BVI News

Festivity marred – No water for two days

Residents of Sea Cows Bay and a number of other communities have been left in distress in the middle of the Emancipation Festival celebration because they have been without piped water for the last two days.

The government-owned Water and Sewerage Department usually supplies the communities with piped water for a few hours each morning.

But no water appeared through the taps on Thursday morning, August 3.

The Water and Sewerage Department had advised that the precious commodity would have returned 24 hours ago.

“Customers in the Sea Cows Bay area are advised that due to a burst pipe in the area of St Georges School, water supply to your area has been discontinued. It is anticipated that water will be restored to the affected areas by midday [Thursday].”

Twenty-four hours later, there is still no water in the communities and residents are now at their wits end.

Meanwhile, during a sitting of the House of Assembly on Tuesday (August 1), representative of Sea Cows Bay and other areas of the Third Electoral District Julian Fraser again raised concern about the long-standing water woes facing the constituency.

He asked Premier and Minister of Finance Dr D Orlando Smith if he has made resources available to address the water shortage in Sea Cows Bay, Pleasant Valley, Hannah’s, Duffs Bottom, and all the other areas serviced by the Hannah Hill Reservoir.

In response, Premier Smith, whose government has been in office since 2011, said the water shortage spans both the National Democratic Party and Virgin Islands Party administrations.

He further explained: “The issue of water shortages across the territory is one that has plagued administration after administration. In an effort to bring some relief to the citizens of this territory, my government – through the Ministry of Communications and Works, has renegotiated all of the current water purchase agreements, which includes an agreed increase in production in some instances.”

“Obviously, in order the realise the benefits of this increased production, the water distribution network will require some upgrading, and my government is currently working on some aspects of upgrading the system, and will continue to work on other aspects as we move forward,” Premier Smith said.

He continued: “Funds have been made available for Phase I of these upgrades [to the water distribution network]. However, the implementation will take a little time. We therefore appreciate the patience and understanding of the public as we continue to work on resolving this matter,” added Premier Smith.

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