South Coast- today the local US Embassy slap Barbados with an advisory.

Event: Recent tests at several U.S. Embassy residences revealed bacteria at elevated levels in the tap water.  As a precautionary measure, the U.S. Embassy recommended to its staff to boil their drinking water or use bottled water.  The U.S. Embassy will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates accordingly.

Actions to Take:


We are a few weeks from a general election being called, clearly decision making by the government will be steeped in political consideration and antithetical to what is in the national interest. Even if the government by some miracle is able to fix the problem in the weeks before the general election there is the memory of a fatigue public to factor and anticipating how they will respond on election day.

The BU household cannot wait for election day to arrive!

Barbados Water Authority Press Conference | Sewage on South Coast a BIG Problem

David Estwick, Minister responsible for the Barbados Water Authorty

The problem of sewage running on the street of the South Coast is so serious BU shares a public service recording produced by the Barbados Water Authority which attempts to explains the challenge.

Hal Gollop’s 1.5 Million Dollar Invoice

The Hal Gollop 1.5 million invoice

The following was posted to BU on another blog and worthy of penetrating discussion afforded a separate blog-space.

William. Please post the following info as well. Firstly, the BWA bought the land on which the building is located over 15 years ago and under the NHC Act. So the notion that he had to regularise the title to the land is absurd.

Secondly, Clarke Gittens and Farmer, the law firm which worked for the financier and whose legal fees the BWA also had to pay and who prepared ALL of the documentation) charged $275,000.00.

Thirdly, the BWA found the bill to be so large, that they had to pay the fees in installments.

Michael Carrington invoiced the BIDC fees of $1,000,000.00 for sale of a building at Newton Roundabout.

Michael Yearwood charged the SSA $1,500,000.00 for the Cahill project, when the SSA Board did not even have any knowledge of the project.

Richard Byer, a DLP member, charged Caves $750,000.00 for work which, when it was first done under the BLP, the fee was only $30,000.00. Same work, but the fee is $720,000.00 more.

But David Thompson led from in front, as any good leader would. According to the CLICO forensic report, Thompson charged CLICO $2,000,000.00 for the purchase of CCB, and the he charged CLICO a fraudulent and wholly fictitious $3,300,000.00 for work that did not even exist.

And we have to ask how much Adrian King, son of Maurice King, charged Clearwater Bay Limited ( the government entity) that guaranteed the loan to The Four Seasons project? Some say $5,000,000.00


Water Strategy Required

Reproduced from Andrew Simpson’s Facebook page.

water_nitrateYesterday I attended, as a member of BAPE; on the invitation of the BWA, a meeting to address water scarcity and to build a roadmap toward achieving water security. Dr Mwansa made a presentation which was prepared by Anthony Headley that outlined hydrological, regulatory and universal understanding. Accepting that Barbados is deemed a ‘water scarce’ country, based on the precipitation which can be accessed, clearly demonstrated the importance for careful management and wise utilization of this precious resource.

Along with the design, development and maintenance of a system to adequately harvest and store fresh water, with which our nation is naturally endowed; it was clear that the need to reduce, reuse and recycle equally relates to water; as it does to packaging and other lifestyle outputs. The idea of resource self-sufficiency must form part of the solution, with commercial / household USE of rainwater catchment, by way of implementing dual plumbing techniques along with any overflow being directed to the aquifer by using boreholes. In order that waste (grey water) be applied to suitable purposes; and for sewage (black water) to be recovered with treatment technologies where applicable, it is accepted that a national initiative will be required. A greater appreciation of the true value of piped water, in the meantime, is believed by many, to hold the greatest reductive potential for this scarce commodity. Such achievement can be immediate, by the GOB, through the PUB and FTC, implementing a tiered rate structure which attempts to place true value on the price tag for potable water. A doubling, trebling and quadrupling even, of the rate paid for consumption bands above essentially acceptable usage, based on the number of occupants in a household, or as otherwise qualified by acreage under food production, etc. would cause conservation and regeneration efforts to quickly follow.

Much technical writing is widely read and understood, thanks to our enviable education system, but exercise of practical knowledge seems rare. This conundrum is not specific but exists across the social spectrum. Stakeholders must unite in discovery and endeavor to join hands, link minds and bind hearts to rectify this dilemma. Most citizens acknowledge that the surrounding circumstances are less than ideal. The press and social media are reaching large segments society but somehow; the reality is not “hitting home” to those charged with the power to alter the way we react, as a people; toward the suffering of OTHERS. Is it a human callousness; a refusal to accept that we can do better, or simply that too many of us are so caught up in the mire of a frantic existence, that our sensitivity is diminished? This brings me, to what I believe to be, the heart of the matter – an ideological deficiency causing our perceived identity to be at odds with our true reality. The major underlying reason for this is an excess of socialist undertaking hampering the opportunity for true market freedom to manifest. The prosperity which naturally goes hand in hand with responsibility, to sustainably manage our natural resources and the environment around us, is being denied.

The challenge, at this historical juncture, is to build consensus, to correct anomalies that ‘encourage unhealthy practices’ while incentivizing right behaviors, to forge a way of life that balances tastes and economic provision. We must determine to work as a TEAM, toward this imperative. The faith exercised thus far, by our people has enabled our Nation to advance by leaps and bounds, over the course of the last fifty years, but has created a downside which needs to be managed. The interest costs alone, required to service the debt which successive governments have ‘chalked up’, has become unbearable. Coupled with the ongoing appetite for increased salaries, wages and conditions associated with the ‘army of occupation’ supposedly needed to provide these services, to which we have apparently become accustomed, are financially unsustainable.

A paradigm shift, in the way that the ‘ship of state’ is operated, and a course change, now desperately required, must be undertaken. The father of our independence, The Right Honorable Errol Walton Barrow, in his famous “Mirror Image” speech, suggested that we consider what image we have of ourselves. This sentiment; no, this ultimatum is more pertinent now than ever. “All hands on deck” must be the battle cry of ALL, if we are to move ever forward.
God Bless Barbados.

