Tuesday 16 July, 2019

UNC calls for action over worsening water crisis

Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte is being urged to act swiftly to address the ongoing water crisis affecting communities across Trinidad and Tobago.

Acting Director, Customer Care at the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) Alan Poon-King on Monday said Southeast Trinidad and some parts of Central Trinidad have been the most affected by water shortages associated with the current harsh dry season.

In a statement on Wednesday, Opposition Senator Saddam Hussein called on the Minister to act to bring relief to those who have been suffering.

He accused Government of failing to implement adequate measures to bring relief to citizens who have had dry taps for weeks. 

"The Government and its agencies under the direction of the Minister of Public Utilities have failed to implement any contingency plan to buffer the effects of the dry climate conditions," he said.

"It is an indictment on this Government where citizens have to protest for the Government to provide them with an essential commodity such as water.  The water crisis has affected thousands of homes, the ability of children to go to school and the proper functioning of businesses," he continued.

The Opposition Senator said the situation will worsen if it is left unaddressed by the Minister and WASA.

Below is the full statement from the Opposition Senator:

Over the past few weeks citizens’ taps have dried up as a result of the failure, mismanagement and incompetence of the Government. The continued neglect of the Minister of Public Utilities to address the worsening water woes of the population will lead to harsh and dread consequences.

The situation can now only be described as a water crisis as thousands of taxpayers are left without water for weeks from Central, East and South Trinidad including Tobago. The Government has failed to take any adequate measures to bring relief to the citizens who are suffering as a result of the water crisis. The Government and its agencies under the direction of the Minister of Public Utilities have failed to implement any contingency plan to buffer the effects of the dry climate conditions.

It is an indictment on this Government where citizens have to protest for the Government to provide them with an essential commodity such as water.  The water crisis has affect thousands of homes, the ability of children to go to school and the proper functioning of businesses.

WASA has abandoned the taxpayers in their time of need as they have neglected to answer their phones. WASA has collapsed due to its inability to perform its most important role which is to provide water for consumption and use by the citizenry. It is comical to read press releases by WASA indicating that there will be disruptions in water supplies in certain when those areas were left without water for weeks. On a daily basis, while citizens taps are dried up, thousands of gallons of water are wasted as a result of the neglect of WASA to repair leaks all across Trinidad and Tobago.

Due to the collapse of WASA, the water crisis has placed additional financial burdens on citizens as they have to source water privately and pay exorbitant amounts of money for truck-borne water. The failure of the Minister to act swiftly and competently to address the worsening situation will have serious social and economic repercussions.

I call upon the Minister to act swiftly and competently to address the on-going water crisis affecting major regions of Trinidad and Tobago by bringing relief to those who have been suffering.

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