Dear Editor: So politicians blame ‘WASA executives’ for mismanagement? How convenient…

EPL Properties Ltd

“[…] So, in the opinion of those who signed the [Cabinet sub-committee report on WASA operations]—all of whom are politicians—the problem is WASA’s executives who are not held to account. 

“So who should hold the executives to account?”

The following Letter to the Editor on a Cabinet sub-committee report into the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) was submitted to Wired868 by Gerry Kangalee of Rambert Village:

Photo: A WASA employee at work.
(via WASA)

‘The bathroom dry, like the pipeline burst.’

In 1977 the Lord Kitchener sang a calypso called The Water Cry. That was 44 years ago. Yet, according to the report of the Cabinet sub-committee appointed to review the operations of the Water and Sewerage Authority and to determine a strategy for enabling the authority to achieve its mandate published on 11 December 2020, the politicians signing that report had the brass face to state:

‘WASA’s intractable issues have manifested itself in the form of operational and service failures where hundreds of thousands of citizens are unable to get either a reasonable supply of water or a suitable and timely response to their plight.’

Oh jeez! Forty-four years after that calypso was sung and 56 years after WASA was established, in the report’s own words: 

‘In 2019-2020, WASA’s production averaged 218 IMGD of water, while domestic and non-domestic demand is estimated at 155.4 IMGD. Non-Revenue Water (NRW) consisting of water lost through leaks and theft is estimated within the range of 40-50% (87.2-109 IMGD). The supply deficit in the dry season is 79 IMGD and the annual average deficit is 24 IMGD.’ 

Photo: Minister of Public Utilities Marvin Gonzales (centre) inspects WASA’s infrastructure.
(via Ministry of Public Utilities)

As if we, the consumers, didn’t know that we does ketch we nennen for a continuous supply. Hear the report again:

‘WASA’s executives are not held to account, deploy very limited controls, are not effectively regulated, apply very antiquated, technology-deficient systems, and are generally devoid of an understanding of WASA’s role, relationship and the consequences of the Utility’s actions on the national population.This problem cascades down from the executives to the rest of the organisation.” 

So, in the opinion of those who signed the report—all of whom are politicians—the problem is WASA’s executives who are not held to account. So who should hold the executives to account? 

The WASA Board, you may answer. But who appoints, disappoints and re-appoints the Board and have been doing so for more than 50 years? Pick a Pan! The problem does not cascade down from the executives. It cascades down from the politicians!

But unlike the magistrate, who tried himself in Spoiler’s calypso, we do not expect our politicians to try themselves for gross negligence and massive squandermania of public funds!

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