What is the Quality of OUR Water?


Filters on the right

Barbadians received the good news this week that the volume of rainfall the island experienced in September, October and November 2016 will solve the low level in the water table in the near term. The bad news is that sewerage pipes have been leaking in the tourist belt.

Although principals at PAHO and the BWA have had to publicly refute social media reports questioning the quality of the local water, there are doubts. The management of the BWA have been assuring Barbadians the rust coloured water is as a result of sediment build up in the pipes and a 30 minute flush of the main SHOULD solve the problem.

The following note was received from a BU family member.

Have you checked the quality of your potable water recently? I just replaced my inline water filters again and as you will see in the attached photo, it is not a pretty sight.

Manufacturers recommendation for replacement of these filters is three months or 15,000 gallons. The displayed filters are reflective of only two months use.

Now get this – one filter should be enough to clean up the water supplied to a residence. I have had THREE filters installed in order to inadequately cope with water impurity. The filter on the left in the photo is a 10 micron filter for fine sediment. This was installed as a first defense. The filter on the right is 5 micron to reduce EXTRA fine sediment. These are installed before the tank. There is a third filter of 5 microns to further reduce sediment, taste and odour. This filter is not shown as it is black and offers no visible indication of its condition.

So, my question is “What is the quality of your water?”

Would the Ministry of health allow coconut vendors to sell coconut water of this quality to the public or would it be considered a health risk?

Importing Water from Suriname and the Right to Know


Minister of Water Resources David Estwick and the General manager of the BWA Dr. John Mwansa denied the initial report

It has been a few days Barbadians were alerted to the decision by the Barbados government about an arrangement with Amazone Resources to transport a maximum of 2 million litres of water to Barbados. It is an open secret the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) has been struggling to supply water to Barbadians living on the rock -especially in the Northern parishes with St. Joseph the hardest impacted.

The CEO Auke Piek of Amazone Resources was quoted in the media:

[he] would like to have the launch of the flexbag on November 21 or 22 and after that, it will be sent to Barbados with drinkable surface water from the rivers. The journey should take four to five days, using a tugboat to pull the floating flexbag/flextank … We will test, through our trial, how the water behaves during transportation.

It came as no surprise to the BU household to learn about yet another agreement consummated behind the backs of Barbadians in the dead of the night by this government. To make matters more interesting, several local news sources reported that the minister of water resources David Estwick and the general manager of the BWA Dr. John Mwansa denied the initial report.

However in light of subsequent reports from the BWA that confirmed an experimental shipment of water was approved by the BWA with the Suriname company Amazone Resources to test the feasibility of freighting water to Barbados under safe conditions in the event of a future need. The MOU with Amazone Resources did not include offloading the water in Barbados.

One wonders why the authorities in Barbados retreated to a defensive reaction when the news broke initially. Why didn’t the management make a quick decision to get ahead of the story if the agreement with Amazone was about contingency in the event the BWA is unable to supply potable water to Barbadians if drought conditions continue to adversely affect water generation. In fact the bigger concern is why did the management of water resources in Barbados not think it prudent to share the information with Barbadians when the MOU was signed off? Why the culture of governance by stealth.

Now that Barbadians have learned about the plan to barge water to Barbados, what is next? Who will tell us?

However, it was agreed that due to a lack of existing infrastructure in Barbados for the receipt of the water, storage and pumping and the need to establish the necessary water quality standards and importation control measures, the water in the barge would not be offloaded – Barbados Water Authority

Surely there is more information the BWA needs to share with the taxpayers of Barbados about the MOU between the BWA and Amazon.

The concern some have expressed is that Suriname has been tagged as a country where the risk of contracting Zika is very high. What screening infrastructure would Barbados have to implement to protect Barbadians from exposure to infectious diseases from Suriname and elsewhere if the decision to barge water to Barbados becomes a reality.

Relevant links:

The Barbadian public has a right to know what our government is doing from those who were elected to serve them. We have not forgotten this DLP government ran on a ticket of a transparency government not too long ago.


David Estwick Addresses Water Crisis, HOPEFULLY

David Estwick, Minister of Agriculture

David Estwick, Minister of Water Resources

According to media reports Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resource Management Dr David Estwick has scheduled a press conference for later today (07.10.2016). Estwick has been the target of severe criticism because of the inability of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) to achieve its mandate to deliver potable water to ALL Barbadians.

One hopes that Estwick will treat Barbadians with respect AND assume an empathetic posture later today by leaving his usual blustery and bombastic approach at Hoodies’ door.   BU agrees with Dr. George Belle that the ongoing water crisis will have political implications for the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) when the bell is rung for the next general election. It does not take evidence-based analysis to determine how long suffering residents in the areas of Barbados affected by water shortages will place their X.

One has to wonder what motivated Estwick to state recently, he intends to treat the water issue  as a national problem in response to the question why he has not reached out to residents of the most affected areas. He is technically correct to say his mandate must be national in focus, BUT, the reality is that there is an area in the North of Barbados that is being affected.  Any sensible politician should appreciate the need to establish an ’empathetic connection’ with the affected residents.

Human beings cannot survive without water – the infrequent supply to areas of Barbados has served to increase the level of stress of residents in the affected areas. This is an important observation in the context of a Barbados gripped in a protracted economic crisis for the the last eight years. And there is no light at the end of the tunnel!

BU and others have written voluminously about the water problems afflicting Barbados.  The poor management; communication, planning etc. Residents in the affected areas must be grateful in 2016 to be receiving the many gifts of water. The many acts of kindness must be commended BUT it does not absolve the BWA and David Estwick from the responsibility of ensuring ALL Barbadians receive water at the tap. One wonders why the simple task of maintaining supplies to the community water tanks is not being achieved. Why rapid response teams are not being satisfactorily mobilized to fix burst pipes. Why we cannot manage efficient customer contact centre operations to respond to dissatisfied subscribers.  Proactive communication alerts via ALL channels. The website of the BWA is wholly inadequate in 2016, there is no visible Facebook and Twitter presence to efficiently exploit the digital platform in a country with  deep Internet penetration.

