Management of the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) will be held accountable for their performance in managing the authority’s projects. So said Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales yesterday while speaking at the launch of the Guapo/Cap-de-Ville Pipeline project. Minister Gonzales said the first phase of the two-kilometer pipe-laying exercise started in 2020 and took 18 months to complete. He was critical of the managers who were in charge of that first phase and said there was no reason it took so long.
The Minister lamented the delay citing: “The second phase, which is 4.2 kilometres, is estimated to take 90 days. This time we are ensuring that mistakes made in the first phase will not be repeated in the second phase. To those contractors, this is not the same WASA, your feet will be held to the fire and you will be held to account,” he said.
Gonzales said the pipe-laying will bring water to 10,000 more customers. He also revealed that the government is seeking a US$80 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank to facilitate expansive works. he also said: “In the upcoming fiscal year of 2024, our plans include drilling ten more production wells, providing 1.5 million gallons of water. Residents of Palo Seco will move closer to a 24-hour supply of pipe-borne water once we complete drilling.”
He noted significant improvements, such as the refurbishment of the La Fortune water treatment plant which brought an additional 500,000 gallons of water to Point Fortin, and added: “We also rehabilitated two wells in Chatham.” Gonzales said the refurbishment of the Chatham Granville water treatment plant will produce more than three million gallons of water per day, benefiting 25,000 Point Fortin residents and providing relief to residents of La Brea.
“That plant had fallen into a state of disrepair over the years, and under the IDB program, we will be commencing the procurement process. By the end of the year, we will have a contractor on board, and refurbishment will begin in 2024.” Minister Gonzales, denied UNC allegations of water discrimination. He said: “My political opponents falling over themselves like political ‘zandolies and bachacs’ because they believe that Desal shut down, people catching their tail for water, discrimination, all yuh don’t like Indian people, allyuh don’t like people in central, allyuh wicked, allyuh bad and all kinda thing. Such is the nature of life in Trinidad and Tobago. We playing mas every single day, not only on Carnival Monday and Tuesday.”