Tuesday, April 16, 2024



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By Maria Bradshaw mariabradshaw@nationnews.com @Maria_nationbb

The Barbados Water Authority (BWA) has uncovered a case of squatters paying for illegal water at the Rock Hall, St Philip squatters village.

Acting on a tip-off, a crew from the utility company descended on the village occupied by hundreds of squatters and discovered an illegal service connected without a meter, but hooked up to the main.

A BWA source told the Sunday Sun residents revealed that for the past ten years some of them were paying a woman between $20 to $150 for buckets of water from the illegal connection.

The source said they traced several metres of buried pipe to a house in the village. Workmen turned off a ball valve which was discovered and then cut a section of the pipe.

The BWA official said the “hook-up” and the connections appeared to be “an inside job”.

“The ball valve which was retrieved can only be sourced from the Barbados Water Authority,” he said, pointing out that they had investigated reports in other areas of residents claiming that they had paid employees as much as $5 000 to install illegal connections for them.

“The problem is that they would call a name, but when they are asked to come and identify the culprit they do not want to do that, so it is difficult for the BWA to bring charges against that person. All we can do is to give them a warning letter.”

Residents at Rock Hall confirmed that a woman had been selling water to squatters for the past ten years.

“One time she sell somebody water for $150 and some people does pay $20 and $30 for a bucket. She has been doing this for nearly ten years – free

Continued on Page 3A.

Workmen from the BWA at Rock Hall, St Philip, last week checking for the source of the illegal connection. (Inset) The ball valve which was removed from the illegal connection. A BWA official said that part could only be sourced from the company. (Pictures by Maria Bradshaw.) From Page 1A. Resident: What is so wrong?

water and not a cent going to Water Authority,” a resident said.

However, another condemned the disconnection, charging that because of their situation they needed access to water.

“All of this happen because somebody don’t speak to somebody. It is bare wickedness. Is it wrong that if somebody got water and helping out and say well give me a little 20 dollar. What is so wrong with that?”

The resident pointed out that this was not the only illegal source of water in the area, adding that some people were also accessing electricity illegally too.

The official at the BWA said their investigations were not completed as yet in Rock Hall.

Next week they will be checking for connections made with stolen water meters.

“We have discovered that some residents have illegal connections made with water meters which may have been stolen from vacant lots of unoccupied houses. We will have to check the connection to see if they are Water Authority connections.”

While this recent discovery was made at the section immediately behind the Grantley Adams International Airport, the BWA official pointed out that last year they terminated illegal connections at the area closer to Gemswick which was occupied by several non-nationals.

The BWA also recently discovered an illegal connection at Bath Land, St John, where police pulled up several marijuana plants which were being watered from the unauthorised connection.

When contacted, Yvette Harris-Griffith, the BWA’s marketing officer, said that “illegal connections to its system would not be tolerated” and “the authority will continue its aggressive position in this regard”.

The pipe which BWA workmen cut after discovering it attached to a squatter’s house at Rock Hall, St Philip. Residents

reported that the squatter had been selling water to other squatters for ten years. (Picture by Maria Bradshaw.)


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