The BU household will join many concerned Barbadians later today to listen to Minister David Estwick. Our expectation is that he will leave the political rhetoric for the political platform and deal with how his ministry plans to relieve the suffering of Barbadians in the North of the island.


Questions for Minister David Estwick

David Estwick - minister of Water

David Estwick – minister of Water

Minister of Water David Estwick recently advised that he will be updating the country very soon on the dire state of water management. We hope when he eventually breaks his silence he will address a few concerns raised by BU’s Colonel Buggy.

– Barbados Underground


  1. What is the true status of Castle Grant Reservoir which feeds residents far beyond St Joseph?
  2. Given that the Castle Grant reservoir’s tank was last cleaned 64 years ago in 1952, when will be the next scheduled inspection and cleaning of the tank take place?
  3. When will the building above the tank be refurbished and the surrounding area de-forested?
  4. When will adequate security be put in place at reservoirs starting with Castle Grant?
  5. Does the Ministry have any plans of requisitioning water dams from private owners fed by streams in the Scotland district to supply water to human beings?
  6. What is the status of Joe’s River/St Elizabeth above ground water tank?
  7. Is the sub pumping station on the Cattlewash side of the East Coast Road still functional?
  8. Can ordinary residents in villages and other communities be treated with the Trenchless Technology ,as was accorded the residents of Cattlewash in St Joseph?
  9. Were some residents in some upscale communities in St Joseph such as Andrews Round Hill given preferential treatment in relation to their water supply?
  10. Why were those residents hooked up to Castle Grant Reservoir over four months ago and were given the impression that the supply from Sweet Vale to Castle Grant was at the testing stage they would have an abundance of water in two weeks, when at that time two miles of the pipe line had yet to be installed?
  11. Are there any plans to deliver non-potable water drawn from the streams in the immediate area, primarily for the use of flushing toilets etc?
  12. What is the status of the enquiry into the alleged massive water leak from the Vineyard Reservoir?
  13. Which reservoirs and communities are fed from the relatively recent installed water wells at Groves/Six Roads ,St Philip.

Is there a Preventive Maintenance plan in place to :-

(a) Inspect, service and clean the metal water tanks on the fleet of tanker trucks .
(b) Inspect,service and repair the tanker truck chassis.
(b) Inspect , service and clean community plastic water tanks, and the immediate area surrounding them.

What health awareness/water handling training has been given to the drivers of these tanker trucks?.


  1. What is the real status of Andrews old sugar factory?
  2. Does the Court Order now in force also prevent any further dismantling of the old sugar factory?
  3. Does your Ministry/Government have any plans of conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment exercise to ensure that the construction of the new Andrews Super Factory is not unnecessarily or unfairly held up?
  4. How many tonnes of sugar are we expecting to produce in 2017?
  5. What is the status of the cultivated fields of Wild River Tamarind project?
  6. What type of machinery will be used to harvest these Wild River Tamarinds trees?
  7. Why are we supposedly using an imported variety of Wild River Tamarind when we have an adequate supply of Wild River Tamarind all over the island?
  8. Has any thought been given to the fact that if these Wild River Tamarinds are planted too closely together they may not achieve the desired size?
  9. What has become of the Fuel Cane Project,started some time ago?
  10. Have farmers who were persuaded to grow a number of acres of fuel canes, been adequately compensated after much of these canes were left in the field unreaped for a number of years or trashed backed into the ground?
  11. Are you aware that there is a scarcity in Barbados of Honey Bees, Humming Birds, Yellow Breasts birds, Brown and Black Cow Bees. All very vital in the pollination of plants?

Turning Water into Wine – The Anti – Embarrassment Miracle

Submitted by Heather Cole

Submitted by Heather Cole

Two thousand years ago the greatest revolutionary that ever lived walked on the earth. His name was Jesus Christ. He lived in a religious community of Jews where traditions of the law were manifest in every aspect of everyday life. At the start of his revolution, the people of Palestine must have thought he was mad because he did not preach the laws of the Moses. To the dismay of the Pharisees and Sadducees, he began to preach a strange doctrine that ‘the Kingdom of God was at hand’ and that he was ‘the way, the truth and the life.’

It was after his first miracle of turning water into wine that multitudes of people began to follow him. Jesus, his mother Mary and some of his disciples attended a wedding in Cana of Galilee. The most embarrassing situation occurred as there was not enough wine for everyone. One can imagine the embarrassment of the bride, the groom, their parents and the host of the wedding as well as imagine that whenever people saw the newly-weds together in the future, that this would be the first thing that would come to mind. Mary intervened on behalf of the wedding host and told Jesus about the problem. Jesus then miraculously changed six barrels of water into wine.

It was to prevent embarrassment that Jesus changed water into wine. Throughout his ministry not only did he do good deeds; he provided the needs of the people. He was just the start of the revolution and it took 3 years for his physical part in the revolution to be accomplished. The revolution did not die when he was crucified. Like a phoenix from the ashes of his death, it arose with his resurrection and grew and 2000 years later, the church that was built on the foundation of the Christ is still growing and providing the needs of the people.

What does this have to do with Barbados? It appears that the revolution that was started by Christ has come to a grinding halt in Barbados. The church has been silent throughout the last 8 years of social, economic and political disaster in Barbados. Isn’t it the role of the church to carry on Christ’s the revolution where he responded to the needs of the people? One wonders if the church still considers itself part of Christ’s revolution or if it is solely concerned with some of the traditions of men.

The most embarrassing situation to have occurred in Barbados in the 21st Century is on display in the parish of St. Joseph where people cannot get a drop of water from their taps. There was no hurricane, no tornado, no eruption of a volcano or a tidal wave to herald this onslaught. Yet for months the people of St. Joseph cannot get water to bathe, to brush their teeth, to cook, to wash their clothes; things that people in the other parishes are taking for granted. It is the height of human misery and the church has been silent. It has not said a word or brought water to quench thirst so one can hardly expect to see water being turned to wine.

