Marvin Gonzales

The Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) finally has a glimmer of hope in the face of the new Public Utilities Minister, Marvin Gonzales. This new glimmer causes me, and I am certain many in our nation, to exhale deeply and then say loudly, “thank God”.

What took it this long for attention to be given to this dysfunctional public utility, after so many outcries, complaints and reports, I am left wondering.

Mr Gonzales is a young, fresh face with an intelligent mind, very proactive and with the will to bring sweeping changes for the good of the citizens of this island.

I myself have been privy to one aspect of how the employees of WASA operate, as a pipe had burst near the property where I live. After repeated calls by me, and others for WASA to come and fix a major leak that had occurred, with water literally spewing into the air, and after about two months’ wait, two truckloads of men showed up. Yes, literally two truckloads, with approximately ten-plus men just to repair the burst pipe.

Of the ten-plus men, two of them worked on the pipeline, with all the other men liming, watching, talking, joking and just hanging around, just happy to waste time and do nothing. It was unbelievable.

In hindsight, I should have recorded this phenomenon. They complain that the citizens waste water. Well I am certain that after two months of water gushing out of a major leak, not even one household would have used that amount of water. The pipe was covered with plastic, fabric and other material to suppress the spew.

The culture of waste, laziness, greed and corruption is evident in WASA. After reading the report in yesterday’s newspaper, I was still astounded. Employees refusing to work: are you kidding me? It has been said on many occasions that this public utility pays its workers quite well. How, therefore, can they refuse to work?

Who in this public utility has allowed this behaviour to be perpetuated for so long? I have not even touched on the issues of the poor water supply to many areas, and the roads which are constantly dug up for repairs and left to form potholes.

It is my fervent hope that WASA downsizes, and that the new managerial appointees act wisely and swiftly in cleaning up this utility, bringing it to a fully operational and functional organisation, where water is provided for all in these little twin islands. No more excuses, please.

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