Newly appointed Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) executive director Dr Lennox Sealy says the utility will be conducting a human resources (HR) audit based on which it will determine if workers should be terminated.
Last Tuesday, Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales announced that Sealy, a management consultant, will replace acting CEO Alan Poon King.
Poon King will resume duties as director of customer care.
In an interview on Monday when asked if people would be sent home, Sealy said: “It’s just sensationalism, that people will be saying, ‘I have to fire people’. An HR audit will say if people should be sent home. It’s only then you will find out if there is the need for changes. We have to follow the HR audit. It will inform any changes in the behaviour of the department.”
The Cabinet sub-committee’s report on WASA has stated: “Over time, the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) has become an unwieldy, overstaffed, unproductive, unresponsive organisation that has deteriorated and is no longer efficiently serving the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.
“In numerous instances and over many decades, efficiency was sacrificed for, inter alia, political patronage and management accountability exchanged for industrial stability, resulting in an organisation in which there is little co-relation between the contents of collective agreements and the realities of providing a reliable service to the national population at an affordable, and acceptable cost to the taxpayers of Trinidad and Tobago.”
No preferential treatment
Sealy also said location determined whether or not consumers would receive an adequate supply of water.
“If you build on top of a hill, it would determine if you got water. Location determines if you get water. WASA is not giving preferential treatment to anyone. People build wherever they want, then decide WASA has to get water to them.”
Sealy added: “I am aware of people paying money (sometimes $400 a tank) for water. There are private water trucks. This is Trinidad. We have the ‘smartman’ and ‘smartwoman’. It’s quite a callaloo.”
Sealy also said people have to take personal responsibility for water storage. Citing the example of the United States Virgin Islands, Sealy said: “In the Virgin Islands, almost everybody has a cistern. They put in their own water systems. You have to ensure you have water storage capacity. We have to educate the population about water storage.”