We all know how valuable water is for life and the quality of life. Perhaps the church in Barbados does not understand what Jesus meant when he told the woman who he met at the well in Samaria that he was the ‘water of life.’

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – John 4:13-14 (NIV translation). How can the Church profess to have the water of life yet remain silent when physical water is lacking to fulfil the basic needs in the lives of the people?

The people in St Joseph are not in need of wine, only water. The length and breadth of Barbados including the Church should be embarrassed that this situation is occurring in 2016 and press the government not for a temporary solution but a solution that is sustainable. 2000 years ago in Palestine, Jesus gave his life for a cause of supplying the physical and spiritual needs of mankind. To the church in Barbados, what will it take for you to take up this cross which now has a cause of providing water for the people of St Joseph? One is not asking the Church to give up the lives of any of its members but only to help provide water and raise its voice to preserve life and the quality of life to all residents of St. Joseph.

The State of Castle Grant Reservoir

castlegrantA good indication of quality management of any entity is to examine the physical infrastructure (as one example) for which said management is charged. The state of the condition of the entity in this case should raise an alarm when the infrastructure under scrutiny is the national water generation and distributions read Castle Grant reservoir.

It gives Barbados Underground little comfort to publicize this matter BUT there comes a time when obvious years of neglect give the civic minded little choice.

This is the condition of a reservoir managed by the Barbados Water Authority.

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James Paul Blames Developers for Water Shortage

Submitted by Anthony Davis

James Paul MP, CEO of the Barbados Agricultural Society

James Paul MP, CEO of the Barbados Agricultural Society

Developers of new housing developments are to blame for the water shortage at the BWA because they are putting down too much concrete around homes. I don’t even call them developers,”he said – Barbados Today 16 February, 2016

First of all, Mr. Paul, pray tell me: Is there no concrete around your home and the others where you live?

Is it, by chance, that you live in a slave hut, and that is why you are suggesting that we start building them again?

I bet that your house is built on a wonderful concrete foundation with your garage and drive way also being of concrete. It’s very strange that you want us to go back to slavery, while you and the other members of Government enjoy a life of Riley.

If you are so worried about water wastage, why are you giving Cahill Energy free water rights for 30 years in such a water scarce country as Barbados?

Why did you put up a $60 million building in the Pine for the BWA?

Is there no concrete surrounding that building for the various vehicles to park?

How about a moratorium on all-inclusive hotels in our country?

The people who stay there do not make much difference to the economy, because all they need is paid for up front. It’s the same with all of the condominiums which are being built, and do not have to hire many people. Also most of the money earned in foreign exchange goes to some foreign country.

Another question is: Did Town and Country Planning give the developers permission to put down as much concrete as you are purporting?

It’s time you all stop trying to pin the blame on someone else for whatever your problems are. You go to Parliament to discuss a garbage problem in this country, and all you discuss is Greenland. We all know what happened with Greenland so it’s time to move on from there, instead of trying to use it as some smoke screen to push through something which is not proven, and where two of them have been shut down recently – even one in Canada. Let Clare Cowan go and apply to start one in her country instead of here to pollute ours!

How much water will be needed for the new Sam Lord’s Castle project, and the new one which is to be started on Bay St., thereby depriving the populace of this country of the use of part of a popular beach?

How often have people called the BWA about water which is gushing down the road, only for someone to turn up to rectify the situation weeks after?

Methinks that a lot of this garbage problem is to show the people that we cannot do without Cahill Energy’s waste-to-energy plant which will be of no benefit to anyone else but yourselves, because you signed on to it in our name, but we didn’t ask you to.

How much concrete will be put down for the SSA building and the waste-to-energy plant in Vaucluse?

Those buildings and the relative parking lots – especially knowing that there will be trucks, and all other kinds of vehicles parking there – will also hinder the water from percolating into the aquifers.

Also, Cahill Energy will be allowed to get 30 years of free water, whereas the population of Barbados and those tourists who choose to visit Barbados will be deprived of water as usual.

So, Mr. Paul, wheel and come again. We are NOT going back to the slave huts!

Water Woes Trending

Submitted by Anthony Davis

David Estwick, Minister of Water Resources

David Estwick, Minister of Water Resources

THE GOVERNMENT OF BARBADOS is fully aware of the water woes and is focussing on solutions. So says Minister of Industry Donville Inniss, who assured Barbadians that help was on the way, but warned against ‘dangerous thoughts’ of causing social unrest over the current  water woes. SATURDAY SUN dated January 2, 2016

Pray tell me, Mr. Inniss, are we still living in Barbados, or in North Korea, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, etc.?

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Water to the Cattlewash Crew



The following diagram was posted by BU family member Colonel Buggy with the following note:

Not all of St Joseph people are affected by this chronic water shortage . I have yet to see a BWA water tanker in Cattlewash, with the local gentry lugging buckets, pails and poes to collect water, or filling up from one of those plastic stand tanks. This diagram is my interpretation as to why Cattlewash has been spared the indignity of going back to the stand pipe.

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Late Prime Minister’s 2009 Address to the BWA

BWA_artist_impression_thumb.pngThe following address delivered by the late Prime Minister David Thompson in 2009 merits a repost in the prevailing climate. This week Minister David Estwick assured Barbadians in the North BWA’s tactical response to water woes will be the installation of water tanks.

[…] Continue reading

Problemas de Agua

When will the BWA integrate an alternative energy strategy to reduce its monthly electricity bill of approx 1 million dollars.

When will the BWA integrate an alternative energy strategy to reduce its monthly electricity bill of approx 1 million dollars.

