Leaks…here there and everywhere. And by that we mean the leaking WASA pipes that pop up every now and again, and in some of these cases, the repairs aren’t so efficient. Days could go by where water could be spewing from a broken pipeline onto the streets before it is fixed. This lack of urgency on the part of the water authority is not an unusual one, but we say it’s time to take note and finally deal with these issues. Just recently, a citizen posted a video showing a pipeline leak just metres away from a WASA sub-office in Arouca, and he claims that for days no one came to repair it. Even when he went to the nearby WASA office, he was told they only take leak reports at their St. Joseph head office. Why? How hard is it for WASA officials to communicate with each other to ensure that a leak is fixed ASAP, to ensure there is no unnecessary wastage of water?
WASTAGE – that’s what we’re coming to, as we feel that with the shakeup in the public sector, especially after Petrotrin and TSTT, there remains a few entities to address, one of them being WASA. A year ago, the Public Utilities Minister said the cash-strapped water authority was overstaffed by 2,000 employees and it needed to be restructured to make it viable once more. There have been no moves on that end in the past 12 months, but it doesn’t mean it won’t come.
What WASA needs is to ensure workers are efficient at what they do. If there is a need to review the number of workers, then it should consider how well workers are trained to carry out tasks, and to respond to emergencies. The management of WASA needs to get overhauled as well, to ensure proper supervision and proper distribution of resources to get the job done in the right way, on time.
WASA also needs to do more to prepare itself for the harsh dry seasons that come along, to ensure citizens are well supplied with water. We can’t depend so heavily on our water tanks. Now it is almost a necessity that every household must have a water tank to ensure their daily routines are not hampered. Most of us pay our bills on time and in full, yet this is the case.
If there is to be a restructuring of WASA, they need to redeploy staff in critical areas with development of new retention ponds and replacement of old leaking lines, to ensure the majority of its water production reaches households.
On our part, we have a major role to play as well, to ensure we manage our water use. That’s not the case with some persons, but we need to step back and take a look at how important this is.
On that note, we end today by wishing everyone listening a very Merry Christmas, as we wind down the challenging year that was 2018.