Sometimes I get so angry, but other times I just want to weep – for the tragedy of Barbados citizens whose expectations have been driven so low that they are reduced to being grateful for a plastic water drum.
Scraps tossed from the table of those who are spending a third of a billion dollars on a few weeks of cricket.
A Legacy Of Government Neglect & Closely Held Information
We are having an interesting discussion about water here at Barbados Free Press and throughout the island – and we are all talking in the dark because the government reports on water quality, water loss and distribution issues just don't seem to be available for interested citizens.
The government could place every water report online tomorrow at the Government Information website if it chose to do so. Let us see the water quality reports. Let us see the distribution leakage reports – and the quality reports of samples taken from the taps at the end of 150 year-old watermains. (Dr. Duguid of the Barbados Labour Party explained in earlier comments that some of the water mains are over 150 years old)
In a previous article, we had talked about sewage impacting the natural ground water supply and were taken to task by some readers. Now, some of the same readers who took us to task for stating that sewage was a part of "nutrient enrichment" contamination of ground water are telling us that indeed, there is a problem with water-borne sewage from My Lord's Hill contaminating the ground water supply.
And around and around we go – all of us seeking to interpret snippets of information from newspaper articles as the government limits information to selected 10 second soundbites during photo-ops.
But we do know the following for the residents of My Lord's Hill…
After 12 years of a Government in power…
No new piping. No new standpipes. No new sewage disposal system. For years, some poorer residents have been storing their daily water in open buckets, with the associated health and sanitary problems.
Now… years later, the Minister of Social Transformation and MP for the area, Trevor Prescod, shows up with 50 gallon blue plastic water drums.
"Here you go folks! Free! And the drums are very special… they have lids and faucets! You lucky lucky people!"
Big Press Conference. Big Photo Op…
Big Story Headline in The Nation News "Water Made Safer For My Lord's Hill Residents"
A government that is twelve years in power. A third of a billion dollars and more being spent on cricket. Millions and millions lost in the GEMS of Barbados hotel scam. Dozens of government projects that have come in at 300% over budget like it is just a normal event.
Millions and millions for one folly after another by a Government that is twelve years in power – but no clean water and no plans for clean water for the unfortunate working class Bajans at My Lord's Hill.
"Just drive by and toss some plastic water drums off the back of the BLP party truck. That should hold them past this next election"
Scraps tossed from the table.
photo credit: The Nation News, under the "fair-use" provisions.