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Water supply during a hurricane

Published: Sep 05, 2017

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Dear Editor,


We, in The Bahamas, have traditionally come to expect a hurricane season every year. And in some years, when a hurricane is likely to cross our islands, some Bahamians find themselves unprepared to deal with what the storm brings. This lack of preparedness by Bahamians and residents alike precipitates an unnecessary panicking behavior, which causes a whole host of problems for other Bahamians, other residents and the government.

Because of this, it would be my humble advice to the government that certain measures be taken to mitigate against the property damage and hysteria concomitant with imminent hurricane landfall.

One example of hysterical behavior is the concern by Bahamians and residents that their stocks of potable water are inadequate, and rightly so.

But what a large number of Bahamians and residents fail to realize is that the government-supplied water is, in fact, potable water.

Bahamians and residents can feel assured that if they drink the government-supplied water, it will not make them sick; it will not cause their death.

But, of course, the government-supplied water would have to be stockpiled in your home, in available adequate receptacles before the hurricane hits, in case the government shuts off the water supply.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, Editor, and, obviously, hurricane conditions would fall in that category. So, if Bahamians and residents believe that conditions within the country during a hurricane would eliminate the option of bottled drinking water, consolation could be provided by the government that drinking government-supplied water, which has been stockpiled, for a few days is safe.

Further to that, it would be my humble advice to the government that every house in The Bahamas where there is access to government-supplied water, be required by law to have the dwelling connected to the government water system. To allow the government, Bahamians and residents to prepare themselves for this financial as well as logistical consideration, the government should allow in the legislation a period of no less than four years and no more than six years for the law to take effect. That should be ample time. Even though having your dwelling connected to the government water system does not mean that you must use it, in my humble opinion, it is incumbent upon the government to ensure that every dwelling in The Bahamas has an available supply of potable water, especially during hurricane season.

Bahamians and residents must remember that we, in The Bahamas, did not always have the luxury of picking, choosing and refusing a wide variety of bottled water. Our options were limited to just one – the government-supplied water. And so, in my humble opinion, to be expected to resort to drinking what we were accustomed to drinking in years past, during desperate times, is not at all unreasonable.

Additionally, during hurricane conditions, those dwellings in The Bahamas, which depend on electric pumps for well water for everyday usage to complete sanitary activities, find themselves without electricity. What I suspect follows is those persons have to resort to cumbersome alternative means to supply themselves with water, otherwise unhealthy situations could develop. I would tend to think that the Ministry of Health would not allow such a situation to unfold.

And so, again, I would humbly suggest to the government that this state of affairs be restricted by causing every house and apartment building to be required by law to be connected to the government water system within six years from the law’s passage.

Thank you for your valuable time and space in your newspaper.


– Marvin Lightbourn

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