In 2009 late Prime Minister David Thompson approved a hike in water rates charged by 60% with the promise the increased cash flow would improve the level of service and upgrade to equipment by the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) – see Has the BWA Short-changed Barbadians After Benefiting from a 60% Rate Hike in 2009? Nearly six years later there has been no significant change. The replacement project of eighty year old mains has been delayed by industrial and other issues although there has been improvement how the BWA communicates its many challenges to the public, BUT overall, there has been no quantum lift in the efficiency of the BWA. We can discuss on another blog what policy position has been taken to significantly reduce or replace the cost of pumping water to the tune of approximately one million dollars monthly which the Barbados Light & Power is happy to pocket.

At this time of the year – to mimic the 11 plus chatter – there is a hue and cry about dry taps and the havoc it causes to schools and nurseries forced to close operations along with other inconveniences. BU and sensible Barbadians are sympathetic to BWA workers who have to work around the clock to fix broken water mains and all the other activities to get things back on track.

Recently listeners to Voice of Barbados 92.9 heard the BWA’s Communications Specialist in an emotional but sincere  explanation of the many challenges confronting the BWA. The electorate needs to be given more respect, it needs to hear Ms. Haig’s quick responses to day to day queries and concerns BUT what taxpayers need to hear also is from government through the minister responsible, to share a critical path analysis of the deliverable which were promised by the late David Thompson in his 2009 speech to the BWA.

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Has the BWA Short-changed Barbadians After Benefiting from a 60% Rate Hike in 2009?

The Late Hon. Prime Minister David Thompson

The Late Hon. Prime Minister David Thompson

Barbados Water Authority (BWA) acting senior engineer Stephen Lindo was in the news recently reminding Barbadians, yet again, that the BWA needs to source one billion dollars to fund the replacement of old infrastructure. Another point he made which should be of interest to Barbadians is that the government “would be approaching the IDB for money to buy a number of power generators, which are critical when there is an outage at the Barbados Light & Power Company.”  It is no secret that the BWA is 100% reliant on the Barbados Light & Power (BL&P) for power supply at a time when the Barbados government has articulated that building out alternative energy supply is a national priority. In fact the BWA is reported to use 3.6 million units of electricity each month which equates to approximately 4% of the total output of BL&P.

The press conference by Lindo reminded BU of the address which the late prime minister David Thompson delivered to all employees of the BWA in 2009 over four years ago. His address was made on the eve of the decision by his government to implement a rate hike of 60%. Although the hike became a hot political issue most Barbadians were resigned to the fact the BWA needed funds to improve its plant and customer service. However by now the same Barbadians  would have expected that since Thompson’s speech many deliverables promised would have been deep in the implementation stage.

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CONCACAF’s Integrity Committee Finds Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer Guilty – David Estwick Take Note re:Barbados Water Authority

The Nation and Advocate both carried almost identical articles about The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football’s (CONCACAF’s) investigation into allegations about Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer. While the article covered the main allegations and findings it is only when you read the full report of CONCACAF’s Integrity Committee, that you appreciate the exploitation carried out by both men during the years when they were President and General Secretary respectively.

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The "G" Virus Continued

Auditor General Leigh Trotman

After reading the  Are VIPs Exempt From Paying VAT? which followed BU’s  The G Virus,  BU remains convinced we have a crisis of governance in Barbados. As election time draws  closer BU will be highlighting examples to show that it does not matter which government is in office, the decadence which permeates our governance system is foreboding.

During the last general election Barbadians listened to several accusations of financial wrongdoings by the then Opposition. With another general election on the horizon Barbadians are hearing the same concerns from the current Opposition. Needless to say many Barbadians have become turned off by the politics being practiced in Barbados.

Do Barbadians remember the two Special Audits done by the Auditor General in 2006? Continue reading

Spring Garden Reverse Osmosis Desalination Facility – The Great White BLP Calf

Submitted by Andre Jones

Ionics plant was never operated at full capacity according to Auditor General report

Of all the fatted calves in Barbados, the Reverse Osmosis Desalination Facility at Spring Garden owned and operated by Ionics Freshwater Limited is surely the fattest in the herd! This BLP calf delivers BDS$1.9 Million each and every year to its owners in the form of a standby charge billed to the Barbados Water Authority without even a drop of water making its way into the water main system of Barbados. The Auditor General discovered during its recent Special Audit of the Barbados Water Authority that BDS$19Million has already been paid to Ionics as a standby charge and this has nothing to do with the actual price of water produced by the facility and charged to the Barbados Water Authority. There is no doubt Mr. Ralph ‘BIZZY’ Williams and his good friends Hallem Nicholls and Owen Arthur do handsomely well out of this transaction.

This reminds one of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner poem by English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge written in 1797/98 and published in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads.

See related link: BWA’s Special Audit

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BWA Facing Water Challenges: Special Audit of the Barbados Water Authority EXPOSED

Submitted by John Dillinger

Ionics plant was never run at full capacity according to Auditor General report

See link to Report by the Auditor General of the Special Audit into the BWA commissioned by Minister of Finance.

What is the role of the former Prime Minister David Thompson appointing Executive Chairman, Arni Walters in all these infelicities highlighted by the Special Audit?

Where is Mr. Walters now? Why has he so quietly disappeared from the frontline of the DLP Administration?

Can charges be laid for these infelicities in the procurement process at the BWA?

Why was this special audit commissioned by Minister Sinckler to cover the post-2008 period of administration at the BWA? Who was the minister with responsibility for the BWA at that time?

More questions than answers……

In similar vein, last year Minister Sinckler announced at a hastily called Press Conference at Almond Bay one Sunday afternoon that he would commission a Special Audit of the UWI with regards to claims by the UWI of funds owing to that institution by the Government of Barbados. Was that audit ever done?

On a related note:

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Getting Ready For The Campaign Trail, SOON

The following was posted as a comment on the CLICO – A Rape Victim But Who Are The RAPISTS? blog. BU believes the submission captures many of the issues which will be distilled on political platforms in the upcoming general elections.

