Just last evening, on Monday 6th February 2023, I held a meeting with constituents of Couva South to discuss the troubling shortage of pipe borne water. WASA officials were invited to be present at that meeting.
WASA has relegated constituents of Couva South to a supply of water once every 12-14 days in many cases. As of last December, constituents were receiving water daily. This daily water supply took effect after much agitating by my office as Member of Parliament and by constituents of Couva South, and certain commitments given by WASA to my constituents and to me.
Up to this morning, there has been no resumption of any daily water supply to Couva South. My constituents of Couva South are forced to pay hundreds of dollars for bottled, barreled and truck borne water because of the inefficiency of WASA.
Any claims by WASA or any other agency that water supply has been restored to a daily or regular basis is an attempt at disingenuous public relations, and a slap in the faces of my constituents. This misinformation will not be tolerated.
At Monday’s meeting, WASA outlined plans for the drilling of wells and the boosting of water supplies across the constituency. They also promised that there would be a return to a daily water schedule. Constituents present rejected every intimation by WASA for a 1 in 9 days water supply.
I am calling on WASA to resist the temptation to play games, and immediately restore the daily water supply to Couva South.
Under this Rowley-led Government, this country has suffered for the most basic commodity that is water. One morning, the Government announced that WASA would be restructured. The other morning, the same Government announced the formation of a new water company. The morning after that, WASA announced the hiring of 44 trainee engineers. There seems to be no certainty by this Government on their intentions for WASA, despite the fact that the Prime Minister himself once held the portfolio of Minister of Public Utilities.
I am calling on the Minister of Public Utilities Marvin Gonzales, the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of WASA Ravindra Nanga and Acting Chief Executive Officer Kelvin Romain to restore some semblance of a stable water supply until the three wells they have promised are brought into operation by May 2023. WASA must ramp up the delivery of truck borne requests and boost the efficiency of its call centre, so that aggrieved customers do not have to wait for their calls to be answered hours and even days on end.
The constituents of Couva South want WASA to tell the country whether the constituents of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of National Security, the Minister of Rural Development and Local Government, the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, the Minister of Health are being subjected to a similar deprivation of water by the Board of Commissioners and management of WASA.
We demand equality!
Given that we are in the Carnival season, WASA should be reminded of that short but appropriate quote by soca icon Neil ‘Iwer’ George; “The people want WATER!”
Member of Parliament for Couva South and SHADOW RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE MINISTRY OF LABOUR and TOBAGO AFFAIRS.