Several persons in the Southern Grenadines have expressed concern about a shortage of water in the islands as a result of ashfall from the volcanic eruption coupled with the dry season.
But Edwin Snagg, the Director of Grenadines Affairs assures that while the Grenadines is prone to water issues, there is no acute water shortage being experienced at the moment.
When La Soufriere began erupting explosively, residents in the Southern Grenadines whose water sources are either black tanks, concrete tanks or barrels, disconnected the spouting to prevent ash from getting into their existing water stores.
Recently, a Union Island resident explained to SEARCHLIGHT that this course of action meant that persons could only use water that had already been stored, especially because the country is in the midst of the dry season.
“Dry weather had started already so to start with, when Soufriere erupted, people didn’t have plenty of water and now they have to take out the spouting, so the drop of water they working with probably run out,” the resident said.
She also noted that “even if the rain comes, you have to wait until the roof and the spouting and guttering and everything wash out before putting it back, but then the ash is still falling, not as much but you could still see it so… yea there is a possibility people could run out of water”.
When SEARCHLIGHT contacted Snagg, he said the situation on the Grenadines islands as it relates to water was being monitored.
The Director of Grenadines affairs noted that all public cisterns and tanks still have water which people can access if they are having issues accessing water.
“We always have water woes in the Grenadines, particularly during the dry season. The persons who don’t have their tanks, they always find themselves at a disadvantage but let us face it, one of the things that is obvious is that if you live in the Grenadines, your primary thing is the question of water storage. Everybody in the Grenadines knows that,” he said.
While he said there is no dire threat at the moment, Snagg revealed that beginning the end of April, government intended to augment the water supply on the islands in the form of 30,000 gallons of water going to Mayreau.
The same is expected to be done for Union Island.
Snagg added that Canouan rarely experiences water issues as there is a large desalination plant on the island.
But it is expected that the water supply on that Grenadines island will also be augmented by the government.
Snagg also noted that NEMO has begun distributing over 600 cases of water to Southern Grenadines residents.
“Right now, as it is, there is no acute water shortage, nobody could say that there is no water to drink or water to bathe, except if you live in some area where…you don’t have enough things to collect water,” he insisted. “I am very mindful. I know I’m seeing some things on social media, there are some persons who are trying to display as though there is a dire shortage and people dying of thirst in the Grenadines but that is not so”.
The Director of Grenadines Affairs said “we are keeping an eye and monitoring the situation”, while adding that he has been in discussion with entities including NEMO, the Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) and Mustique Charitable Trust as it relates to providing water for the islands for the remainder of the dry season.