Owen Arthur, Leader of the opposition (l) Fruendel Stuart, Prime Minister (r)

Current Opposition Leader Owen Arthur says that the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) government has a moral obligation to fix the CLICO mess.  Arthur and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) perhaps have forgotten that the Barbados Water Author (BWA), a government owned corporation and sole provider of water services  in 2009 was near bankruptcy. David Thompson and the DLP inherited the BWA problem from Arthur and the BLP.  Arthur and the BLP were morally responsible for BWA problems totalling thirteen years.  BWA problems FIRST appeared during the ruling of Arthur and the BLP, also Al Barrack.

The Al Barrack mess FIRST appeared during the ruling of Arthur and the BLP.  The court ruled in favour of Al Barrack, a little less than thirty five million, $34,490.518 to be exact. Barrack in 2008 received 2.5 million from the David Thompson administration. Al Barrack, since 2008 has not received payment from the Barbados government in any form or fashion.  Building Contractor, Al Barrack built the government office complex in Warrens (St. Michael) but yet unpaid.  The total amount NOW owed Al Barrack is far above 34, 490, 518.  The Barbados national debt also is far above the 34,490,518 amount.

Just recently, Arthur reported to Midweek Nation that “the REDjet Airlines might still be flying if the Barbados Government had honoured its financial commitment to the collapsed airline”.  Well Mr. Arthur, if the government during your rein had honoured its financial commitment to Contractor Al Barrack, Barbados  NOW would not owe him seventy five million.

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Illegal Water Rates: Pay Back The Money

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

On March 3, 2012, the Saturday Sun published an article entitled, “BWA Sacred Cow”, which claimed that the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) is no longer regulated under the Utilities Regulation Act (the Act) chapter 282 of the laws of Barbados. This in effect means that Fair Trading Commission (FTC) cannot set water rates or hear and determine any complaints about the quality of service provided by the BWA. Any such complaints against the BWA can only be made to the BWA. As the article stated,

“They [BWA] are judge, jury, everything. You have to accept what they say. So water in this case is creating difficulty because of the change that was made in 2009 when it was removed . . . it is creating a lot of problems for the consumers”.

The obvious question must now be: How did the regulation of the BWA get back to this undesirable situation? The answer is not the most honourable thing that the present Government has done.

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Will The Fair Trading Commission Protect Consumers From EMERA And LIME?

Emera CEO Chris Huskilson

On Friday, Emera showed a profit attributable to shareholders of $241.1 million ($1.97 per share) on revenue of $2.06 billion for all of 2011. That compares to a profit of $190.7 million ($1.65 per share) on revenue of $1.6 billion in fiscal 2010.

The company credits gains earned by Caribbean subsidiary Light & Power Holdings Ltd. for helping achieve impressive profits, but there is no denying Nova Scotia Power is the big earner for Emera. According to figures, the regulated provincial power monopoly contributed more that half the profit earned by the parent in 2011.

 Herald Business

We now have the ridiculous situation enduring in harsh economic conditions where the parent company of the Barbados Light and Power (BL&P) has earned record profits of 241 million for 2010. The business theory indoctrinates that private enterprise is established for the primary reason to create value for the shareholder. Who can fault Emera for the enviable position it finds itself. However the following statement in the report that “The company credits gains earned by Caribbean subsidiary Light & Power Holdings Ltd. for helping achieve impressive profits.”  should be of of interest to Barbadians. More particular it should be of interest to the beast we refer to as the Fair Trading Commission (FTC).

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How Two Utilities Failed Barbados In The Post-TOMAS Period

Submitted by The People’s Democratic Congress (PDC)


It has been long remarked by many living souls in  Barbados that, if Barbados were to have been sufficiently struck at any time by a tropical storm/hurricane, how a lot of homes, buildings and other properties would have been seen to be partially or wholly destroyed, primarily because of – as they would have observed it – the excessive numbers of instances, whereby there have been less than appropriate building designing undergone, whereby there have been many unsafe building techniques and practices carried out on those dwellings/buildings, or whereby there have been allowed to develop the wholly unsatisfactory conditions of many homes in the country; and how all these essential utility service companies that are here in Barbados, esp. the BL&P, would have performed so poorly in the aftermath of any such weather systems, primarily because of – as they saw it too, the very checkered history of the general out-in-the-field performances of these companies over the years.

As well, many a mortal in Barbados would long have been sounding off that, if this country were to continue indefinitely on the prevailing backwardist, exploitative, worn out euro-centric westernist development path that it is on right now, how the country could well  or would well be on the way to becoming a second rate so-called Third World developing country in the foreseeable future, primarily as a result of the many inept unprogressive anti-poor social political material financial policies and programs that have been pursued in the public and private sectors of the country over the years – and esp. as it relates to such policies and programs that have led to chronic dependence on the tourism sector for the country’s further development – and which for the fickle industry that it is, sees too many of the country’s people, their services, resources and finances being allocated to it.

And shall we – in the PDC-  add, this,  that as far as these anti-masses middle classes policies and programs are concerned, these themselves that have been and continue to be based on the reinforcement of the existence of  evil systems such as WORK, TAXATION, INTEREST RATES, REPAYABLE  INSTITUTIONAL  PRODUCTIVE LOANS, ETC.

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Barbados Authority Employee Forcefully Enforces Water Code

Submitted by Fort George Resident

I am writing you to lodge a complaint about an incident which took place in Fort George Heights on Wednesday 11th August, 2010 at 9 am. I was in my garden wetting my plants when a BWA vehicle passed my house and I was verbally abused unprovoked by the driver.

The vehicle’s registration number is believed to be ML929 but I stand to correction. The driver can be described as bald headed and between the ages of 40 and 50 years old. The vehicle had 3 other occupants but I was not accosted by them.

I had my back to the road and when the vehicle stopped in front of my house, this is what I heard. “You have to be the most unreasonable rasshole woman in the world, rain falling and you wetting plants”, to which I replied “I pay for the water that I use”. It was even more unreasonable since the worker obviously meant we are in the wet season, since it was blazing hot sunshine the whole day. It was not actually raining at the time.

