Tuesday 25 February, 2020

WASA denies purposely suffering Grande residents over Christmas period

The Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) is rubbishing claims by members of the UNC held Sangre Grande Regional Corporation, that their recent water issues are politically motivated. 

The members held a conference on Sunday where they made certain accusations against WASA and Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte regarding the distribution of water within the district.

"The Authority wishes to strongly refute these allegations. Whilst we acknowledge that there were challenges over the holiday weekend within the Sangre Grande area, politics played no part in the distribution of water in the affected communities," WASA said in a statement on Monday.

The state utility said in the week prior to Christmas, mechanical problems developed at the Authority's North Oropouche Water Treatment Plant located in the Valencia area. Workers were reportedly mobilized to conduct repairs and restore supply as quickly as possible to the affected residents.

WASA added that steps were also taken to implement various measures to assist with mitigating the impact. Some of these included adjusting the scheduled supply to affected areas and environs and implementing an expanded truck borne water service.

"The actual steps to be taken to fully address this matter was operational in nature and not influenced by anyone at the Ministry of Public Utilities. It is also important to note that the areas affected ranged from Manzanilla/ Sangre Grande in the East to Five Rivers in the West."

WASA reminded that it issued a statement to the media and posted to its social media on December 23, 2019, outlining the problems being experienced. An updated release was disseminated on December 24, 2019, with the estimated completion time. Meanwhile, a subsequent statement was issued on the same date, informing of the completion of repairs by 9 pm and the planned restoration of supply to the various areas on December 25, 2019.

"The Authority wishes to underscore that the recent disruption in normal service to customers supplied by the North Oropouche Plant, was unfortunate, unavoidable and the Authority's response during and after this disruption was aimed at the equitable restoration and distribution of supply to all affected customers, in the shortest possible time. Nevertheless, the Authority would like to apologize to all affected customers for this disruption in service," WASA added. 

The authority said it remains committed to working closely with all stakeholders, including local government representatives at the various Corporations, to ensure the best possible service to its customers and burgesses.

"We continue to strive within our system constraints to provide a supply to meet the needs of the population. We have noted the claims of threats being made by an employee and are currently investigating same and will address the matter accordingly based on the findings," it ended. 

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