The mismanagement of the Water and Sewerage Authority is “costing the people of Trinidad and Tobago over $600 million.”
That’s according to Minister of Public Utilities Marvin Gonzales, who cited an estimated 3,000 contract and daily-rated workers who could not be found in the organisation, as a major part of the problem.
Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Gonzales said $245 million of his ministry’s $917 million allocation will go towards paying contract workers.
However, he pointed out that approximately 3,000 of those workers were unaccounted for.
“Three thousand workers not on the official structure of WASA – that is mismanagement to the highest level, and I am telling you, in my capacity as MP and Minister of Public Utilities, it is going to be very difficult, it is going to be very traumatic – but I am not afraid to work with my colleagues to do whatever it takes to ensure that every MP and their constituents can boast of a reliable water supply.”
Gonzales also said WASA’s expenditure could be directed elsewhere in operations, citing visits to several facilities where he saw “56 water treatment plants, 51 water intakes, 237 wells, 123 booster stations – most of them are in a state of disrepair, not producing water up to their full capacity.”
He stated that if they have to turn around the water sector, they will have to make the very difficult decision and put a structure that is consistent with a modern water management company.
Gonzales did commend the WASA workers, however, for their dedication to service in the face of the pandemic.