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Brass Tacks, BWA, Crops, and MTW

Here is what Kammie Holder is writing elsewhere Credit to Nation Newspaper 09/07/2010

Kammie Holder

Negativity, stupidity, red tape, common sense and ignorance in pure Barbados style. The aforementioned adjectives are observations of pervasive descriptives within Barbados.

Why, is it that it that the once popular Brass Tacks talk show now seems to be the embryo for negativity in Barbados. Should not moderators put aside their bull and bias, to inform and educate listeners as opinion leaders?

I heard recently that experts on water authority don’t believe that Barbados is a water scarce country. Is this the same Barbados where taps run dry? Was I dreaming when I saw a Barbados Water Authority truck pumping water into a gully to make soil soft for a motor sport during CBC TV Wednesday evening sports news? Seem to me this is classic Barbados stupidity?

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Barbados Water Management In A Mess

The recent appointment of former Senator Arni Walters as Executive Chairman of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) has raised more than a few eye-brows. Given his extensive experience working in the labour market, one would have assumed his skills would have been needed in the position he was just removed. After all, the economy is expected to contract over the near term in a global economy which continues to behave sluggish. The other side to the argument some say, the government sees the organizational restructuring and transformation needed at a BWA in shambles as priority number one.

The poor state of the  financial and management structure at the BWA which has reached a crisis state  in recent months is an embarrassment to the country to say the least. It seems idiotic that during the boom years this most important state enterprise would have been neglected to the point which led it to being insolvent under the current administration. Perhaps Barbadians should have taken note when the BWA was excluded from the oversight of the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) when it was established under the former government. The argument given for the exclusion by some at the time was  that the government wanted to shield the less well off in the society from water rates driven by purely economic considerations. Given the financial state at the BWA it is conceivable that an FTC imposed rate may have been more burdensome.

The decision by the government at the time to enter into an agreement with Ionics Freshwater Ltd in hindsight was part of an ad hoc water management strategy at best. The Ionics water desalination plant is designed to provide fresh, potable drinking water to one-sixth of the island’s 264,000 people. The 30,000 cubic meter per day (7.9 million gallons per day) plant utilizes reverse osmosis (RO) membrane technology. We learned recently from Minister Lowe who has responsibility for the BWA that the government is contracted to pay Ionics Freshwater Ltd 10 million dollars annually. Minister Lowe expressed the view the price is too high. We all look forward to when the agreement expires originally set for 15 years.

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The Utilities Raping Barbadian Consumers

First it was water, followed by electricity, based on recent reports Barbadians will suffer another increase in the telephone rate of $1.77 per pricing plan, whatever that means. The biggest of all ironies is the recognition that the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) is owned by government and not regulated by the Fair Training Commission (FTC). Cable & Wireless aka LIME and the Barbados Light & Power fall under the oversight of the FTC. In both cases the PEOPLE lose.

BU can join the esoteric debate by the academics and analysts to argue the merits of hiking utility rates at the hike of a recession. We have always been more comfortable using arguments rooted in commonsense.

Barbadians have had to pay by decree up 60% increase in the water rate. Most Barbadians given the value of water to maintaining our existence would have been persuaded to suffer the increase,  balanced by the argument the BWA was insolvent and in dire need of a overhaul. Prime Minister David Thompson told Barbadians in June 2009 that the increase in the water rate was necessary to ensure the BWA meets its mandate to deliver a quality water management infrastructure to Barbadians. Approaching one year the customer and other support services at the BWA remain abdominal. Minister Denis Lowe who is responsible for the BWA has been silent regarding progress in restructuring at that state body. Last week Barbadians were treated to the news that a consultant contracted by government will recommend the discontinuation of sucks/ pit toilets. Additionally current water zones may have to change.

Is this another case of the chickens coming home to ruse? It wasn’t too long ago when politicians Don Blackman and Trevor Prescod were defending the rights of squatters in the Belle. Other politicians have been known to put politics above the health of the nation by ignoring the growing problem of squatting in water zones.  A lack of leadership in our water management perhaps?

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Water Service Cut To Graeme Hall Sanctuary

Submitted by Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

graemehalllosanctuary[Christ Church, BARBADOS Dec. 15, 2009] The Barbados Water Authority (BWA) cut water service to the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary last week without warning, sending Sanctuary workers scrambling to implement the Sanctuary’s Emergency Management Plan. At stake was the health and welfare of the endangered and captive bird populations in the captive breeding facility, and the Marshland, Gully and Migratory Aviary Exhibits.

BWA apparently shut off the water over a sewerage billing discrepancy. However, Sanctuary officials insist that they repeatedly made good faith requests to the BWA for a review of Sanctuary sewerage charges, and that water and sewerage billings were being paid pending that outcome.

“They never even talked to us about the merits of our requests, they just locked down our water valve and actually cut our main pipeline,” said one official at the Sanctuary. “We had to carry clean water from our homes to take care of the birds, and use emergency pumps and hoses from our water tanks to maintain the Aviary systems.”

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What Is The Song And Dance About The Hike In Water Rates?

Hartley Henry - DLP Political Strategist

Hartley Henry - DLP Political Strategist

Two separate but yet related matters sparked my attention this past week. First, there was the predictable hue and cry from “professional opposers” to the increase in water rates. Second, there was Barrack Jagdeo swiping and getting clean bowled by his fellow countrymen.

It is clear to me that if water rates had been increased by five cents a gallon the reaction of some in our midst would have been the same.

What took the cake for me in the gas station last Sunday afternoon was this known Barbados Labour Party operative and spokesman who approached me, in their usual arrogant and bombastic manner, claiming that “the new water rates will kill poor people”.

