Standpipe in a Village in St. Lucy, Barbados Pocket Guide

Stand Pipes in Barbados

The stand pipe in Barbados is seen as a fundamental aspect of our history. Its origin dates back to 1861 when Barbados had more than four hundred (400) stand pipes island wide distributing free water. This water was supplied by the Governement so that villagers could collect free water for their household needs.


This water was transported to various homes across Barbados by way of galvanised buckets that were transported via the head or by hand to their various homes.


Social Gathering

Village life and the stand pipe soon interweaved and before long, they were one. The stand pipe was seen as a meeting point where villagers congregated to wash clothes, fetch water, wash up saucepans, bathe, gossip and even end up fighting, however unintentional. Long lines were often seen at these stand pipes but that was no deterrent as the villagers had more than enough to occupy their minds and mouths while they waited.


Today, most houses in Barbados are equipped with running water and as such, the need for stand pipe usage has declined somewhat. Despite the decline, across Barbados today, stand pipes are still used by some folk on the island who can be seen washing their hair, bathing and even washing their vehicles.


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