NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Centreville MP Reece Chipman yesterday called on the Ministry of Works to address concerns in his constituency regarding the use of more than 15 public water pumps in the community.
The call came as the government moved to extend the state of emergency and emergency regulations – including orders implementing a 24-hour-curfew and weekend lockdowns – until May 30, in efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
During his contribution to the debate on the matter, Chipman noted that his constituency has “taken the lead in community healthcare and community health education” and has implemented several programs to reach people, speak to them and address their needs.
He said he also petitioned the Ministry of Works to “fix and ensure adequate water and sanitation as it relates to our more than 15 water and street pumps”.
Studies have shown that the COVID-19 virus can survive for up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel, less than 4 hours on copper and less than 24 hours on cardboard.
Residents in the Over-the-Hill community who do not have indoor plumbing use the standpipes daily.
One resident on Gibbs Corner told Eyewitness News yesterday that the standpipe near to her home had been broken for at least three weeks, with the water from the pipe running non-stop for several days.
She said no government official has come to fix or service the pipe, adding that some men in the community eventually came together with tools to fix the nonstop leak.
Following Chipman’s presentation to Parliament yesterday, Public Works Minister Desmond Bannister stood on a point of order advising that he was not aware of any concerns regarding standpipes in the area and advised that his ministry will seek to address concerns.
According to the Ministry of National Security’s 2016 Needs and Assets Assessments of New Providence Communities, Citizen Security and Justice Programme, 14.4 percent of households in Centreville did not have running water.
Additionally, there were 20.3 percent of households with no running water in Bain Town, and 15.6 percent in Grants Town.
The statistics were included in the Minnis administration’s white paper on the Over-the-Hill Community Development Partnership Initiative, which among many other things, seeks to eliminate the need for standpipes and outside toilets by 2025.