My intended response would have been to set forth the argument in favour of the need for an increase in rates, given the magnitude of the capital development programme about to be undertaken by the Authority as well as the ongoing desire to enhance both the quality of and accessibility to the resource. I am sure I could have made a compelling argument, but this gentleman gave me the perfect opening when, in approaching me he armed himself with nothing less than a two litre bottle of water, which, from the label, I became aware was bottled in Trinidad and Tobago.

I deliberately asked him to buy me a similar drink, because quietly I wanted to discover the price he had so willingly paid a few seconds ago for imported drinking water. The price at the register was $3.40.

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Barbados Water Authority: A Failed State Enterprise

water_nitratePrime Minister David Thompson announced in his recent Financial Statement 2009 that water rates will be increased to Barbadians, possibly as soon as next month. Although the Prime Minister has given the assurance that any increase will be negligible, the  impact must be judged by government on how the increase will affect Barbadians who are below the poverty line and businesses that use water as a significant input to production, we would urge the government to thread with care on this matter.

The revelation by the Prime Minister has triggered a side-debate about  the BWA not falling under the oversight of the Fair Trading Commission (FTC), an institution which remains pregnant with promise to consumers well passed its gestation period.  It is our understanding that the current legislation prohibits the FTC from hearing complaints from government enterprises. Our source confirms that there is a move afoot to change the legislation.

BU understands the thinking and motive of the previous to shielding the BWA and by extension the people of Barbados from a privately run BWA. BU can also understand that oversight of the BWA by the political directorate would more readily feel the pressure to keep water rates down. The experience so far of the FTC and LIME, formerly Cable & Wireless has not been a rewarding one for Barbadian consumers. One shudders to think if the BWA were privatized where would the water rate settle.

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The Urination Of Females Maybe Affecting Our Population Mix

The following article is not meant to offend women. As our tag line confirms we intend to bring news which we think present an alternative perspective. The truth is we are not sure in the BU household where this story falls. We thought it was too much in left field for Barbadians, then we thought our readers may think that we are trivializing our blog; after all we have set high standards for ourselves! Finally we reasoned that if the scientific research sponsored by the University of Colorado is true then Barbadians may want a heads-up. Our feeling has nothing to do with the number of women compared to men in our society but more to do with the inefficient management of our aqua system by the Barbados Water Authority.

We hate to say it but we know that it is only a matter of time before our water supply is contaminated. Have we been planning for the astronomical rise in the water borne facilities required from housing and commercial activity which has place extreme pressure on our water management? Now according to the story below we have to worry about the urination of our women.

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When Water Turned To Wine~The Final Chapter

BU has confirmed from several sources that the former Marketing and Communications Manager tendered his resignation to the Board of the BWA last week. It brings to an end a chapter to a story which BU sadly had to report. We hope that there is a moral in the sordid episode for all to discern. BU will continue to follow the story in light of reported wrong doings which have occurred at the BWA and from all reports are still continuing. We have received several emails which we are working to cross check, we ask readers with information to forward to BU so that we can be as accurate as possible in our stories to follow.

Previously published stories on the saga at BWA:

When Water Turned To Wine At The Barbados Water Authority~Part 1

When Water Turned To Wine At The Barbados Water Authority~Part 2

When Water Turned To Wine At The Barbados Water Authority~Part 2


No water, but who cares?

For a while now the authorities knew that water was very, very scarce in some St Thomas districts. A reservoir is empty. Yet for the past week or more the precious commodity has literally been pouring
from two showers at the changing facilities at Worthing Beach, Christ Church.

The authorities seem not to care. Why? They have water home at them, while others are crying out for water.


Source: Nation News

BU wish to thank all those who have been submitting emails concerning other inequities at the Barbados Water Authority (BWA). We have tried to substantiate as many of the issues as we can and those which are 50:50 we have exercised good judgment in what has been published. To say that we have been amazed at the “goings-on” at the BWA would be understating the issue. Let us all remember that this is the same BWA which perennially will ask the people of Barbados to conserve water, however an IADB Report can confirm that 50% of the country’s water is being leaked from a rusty pipe network or unmetered consumption.

“Despite the near-universal coverage of the public water system, about half of all water production is classified as “unaccounted for,” meaning that it is lost through leakage of aging pipes and other defective equipment, or through unmetered consumption”

There is obviously a relationship between our high standard of living and the increase in the use of water. There is also the cruise ship industry which Barbados is required to supply with water. Barbadians expect that our water management must be led by an efficient BWA which must lead the charge to find creative solutions to sustain the water supply of Barbados. It concerns BU that in 2004 when the Sandy Lane Hotel spent 10 million to build a desalination plant to cater to its golf courses, they indicated that they had the capacity to supply the needs of the hotel, the BWA refused their request to disconnect from the public supply of water.

BU does not understand the logic in the BWA decision.

“Michael Davern, Sandy Lane general manager, says it would have been cheaper for the hotel complex to buy all of its water from the Water Authority, but “[the authority] could not guarantee an uninterrupted supply, and we needed to be assured of supply to irrigate the golf course.” Golf courses need daily irrigation year around, he says, so it made sense to build a desalination plant to protect an overall investment of around $500 million.

Davern added that it would also be economical for Sandy Lane to produce the hotel’s drinking water from the desalination plant, as the additional cost of making the irrigation water fit for human consumption would have been minimal. But the government requires that the hotel purchase all potable water from the Water Authority. “That makes me wonder whether there really is a water crisis,” says Davern”

BU is not happy with the stone-aged management approach which is being used to manage this important mineral resource. All Barbadians should sit-up and take note.

In closing BU wishes to ask the General Manager of the BWA the following questions:

  1. Why is it that a “woman” who worked on a project and was assigned the same tasks as others was the only person paid a $900.00 per month allowance?
  2. Why was Stephen Lindo transferred after an investigation into the building of reservoirs and his house?
  3. What is the status of the investigation into Charlie Marville, Project Manager of the Bowmanstan project?
  4. What is BWA’s policy regarding a senior Board Member having a relationship with a senior staff member?

BU expect answers to our questions!

Related Story: When Water Turned To Wine~Part 1