by Emmanuel Joseph
A family of four, including two girls, who have to share a bucket as an indoor toilet when it rains, is asking authorities for help.
Their plight was revealed during a visit to St Michael’s home by common-law couple Mitchell Dawe and Kathy-Ann Alleyne, who called Barbados TODAY to make their situation known. There hasn’t been tap water in her house for 40 years.
Parents of 10- and 13-year-old girls are particularly concerned that their daughters have to venture into an open yard even when it is not raining, where the security fence does not protect them from prying eyes on the way to a makeshift outdoor bathroom, which is already infested with cockroaches and rodents.
Her mother, 52, insists the lack of running water has also created a “very” unpleasant situation when family members have to queue to use the same bucket, especially at night when the unlit garden becomes a “waterfall”. . which flows through the area from above during a downpour.
An emotional father, 54, said that although the house needs some repairs to parts of the kitchen, floor and roof, what is most urgent and urgent is that the authorities help the family by installing a plumbing system for water supply, which would also make it easier to set up the toilet and bathroom indoors.
The landscape gardener said his ability to work regularly has been limited by a debilitating injury that has shifted most of the feeding responsibilities onto the shoulders of his partner, a home care assistant employed by the state-run National Assistance Board (NAB).
“At the moment the house needs a little renovation. But most of what I really need is water. I would appreciate that there,” Dawe said Barbados TODAY.
“Besides, when the little girls grow up, they’re no longer little babies.”
Asked if they had ever asked a government agency for help, Alleyne said the Urban Development Commission “came and took photos but never contacted us again… 10 years ago.”
Dawe revealed that he had spent his entire life fetching water from the nearest community pipe, a quarter of a mile away.
He explained: “I would like some help. I’ve been here too long. I’ve lived down here all my years. I’ve been catching water all my years. Recently some people were looting water down here [authorities] I came and stopped most of it.”
“We have been bathing in buckets for the longest time now,” he added.
“I just want the little girls to be happy. I don’t even care about myself… If I were alone and had to fetch water for bathing, I wouldn’t dig anything. But you see, my little girls get big women, man. You understand?”
The daughters also have to contend with cockroaches and rats when they use the buckets in the outdoor toilet and bathroom, the mother explained.
Dawe and Alleyne recalled receiving funds from Social Services, but said the money stopped without explanation.
Kim Bobb-Waithe, deputy chief welfare officer, said Barbados TODAY The department would investigate the family’s plight.
UDC Director Sonia King could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.