WATER WARS: Bahamians urged not to hoard supplies

WATER WARS: Bahamians urged not to hoard supplies
The COVID-19 fears have sparked panic buying and hoarding both abroad as well as locally.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A local bottled water company is urging Bahamians not to ‘hoard’ water in response to fears over the spread of COVID-19.

Aquapure managing director Geoffrey Knowles told Eyewitness News the company has been selling ‘twice as much’ bottled water per day over the past several days.

The COVID-19 fears have sparked panic buying and hoarding both abroad as well as locally, however Knowles stressed there was no shortage of bottled water.

He described the rush as similar to the days before a hurricane.

“There is no need to hoard water,” Knowles said.

“It really started on Friday of last week. Monday was really insane. People were waiting at lest 40 minutes to an hour to get served. The production line is going good.

He continued: “We have all the materials we need, everything is working and everyone is coming to work. We worked overtime on Saturday and Sunday to catch up.

“We have enough water. As long as everything stays the same we will be able to produce water for the next three to fourth months with no problem. It is as bad as a hurricane to tell you the truth. I think this rush will last longer. The hurricane rush usually last three or four days.

“We are selling at least twice as much as we normally sell per day. That affects our production line but we have a really good crew.”

Local food stores have also been inundated with customers stocking up on supplies and leaving shelves bare.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday appealed to Bahamians and residents to stop panic buying food and hoarding supplies in reaction to the news of the COVID-19 virus.

The prime minister met with local wholesales yesterday.

“I want to assure the public that we have at least one month’s supply of food on the island and shipping continues as normal,” Minnis said.

The trend prompted Super Value to release a notice to customers yesterday.

The food store chain stated: “We would like to assure you that Super Value and Quality Markets has an inventory of five weeks supply and we are building up to a seventeen week inventory.

“Panic shopping is unnecessary. Please continue listen to the instructions from the Ministry of Health and take the necessary precautions.”