Tancoo claims gov’t sabotage to blame for water crisis in central and south

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Tancoo claims gov’t sabotage to blame for water crisis in central and south

Oropouche West MP, Davendranath Tancoo, said hundreds of thousands of residents of central and south Trinidad continue to be frustrated by the repeated failure of the Minister of Public Utilities to ensure a reasonable supply of water to their homes.

Tancoo, in a release on Sunday, went so far to say: “This feels like sabotage, as communities with regular supply before 2015 are now suffering a water crisis under the PNM regime.”

He said, “Despite the repeated assurances of Minister (Marvin) Gonzales, and the executive management of WASA, homeowners have had to purchase water from private suppliers in order to have a water supply to cleanse their homes following the recent floods and for everyday use. Angry residents have been asking why they are being billed by WASA but remain unable to get reliable water supply.

Tancoo added: “WASA has repeatedly provided a water delivery schedule indicating some communities can expect to get water once in every 7-9 days. However the fact is that there are communities which have not received a drop of water supplied by WASA for as much as a month.

‘Homeowners have reported being kept on hold for long periods when they call the WASA hotline pleading for an urgent truck borne supply, and even after that, are expected to wait, in some cases for weeks, before a supply is forthcoming.’

According to Tancoo, in Oropouche West, Siparia, Fyzabad, and Oropouche East a serious water crisis has emerged and continues without any real visible action by the Minister of Public Utilities and the PNM appointed Board of WASA that show that they neither care about the frustrations nor severe health risk that their incompetence has caused and is continuing to cause tax paying citizens.

WASA’s promises are as empty as the water tanks of residents as their water schedules have not been adhered to in two months!

Tancoo stated “every day my office is inundated with calls from persons who are in need of water, who have followed the advice of WASA, reported the lack of supply, requested truck borne, requested schedules etc. but without any relief from the state’s water agency. ”

The Oropouche West MP said that residents of Antilles Trace, Tennant Trace, Santa Cecelia Trace, Maria David Trace, Durbassa Trace, Akaloo Trace and Pluck Road with all its secondary roads have been without supply for weeks and remain unable to get a commitment from WASA as to when they can expect relief. The same is true for many other parts of the country said Tancoo. Imagine residents had to buy water privately, while paying WASA rates, to wash and sanitize their homes after the recent devastating floods.

The MP noted that what makes the crisis worse is that these same residents see millions of gallons being wasted in water leaks in other parts of the country for days. Leaks remain unattended to for days and weeks at taxpayers expense.

Tancoo declared ” We are totally fed up of the excuses made by WASA and the Minister. Now the government is coming to raise water rates. Imagine this government is shamelessly telling citizens they have to pay more for a service they are not receiving. That is extortion. Under this PNM administration, after spending billions on WASA without proper procurement legislation in place, water supply is worse than ever.” Tancoo noted that “Under the Kamla Persad Bissessar administration, the same WASA provided more communities with water on a more reliable and regular basis. This reeks of the government undermining the authority to justify its decision to privatise the essential service.”

Tancoo stated “The government’s priorities continue to be skewed against the priorities of regular citizens. Whether it is crime, flooding, poverty, rising food prices, increasing transport prices or the current water crisis, it appears that this PNM government is at war with citizens.”